gleeful grandiva

creative living for big and little kids

FACEBOOK, THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES

Dear Facebook,

I’d like to thank you for always being there to give me a distraction from life.

When the menopausal monster conspires to get me out of bed before the sun is foolish enough to make an appearance, it is you that I turn to for company and consolation.

 

Facebook picture

 

When I’m feeling lonely and isolated, it is you that I go to in an attempt to feel reconnected.

Sometimes this works wonders as I see my newsfeed bursting with pages of positivity.

FACEBOOK, THE ULTIMATE BRAGGING PLATFORM

Other times I find I feel worse when I see how my friends are actually living life, forgetting that I’m seeing this because they too have taken time out from living to post photos of proof that their lives are brilliant.

You give me a bragging platform I am sorry I didn’t have when my own children were young and I could wax lyrical about their cuteness.

Don’t feel bad about this – I’m making up for it with my grandchildren.

It makes me wonder, though, how did I manage before you?

It is through you, dear Facebook, that I become aware of so many issues. How did I keep up with the news before you?

When I hear a bump in the night, or see an unusual amount of police activity in the area, I open my newsfeed to see if anyone knows what is going on.

Sometimes you get your information so wrong. I remember with sadness the beautiful Elsa cake made with love that was posted and ridiculed all through your pages.

If sticks and stones will break my bones, your name calling could break my heart.

But you have brought so many people together. Because of you, I reconnected with a loved one I hadn’t spoken to in 13 years.

 

Facebook picture

That in itself is reason to adore you.

However, there are also a lot of friends who use you to hide their laziness, writing sweet rhymes about their love of their Facebook friends and how you don’t need to be in proper contact to remain best buddies.

Funny, these same people used to pick up the phone and tell you, and not the world, that nugget of sweetness.

I know of a few people – very few – who avoid you completely, wisely recognising their emotional equilibrium is at stake.

Facebook, you require a thick skin.

When carefully constructed posts are totally ignored, even the most confident person feels the rejection. No matter with your new algorithms it is possible no one actually saw that post, being ignored still stings.

Worse than this, you provide a platform for all the keyboard warriors to vent their bitter frustrations, not caring about the effect on their targets as they are protected by their cloak of invisibility and righteousness.

I have to congratulate you, though, on deciding against an ‘unlike’ button, it must have been a tempting addition to contributing to your research on human interactions.

It surely would have opened the door to more online bullying which, as you know, is now one of the major mental health issues facing society today.

I can’t help but feel like a bit of a lab rat when I think of all the information about me you have stored, supposedly in the interests of improving my Facebook experience.

For someone who grew up knowing her secrets would be safe if not spotted by Mrs Busy Body at Number 8, the online world of information can be a bit creepy.

However, as one of the 83 percent of parents who are Facebook friends with their teenage kids (though mine are now older) I appreciate we no longer need to rely on Mrs Busy Body to know what’s going on in their lives.

I feel grateful your amazing resource was unavailable when I was young. It means I’ve formed habits that newer generations wouldn’t consider.

On any train trip I can see all heads down, looking at their phones or tablets, probably looking at you.

Me? I still look out the window and try to spot the painted stations, horses and cattle, and the child who clambers and scrambles.

 

Facebook picture

I feel confident in dinner and party conversations, not having had the crutch of you to resort to when there was a lull.

You were not around as a distraction when my kids were young and needed a mindful mum.

Still, I am grateful for you today. Because of you, I get to see instantly any cute thing my granddaughters get up to.

Because of you, I can watch my friends’ grandkids growing up and rejoice in their achievements.

Because of you, I am making new friends, some of whom I may never see in the flesh, but that doesn’t lessen their impact on my life.

Because of you, dear Facebook, I find out about dangers and dramas faster than even news alerts can inform me.

You have come to the party so many times when it has been called for. Your Safety Check feature is an example.

This feature, only activated when necessary, helps loved ones reconnect when there is a disaster.

Using all that information you have about us, you are able to determine who is likely to be an affected area and you contact them to confirm they are safe, then share this information with friends and family, lessening their distress.

You act as a catalyst for charitable donations after disasters affecting individuals and groups.

People use you to reconnect with family and friends, find lost pets, search for owners of found treasures and launch social campaigns.

Your more than 1.59 billion monthly active users can express themselves through your platform, sometimes helping them get through troubled times.

For those who are isolated, geographically or because of an impairment, you are a saviour.

And when I’m not feeling the love from friends, you pop in with a picture of a good memory previously posted by me and make the day seem brighter again.

So, thank you Facebook.

I hope you have a gleeful week, Tamuria.

 

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32 Comments

  1. I have such a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I deactivate my acct. at least 4 times a year and then everybody whines that we can’t stay in touch – we all have each other’s numbers. – So I just back on and it’s the same crap and some days it’s just sooo much but like you say, if you’re up in the middle of the night.. It is a welcoming place. Facebook, can’t live with it, can’t live without it.. I wish they’d do away with all of their suggestions tho. Seriously.

    • The suggestions are really annoying! Yes, it’s a love/hate relationship for sure and I also get frustrated when people act like they’ve forgotten how to make a phone call.

  2. I love Facebook though I realized quite early on that it can become a distraction and have learned to monitor my time on it. I found old school friends from the different countries where my Dad was posted and in that sense its like a live Alumni. I’ve met lovely people, like yourself whom I would never have met and I shudder to think about what I could have missed out on.

    The only time I really got irritated was when the Selfie thingy was trending and I saw distorted puckered duck faces in the name of being fashionable. Thank God I kept quite (apart from 1 time when I asked if they had eaten a tamarind 😉 )
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…Money matters: Are you really on top of your finance game?My Profile

    • So true Vatsala – it’s a big time waster but it would be so sad to miss out on the friendships, like ours, that would probably not have been possible without FB.I agree, sometimes the trends are a little hard to take and I love your comeback to the duck faces. 🙂

  3. Love your pros and cons weighed out beautifully in this post, Tami! I also have a bit of a love/hate relationship with FB, although I am definitely not addicted to it and leave it behind when I venture out into the world. A little tip for you when it comes to local issues you want immediate info on. Twitter is the best platform for that. Another reason for you to dive into that platform full force. 😉 Recently when there was a power outage in an area of the city, I was able to find the reason and info for my friend, (both on and off FB), on good old Twitter.

    If only people had restraint and were not sharing every tidbit of their lives on FB, as I am not sure they realize how compromised their privacy is. As if it wasn’t already! And for heavens sake, please don’t turn on location services as then the world can track you. My concern is our loss of privacy and security and the online world, certainly hasn’t factored that into their platforms. Discernment when it comes to the online world is the key! Loved the post and your humour always shines through.

    • Twitter keeps teasing me from the sidelines Beverley and I get so tempted to start with it then realise I barely have time to keep up with what I’m currently doing. One day…. Yes, I agree, for all we’ve gained we have lost privacy and security and discernment is vital. I think the relative anonymity of social platforms gives people a false sense of security. Thank you for your kind words – so lovely to hear when people are enjoying what I write.

  4. Tami, I think you truthfully wrote about what others are feeling when it comes to Facebook. When I’m lonely, I like to go on Facebook. But, when I see others having fun in a group, I then feel sad. It’s better off that I just use Facebook from 9-5 when I work. It works better for me that way. I don’t like the emotional rollercoaster ride it gives me. Other social media sites are different though. I guess because they are more business and less personal. Thanks for sharing.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…How To Quickly Improve Your Online WritingMy Profile

    • It really is an emotional rollercoaster, Sabrina. Facebook can be the absolute worse place to go when you’re feeling lonely – and sometimes the best. I’m not on Twitter so I can’t really comment but I know I don’t get the highs and lows on Pinterest – just great ideas.

  5. Thank you for an unique and interesting article. Facebook is a true cornerstone of our life and existence now. There’s no denying it’s power if we choose to partake.
    Teresa Salhi recently posted…Fearless Women Do 7 Things DifferentlyMy Profile

    • The power of FB is great for those who choose to partake, Teresa. The power for individuals is to decide how much to let it into your life. Thanks for the kind comment.

  6. I mainly use FB for business & my coach recently told me to be more social on my profile. Most of my personal friends are not on FB (an age thing) & so my business connections have become friends & I prefer they engage with me on my page. I really like Fb & havent been bothered by the frequent complaints.

    • I think how much it does or doesn’t bother you is directly linked to how you choose to use it, Roz. Sounds like you are getting the very best out of it.

  7. Christy

    Keyboard warriors…I like this term (in the way you know have a name for something bad). I hear the war cry now….Let’s kill the keyboard warriors.

  8. Wow, you have certainly thought a lot about Facebook 🙂 I like the way you laid everything out, even though I can’t relate.

    Fortunately, I don’t even time for Facebook. I’m too busy in my business and creating & maintaining real relationships.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted…The Three Types of PeopleMy Profile

    • You are so right, Rachel. I’ve given this a lot of thought, as I do for everything I write. It’s good you can’t relate to the downside of FB but with the good side you realize the relationships and friendships you make through this platform are just as real, and important, as friends with a physical presence in your life.

  9. That is great! Perfectly summarizing the love/hate thing that is Facebook! I love that it can bring awareness to things (sweet dogs in need of homes, for instance!), be a source of information and a hub to bring people together, but It can also take over. I don’t ever post when we are on vacation stating that we are, and I’m very selective about what I post about my son (and he gets to clear whatever it is!).
    Kimberly recently posted…Ideas to Help Choose Colors for Your HomeMy Profile

    • Sounds like you are using it wisely and getting the most out of it Kimberly.I hope my grandkids don’t mind my constant bragging when they look back. Once they’re a bit older they probably won’t let me do this anymore. For now, I have their parents’ permission and always explain when I take pics for the blog or FB business page that it is for ‘Grandy’s writing’ and they’re happy to participate. I often post while on holidays as it’s a timesaver instead of separate messages to all the different family members who are scattered around. Its ability to spread awareness is one of the things I love about FB most.

  10. Terrific! I agree with all your comments. I, too, have connected with people I haven’t seen in decades, and have made some smashing new friends thanks to Facebook and other social media platforms. And the outpouring of support and love that we get when life dumps on us is priceless.

    • All those wonderful reasons are why people persevere with it I think Jackie. Reconnecting with loved ones – what a wonderful thing! New and precious friends, all that support and love, it’s worth the annoying parts.

  11. Agreed.. you aren’t alone… when moving to another state.. it was FB that I vented on and was reached out to by friends and comforted me, looked for recommendations on movies, restaurants, laptops and more. I have reconnected and stayed in touch with many folks that I hadn’t been able to before.
    Kristen Wilson recently posted…A Quick Tip on your Click to Tweet Plugin – You Might be Doing it Wrong!My Profile

    • The support and the ability to stay in touch or reconnect with people are my favourite features of FB Kisten. I imagine it would be invaluable for information and help with a big move like that.

  12. Tamara – I love the way you write! I loved the entire article, but the line I want to steal is “before the sun is foolish enough to make an appearance.” Wouldn’t it be funny if we made the anti-average Facebook experience? Instead of pictures of our friends’ kids looking cute, we could look at them being imps. Instead of the lovely Thanksgiving table pics, we would see photos of the turkey splatted across the floor. You get the idea – it could be fun!
    joan potter recently posted…I came, I saw, I wentMy Profile

    • Thank you so much, Joan for your lovely words. I think we should do it – a private group where you’re only allowed to post epic fails. It would be so funny.

  13. Hello Tamuria,

    Enjoyed your post and I would agree with you that I am so happy that Facebook was NOT around when I was younger 😉 Facebook is a great way to find friends and reconnect…..for that it makes a great tool. Great share and loved your “memories”
    Joan M Harrington recently posted…6 Powerful Social Media Persuasion TechniquesMy Profile

    • It is a geat way to reconnect Joan, and also too tempting sometimes when you should be focusing on other things.A massive time waster and a massive time saver, depending on how you use it I guess.

  14. I think many of us have a love/hate relationship with FB. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Overall my experience has been quite good but there are days I want to leave and never come back. Thanks for the laughs and smiles as I read this as it hit home.
    Karen Grosz recently posted…Let’s Get Real Friday Party – #137My Profile

    • I’m glad you were able to identify with the story Karen. I would have to say my experience has mainly been good too and I remind myself of this on the days I’m tempted to delete my account.:)

  15. Fascinating and infuriating, that is Facebook. Thank you for such an eloquent ode to the platform we all hate to love.
    Carol Rundle recently posted…5 Apps to Help You Get and Stay HealthyMy Profile

    • The platform we love to hate – I love how you’ve stated that, Carol. You are right, FB is all at once fascinating and infuriating.

  16. Fun article about FB here, and I think we all sometimes cannot stand FB but still continues to come back and read and take quizzes and post…:-)

    • We must all be suckers for punishment Katarina – but then there is so much fun to be found there as well. 🙂

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