I’ve finally done it. I’ve joined Facebook, after saying for years that I was too old for it and didn’t have the time. One week after joining, I haven’t really changed my mind .. OK, so there are very different age groups on there, but I think that the communication style is essentially one that belongs to young people. The immediacy, the baring of all, the virtual posse, hood, clique, whatever that becomes so important it IS the posse, hood or clique, they really all seem to fit people with a teenager mindset (bearing in mind that the number of years you actually clock does not necessarily match the “expected” or “usual” behaviour for that number).
It seems to me that Facebook is constituted of trivia for 95%. Certainly, that is my experience so far, but the remaining 5% is an exception so important that it justifies my having joined Facebook (I learned bad news from a friend I am in regular contact with, but hadn’t been in touch with for a while).
I do see the point of sharing news and photos quickly, but it’s not that obvious to make these relevant, entertaining or interesting to all your friends. For my part, I prefer taking my time to either write a completely tailored message to a particular person or to try and compose a more measured piece for the internet community at large in this blog (I know, I know, two people read it, but I mean the discerning internauts at large…) Also, being a rather cautious person, “Do I need to be careful what I share with work colleagues?” “Will I offend so and so” “Does that comment make me sound a busybody or terminally middle aged?” goes through my head.
Care, one of the charities I support, was one of the organisations whose page I added to my profile or wall or whatever (not familiar with all the terminology yet). I commented on the fact that I didn’t want to vote for the story I most wanted to read about, which is what they are doing in the run up to 2011. Someone from Care helpfully commented back that it wasn’t about voting for the “best” story. I understand, but still don’t like the “vote” idea synonymous with mindless TV programmes. I’ll find a person to have an off-Facebook email exchange about this, but will keep Care on my Facebook. On the other hand, I’ve “unliked” Nina Hagen’s page. She made great music but is as offensive and ranting as ever. 70s punk is dead Nina, and I don’t think you’re making a lot of sense now.
Finally, some people clearly have a talent for short, pithy and humorous posts and I really enjoy those. But I’m definitely a more wordy person! So I’ll give it till the end of 2010 to see whether I stick around and contribute or just sit there as a Facebook non-participating squatter.
As to Twitter, shouldn’t it just become a new emergency service?