Remember the days before Facebook when you had no idea what somebody was having for lunch that day? Or you didn’t know what their politics were? Or their belief system was beyond your ken, much less your interest? Or you had no idea who (or what) they found sexually arousing?
I think I do. But it has seemed so long now that I have to cast my mind back to an earlier, simpler, sometimes more confusing time. More confusing because I didn’t know what all my human contacts were thinking about, reading, eating, listening to, having coitus with (or wanting to), or what rites or rituals they subscribed to. Now that all has changed and I am connected.
What do I like about Facebook? (do you really care what I like about FB? Well, you’re going to read it anyway).
– it has enabled me to reconnect with people from an earlier time in my life. Some going back right to childhood. I genuinely value having re-established contact because it enables life to become a kind of full-circle rather than just being a mass of random remedies.
– it enables me to regularly contact people whom I feel dearly about; just a snippet of thought rather than picking up a phone and calling them.
– it keeps me current with people I care about.
– it gives me immediate access to those who live abroad and with whom I am not in regular face-to-face contact.
– it has enabled me to develop a wider circle of ‘friends’ or contacts with individuals I might only know slightly; or have met one or two times; or with whom there are mutual friends. You know how that goes.
– it has conveyed information to me regarding people, places or things I might not otherwise have heard about. Yes, FB can be a source of genuine life facts.
– it has exposed me to thoughts and philosophies I might want to ponder for my own enlightenment.
– too often FB is the banal triumphant in which the trite or silly is extolled beyond interest or acceptability. Do I really care what you had for lunch? I may love you but I have little interest in what you stuck in your maw unless you are posting a brilliant recipe.
– it’s possible that you (or even I) might have a ‘history’ with a FB friend. Such matters are never to be mentioned for public scrutiny. That’s just plain good manners about washing soiled linen in public, etc. And, if you want to make a less oblique comment, then that is what the ‘message’ option is all about. People can be a little indiscreet. I try not to be.
– there is such a thing as enough cute kittens photos.
– I will not ever look at photos of abject cruelty like dead dogs or poacher slaughtered elephants. I know this shit goes on but I can’t ‘unsee’ an image so will not go there.
– some people aren’t good at speaking with their ‘inside voice’ when they make comments to others. I have had people nastily assail my ‘friends’ in the comment area. This pisses me off because I am protective of my friends. Use the same manners that you use in normal human intercourse – no, not ‘that’ kind.
– I try to avoid hitting out at people’s belief systems – unless they’re really stupid, or bigoted, or cruel – and let them worship their own gods of their own choosing Others are sometimes not as discrete.
– watch for the signs. Been hit with a fake profile? She’s gorgeous. Her friends are all hotties of exotic mein. She’s very young. Her name is probably Nedra or somesuch and she originated in maybe West Bengal but she is now living in your very own community quite possibly, though you have no friends in common but she really wants to make contact. It’s all fraudulent dear friends. She (or somebody) wants something but not to get to know you either personally or carnally. Sorry.
Anyway, Facebook gets a lot of heat for being some sort of sinister force in the world and one that should be eschewed. I do not feel that way. It has opened up many realms of discourse and connectedness for me and I like the role it plays in my life. I am very wary about how I use it, but as long as I have my various blockers in place it has treated me well.