Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Facebook Fever

The world is divided into two types of people - those who use Facebook and those who don't.
I've spent many years vehemently avoiding becoming a Facebooker and it's suited me to just have the occasional nose around my hubbie's page to see what his Aussie family have been up to - usually something daft, in a sunny climate and involving lots of yummy food.
So when I published my book and found out that not only should I Twitter and blog but I should also have a FB page, I was not best pleased.
Now don't get me wrong, I can see the merits of it.  Obviously for hubbie, it keeps him in constant contact with a family 13,000 miles away.  Now they don't have to struggle to recall news in costly phone calls because if someone's passed wind you can be sure we'll know about it.
That's also part of my problem, I guess.  The FBers who post every couple of seconds to keep the world informed of their every move - coffee in Starbucks at the mo, wiping my nose, picking a spot etc. I'm sorry, but I'm not interested, tell us the stuff that matters.
And why do I need FB to keep me in touch with people?  Those who I love and want to spend time with, I see and spend time with.  Or I pick up the phone or text or email - you know, all those outdated modes of communication.
But then of course, I'm missing the point.  I can have 6,354 'friends' who I've never set eyes on before, would probably not ordinarily spend a minute of my time with but I can wile away many hours playing daft games with them - Sukisoo planted a tree in your garden, Min Long Choo sends you a smile.  I just don't get it!
Then we have the 'Unfriend' button.  Or, as I like to call it, the "Ner-nicky-ner-ner, I'm not your friend anymore" weapon.  A particularly useful tool I would imagine if you're being stalked or harassed but, in the wrong hands, this one-click action can prove diplomatically fatal.  Once you've unfriended someone, in my opinion, there can be no going back so this really should be reserved for extreme circumstances only and not on someone who is a living, breathing friend or family.  Users of this should be prepared to accept the consequences of their fit of pique and get back to the playground where they belong.
In the same playground they are likely to meet the FBers who use the site to air their grievances and dirty laundry for all to see.  Having a spat?  Advertise it on Facebook! The trouble in doing this is they have to be so obscure, nobody actually has a clue what they're talking about.  But it's great for a bit of drama, because by this point everyone's so confused, they feel obliged to ask what the problem is; are you OK, do you need a shoulder to cry on, bless?  Memories of school days come flooding back to me. You need a certain amount of maturity to manage your relationships on something as public as FB, or you'll feel a fool when your kneejerk reaction backfires on you - if you don't have that maturity you shouldn't be playing with the grown-ups.
So my relationship with this infamous social networking site remains tenuous.  I'll never have a personal page, just one for the book.  As far as I'm concerned it's for business, not pleasure but I'll remain a Peeping Tom on my hubbie's page.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is available on Amazon for Kindle.
Now also in paperback at Lulu.

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