My life on Facebook

imageIt 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?

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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
all.
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.

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6 Responses to My life on Facebook

  1. Tiffany says:

    I love having a rant on fb it clears my thoughts and makes me forts more clearly and I love posting pic of my cuties so my family and my nan can see them grow as they grow up in the blink of an eye x

  2. jennypellett says:

    Well, I can speak from the other point of view I suppose as I don’t do either Facebook or Twitter. If I want to get in touch with friends, I phone them up or at worst, send an email. And it’s usually to arrange something concrete, like meeting up – I very rarely phone anyone just for a chat. I’d like to think that if someone wanted to see me, they would do the same – i.e. – make a bit of an effort rather than replying to a remark on social media on the off chance. I can see the value in FB in the way my son has used it for research into his book and for keeping contact with the folks he has met as a consequence. I can see its value as a PR tool – 25 years ago it would’ve made my job so much easier! But generally I think it’s impersonal. I also think it can be dangerous – people seem to put far too much personal details on FB for the whole world to see – and we have no idea or control over who sees our information or what can then be done with it. As for photos of children, I am amazed that with everything in the media and at schools about child protection people are posting pictures of their kids without a second thought.
    Hope my views aren’t too deflating, Kay, but nothing would encourage me to have either accounts – blogging is enough for me!

  3. kaypickard says:

    Not at all Jenny; I wanted to hear different points of view. I take your point about making an effort to see friends by using the phone or email and I do do that in order to meet in person, as you know. I think I was mainly referring to acquaintances (because most of my “friends” on FB are acquaintances. I do it with closer friends and family too but I do actually meet up with them in person as well and enjoy their company.
    I am more laid back about privacy issues, maybe naively and am guilty of putting many photos of my grand children on there, as I am proud of them and want to show them off because I am not aware of how they can be used in a detrimental way by others. I don’t want to live in a world where I am scared to share innocent photos of my family. I don’t understand how they could be used by others?
    I also think that it is possible to get personal data from our smart phones and computers as easily as it is from Facebook. It is a corrupt world we live in but I will take my chances and hope for the best. Thank you for taking the time to offer your point of view.

  4. Jacqueline Routledge says:

    I think your comments reflect your open-heartedness, Kay. I certainly think we should all embrace technology, whatever our age. I certainly do not want to be left behind and love my laptop, smartphone and skype. But I am wary of posting my photos/thoughts anywhere. Professionally I spent, along with my team, a lot of time, sorting out the messes that younger people got themselves into using various online means to post their inappropriate and unfiltered thoughts and photos. However, your comments have given me more food for thought.

  5. kaypickard says:

    Thank you Jacqueline , I’m glad my post gave you food for thought. I can understand how young people could make mistakes but that is probably lack of experience of life, although it must be distressing at the time. I am really careful about my comments and usually only post positive ones. I rarely rant, like some do.

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