Tuesday, 16 December 2014

How important is Facebook to you?

I think it's amazing, but I'm comparing it to a time where you had real, not just virtual friends, and the only way to keep those friends was to meet up, or at least phone regularly. I've moved on so many times that without Facebook I guess I would have no friends.

Some of my friends on Facebook, I've never met, yet enjoy the interaction with them enormously. It helped me hook up with people who I knew as far back as childhood, and even though we don't talk much after our initial contact, it's nice to see them still there. Same with old work and army colleagues, and people who I may have only met once on the other side of the world, without Facebook I would never have stayed in touch.

Having kids, it's helped me to stay in touch with what's going on in their lives as none of us are geographically close anymore. Between Facebook and Skype we have stayed tight as a family, and it's just great! Would be nice to live closer to them all one day, especially as my 3 grandchildren grow up.

I worry about the 'watchers' on Facebook, those that are friends but never, ever comment or 'like' anything you put up. I also worry about people who feel they can't use their real name, though my partner Beverley has a very good reason being a teacher. ALL her pupils would send her friends requests, and that's a bridge too far.

People sometimes lay their hearts out on Facebook, and it gives others a chance to jump in with support. I was sent a private message a while back by someone who said, "It's good to know you're always there if I need to talk Dan". Others have been there for me at desperately hard times. This can only be good, surely?

When you send someone a 'Friends Request' and they turn you down, how bad do you feel? Maybe you liked them, but they weren't as keen on you.

When someone 'de-friends' you, are you devastated? Someone did to me recently just because we disagreed on something. I dared to have a different opinion and his macho image wouldn't allow that! My favourite friends on Facebook are those who I can have a good debate with, without falling out.

When it's your birthday, do you find yourself looking closely at who sent you well wishes? Not one member of my entire family of in-laws acknowledged my birthday on Facebook this year. Should I worry that I'm not loved :-)? I always try but I must miss more than I remember. I reckon if a 3rd of your 'friends' say happy birthday, you've done well.

I laugh at people who have some +2,500 friends. In your dreams! I've got 184 and I've just counted 11 that I've never met, mainly people I've befriended on cancer support sites.

I love all the political and wildlife groups that I can keep up with on Facebook. You can also get a more balanced view of the news without the influence of the totally biased BBC, because there is stuff going on in the world right now that is simply not reported. I can follow people who I like/admire and join lobbying groups such as '38 degrees' who can influence our government, because alone, we can't. I'm even in a group called, 'Babies born at Queen Charlottes Hospital'.

Saves a fortune on birthday and christmas cards and even tells me when your birthday is. If I've got news to tell, you all get to hear at the same time. If you talk about things like cats, soaps or put photos of your grandchildren up all the time, I probably don't follow you, so I don't see you on my timeline, but it doesn't mean I don't like you :-)

I never got into Twitter in the same way, I guess I never really understood it. But yes, Facebook does it for me, and I'm glad it's around. As I travel the world now, I can take you all with me!

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