It has gradually dawned on me that I am increasingly relying on social media to keep up with events and communication with friends and family, instead of contacting them personally. I am sure this is the case with most Facebook/Twitter followers and the few people I know who do not follow these sites are in the minority and I have to confess, I find it an inconvenience sometimes when I can’t contact them instantly, if needed.
Is this wrong? Should we all be a slave to social media, or is it the modern way of communication and should we all join in?
I believe, that like everything in life, there are good things about it and bad. I have been thinking about it a lot in the past week and have come to the conclusion that from my experience (and obviously we all have different ones), in the main it is a good one.
For me, I find it very convenient to be able to message people -for free, may I add, instantly if they are “live” on FB message, when you can see that they are live on chat due to the little green dot and just say “hi”, or whatever you want to say.
If they live in Majorca, like my cousin does, It’s much easier and cheaper to talk to her online, than even Skype because the connection is usually bad and it seems to take more time. The other benefit with FB messenger is that you can multitask while you are waiting for a reply! I have had 2 or 3 conversations on the go at one time and I wouldn’t have phoned all of those people at that time, so the benefit is that you can keep in contact with more people than you would otherwise.
So what I am saying, I think, is that it saves a lot of time, which we lack in our busy lives.
Another benefit I have found, is that I have got back in contact with more distant parts of my extended family, which I think that if it wasn’t for their posts and photos, I may have drifted farther from them. My half brother requested me as a friend a few years ago, at a time when I thought I may not see them again after our mutual father died and them living far away. But it brought us back together, I truly believe that, and now we communicate through FB and have visited him and his family and other brother and sister. I attended his wedding and have my first nieces and in 2 weeks time am going to be a witness at my half sister wedding in Mexico.
So that is the best thing that I have gained from it so far.
Another thing I like is that I love seeing other peoples photos of their little ones and see them grow up. Let me explain. I do not mean that I would rather see photos of them instead of seeing them themselves. What I mean is that there are friends that I have worked with over the years, some of them much younger than myself and now they are getting married and having babies and I would never have the time to visit them all. So instead, I take great joy out of seeing them with their babies and watching their progress.
I also have a guilty pleasure of putting my photos on and always get a buzz when friends “like” my photo or make a nice comment on it. Again, people I haven’t seen for ages but we are still connected through Facebook.
The other guilty pleasure I have (and so many others, I am sure) is when you are on holiday or visiting somewhere wonderful, you just have to “check in” your location and have a gloat about how lucky you are to be in such a fantastic place. I did this a lot when I was in New York because I was just so excited to actually get there in the end and I wanted the whole world to know about it!
Some people would have found this irritating, I know but we all do it and make an album of our photos to share! I actually like to see other fortunate friends photos of where they have been too and it is only healthy jealousy when they have been somewhere that I want to go to.
There are only a couple of not so good areas of Facebook that I don’t like.
There are some people I know, that put every thought, good or bad, that they have on their status at regular intervals. I think this is a bit unnecessary and self absorbed. Said people also make public accusations about people that have wronged them and without naming that person, sometimes I don’t know if it is aimed at me. This has caused me much angst at times, being a sensitive soul, where I probably did not need to have this aggro at
There was quite a funny incident a couple of months ago, where my cousin in Majorca was having a rant about cyclists who cycle two abreast and in groups, up the mountain where she lives and not being able to pass them due to their inconsiderate behaviour. A friend of mine (who she has never met) objected to her comments on cyclists, as she considers herself one and told my cousin in no uncertain terms, that she was a twat! This caused a furore of abuse and an online argument ensued which resulted I my cousin having to take the whole post off and me “deleting” my “friend”. She as a “fair weather” friend anyway but I don’t usually feel the need to actually delete people, no matter how much they annoy me but she went too far.
I guess you could say that the situation would not have happened if it hadn’t of been on Facebook and it is true but that friend would have drifted apart from me anyway.
So my conclusion is that Facebook is a good tool for keeping in contact with people (whether distant or close) which is quick, cheap and convenient and crosses those miles that keep that would otherwise keep you apart.
I would be interested in other peoples thoughts. I am sure I have missed some areas of irritation or benefits out of my post.