Every time one of my Facebook friends threatens to leave Facebook forever, or does leave, or goes on a holiday from Facebook, or announces why it is so terrible and should be banned, or suggests that it is worse for people than sugar is for ADHD kids, I suffer little shivers of shame at my totally guilty pleasure.
See, I love Facebok, Vleisboek, Facebum, Visagetome. In spite of the terrible spelling and grammar in the “lose 50kgs in half an hour” ads, the “Hi I am Mike and I am around the corner and I think we should meet”, those hideous new homemade damn comics (that might just have become passe, I am hoping), the trashy quotes on tie-dye backgrounds. I love Facebook in spite of my few emo friends, in spite of food photos, in spite of endless theatre campaigns to raise money to make this or send that, with their false promises that somehow you will benefit from giving them your money. In spite of the pictures of cruelty to animals, that freak me out for days. In spite of the endless stream of causes that need me to push a button, install an app, allow facebum to get all my info etc, etc. In spite of the fact that it always the person you least want to ‘chat’ with who starts up that typed conversation.
I love Facebook because it gives me access to and insight into friends’ lives, hearts and humor. It is a special way of connecting, ‘sharing’, networking, messaging and recoginising. It is a powerful (sometimes frighteningly so) and speedy way of getting info out there, particularly news about people’s successes, deaths, shared concerns and traditions and celebrations. We connect through word, thought, images, ideas and humour. I especially love seeing my friends animals and children, and even the veggies that they are growing.
I love sharing my stuff on Facebook. I love seeing who ‘gets’ what. I love the surprise of a random status update that suddenly gets attention. I love reading what other people suggest, and link to. I love posting my thoughts and links to my blog and getting responses from friends and connections.
Yes, Facebook is a distraction. Yes, Facebook is an ‘easy way out’ when wishing people a HappyÂ birthday/birth/Xmas/holiday/year, but so what? So, Facebook friends, I am not going anywhere. I see, like and share you.