Sporadically I’ve wondered what my world might have been like if Facebook had been around when I was in my teens and feeling as woefully inadequate and irredeemably uncool much as most teens do.
There are those who find FB evil because it presents each of us with a false image of our worth in our personal society. In other words if you have a few hundred ‘friends’ then you must epitomize social desirability. If some of your friends are people who actually qualify as ‘famous’ in contemporary meaning of the word (which isn’t much) then you are truly in the upper echelons of Facebookhood. You know, you sit at the cool table at the FB school.
However, in such a context, there are a few things to bear in mind. First, there is no such thing as life after high school. HS is an evil institution that situates us where were are to be in life and that is changeless.
All negatives about FB notwithstanding, I am fond of it. It has given me a nice connectedness that can only serve to brighten my days. In that I mean I am semi-retired and served in capacities that called for me to deal with others on an ongoing basis; including some others that I didn’t always want to deal with, but mostly it was good. While given to introversion at times, I am not unnerved by people and the only aspect of my introversion that is prominent is a sometimes pathological need, like Greta Garbo’s, to be left alone with my private interests or vices, as the case may be.
So, what do I like about FB? Lots of things. AS follows are a few:
– Reconnecting: Via FB I have been able to re-link with people I knew in my past, whether those people were schoolmates of yore, former students, former colleagues, friends who had fallen by the wayside along the miles of life, former amours, family members and so forth.
– Connecting: I’ve been on a bit of a quest of late to actually ‘connect’ with more of the people I got to know on FB. I did that a few years ago, and am doing so again. It has invariably been a positive experience. In other words, I have found that if I like somebody on FB I’ve found that I like the person in real life. In other words, despite the contempt of naysayers, most people do not present false-images of themselves. It has also improved my views about certain individuals who present themselves as being much more worthy than I might have thought in the past. It has also expanded my political biases in which I have found by interacting with people who run the political gamut my own world view expands.
– Humor: I was a humor columnist for many years, and there is some very funny stuff posted on FB. I like irreverence; off-color stuff if it isn’t vulgar; sexy stuff if it isn’t blatant or insulting or sexist, satirical stuff (my lifeblood) and so forth. Some of my friends are honestly very funny. I want my friends to be funny.
– Knowledge: FB isn’t all frivolity and kitten pictures, or Kim Kardashian bum pictures for that matter, but is often, via news items and the like, extremely (or at least moderately) informative.
And sometimes it’s plain old fun. Walking through a mall recently a very pretty lady passed by and uttered “Hello, Ian”. I pondered her face and then thought, aha, I know her from Facebook. We’d never actually met.
Yet, we had, in a way.