Teddy Bear
Image: ningmilo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

By: Danielle Thibodeau

Whether most of us want to admit it or not- we’re Facebook junkies. What constitutes a junkie you ask? I’d say if you visit the social campgrounds at least once a day (or in my case 7 or 8), if you have an “app” on your phone, or if your dog or cat has its own profile, you may be a tried and true junkie; a participant of the ever growing world of Facebook. Some would argue that we should be ashamed of ourselves for spending so much of our time on a site completely devoted to “creeping” in on others’ lives and updating our statuses to reflect our current mood or relationship woe. But the truth is the positives and the resourcefulness that come along with being a member of Facebook can definitely work in our favour.

If we, as residents of the valley, take a moment to evaluate the groups we have chosen to join and take part in on Facebook, many of us will likely gravitate towards both “Valemount & Area Swap N’ Buy” and “McBride Buy, Sell or Give.” For those who are unfamiliar with what these groups are, they are both dedicated to helping locals connect with each other in their efforts to either sell, swap, or give away items they no longer need or are willing to part with.

Both Angie Perkins and Carrie Vandermay, the “admins” of the Valemount and the McBride groups respectively, admit that the groups were originally intended just for their immediate friends and acquaintances but soon grew to include anyone who wanted to join.

“At first it was just hotel staff, but as my son’s list of friends grew longer, so did mine; I invited more friends to the group,” Perkins said.

Luckily we can all benefit from this growth by keeping in synch with everything from great deals on used silver jewelry, to second-hand vehicles, to local bake sales, services, and talent.

Having been new to the area as of October 2011 and seriously lacking in kitchen utensils it was suggested to me that I join both groups, as there would likely be many members looking to sell their odds and ends for a reasonable price; maybe even some who would be happy to donate their extra things to our household. Within minutes of posting my “looking for” ad, I had four responses asking what I needed and to make them an offer. I offered $20 for the lot and instantly got a “like” followed by a “when is a good time to drop everything off at your place?” comment. I was amazed not only at the effectiveness of the group, but also at how kind and receptive locals were to us as new residents of Valemount.

“It makes me happy, that in a small way, I feel that I have brought something to our community that is useful to everyone and it helps keep everyone’s basements, closets, and garages free of clutter,” Vandermay said when asked about her involvement with the group. As clichÔ© as the saying may sound, one man’s junk can really be another man’s treasure. By taking part in organizations like these we not only support our neighbours but also reduce solid waste and minimize “throw away” culture.

So next time someone teases you about the uselessness of social media, why don’t you boast about the lucky finds you were able to come by thanks to Facebook. That, or invite them to the group!