And the purpose of Facebook is?…… to brag, big yourself up, make arrogant assumptions that everyone is of your own political persuasion, bombard with hundreds of photos, and/or divulge personal stuff that just shouldn’t be in the public domain.
Yes, I do use Facebook. It’s good to catch up with what friends are up to – the holidays they’ve enjoyed (sometimes far too many to be civilised), additional grandchildren and sadly deaths. Here Facebook has replaced the traditional death announcement in the local paper. I was sad to learn recently that an old colleague’s elderly father had recently died – thank heaven for the new sad face button as there was no way one could really click like. I’ve also heard that it’s quite hard to have a Facebook page removed should a loved one sadly die – that feels uncomfortable.
With Facebook’s new buttons as well as like and sad one can also express love, anger, amusement and amazement – all useful in their own way. However, when it comes to those shared political posts, sometimes I want to say that I disagree with the content of the post itself. If I click like it looks as though I agree with the friend posting, if I click angry or sad it implies I’m sad about the political statement which often I actually agree with at some level – it’s complicated. I could of course bypass the buttons and straightforwardly make a comment but politics is a funny old thing. I’m ok having a face to face discussion amongst friends with differing viewpoints but heavens I might get trolled if I put my political views online for all to see. So even though I may not actually be brave enough to comment or even to physically press a symbol, I do like to be in a position to do so mentally.
I do wonder if people who brag on Facebook do so because their lives are actually not that exciting or if they just don’t realise it comes across as boasting.
I’ve been to parties where a few hours later there are the photos of everyone having such a good time (I’m not usually in those) and comments such as ‘best night ever’ etc. Um! well I did enjoy the party but it wasn’t that good.
Talking of photos as I say I like reading about where friends have been on holiday etc. and seeing a few selected photos but my heart sinks when I see 201 new photos – 201!! Why not share those with just close family or use a photo sharing app and pick out a few favourites for the rest of us.
The same goes for shared funnies and videos – I love to chuckle over some of those but go easy guys – not five in a row.
For research purposes you understand, I noted post on my Facebook newsfeed for the last 24 hours. You will learn from this that I don’t have many Facebook friends. Due to rejection issues I have only ever responded when people have asked to be my friend (how playground it all sounds in writing). I have boldly ignored some friend requests from people I wasn’t interested in years ago – they are just being nosey but I know all about that.
- Somebody shared a memory from 3 years ago – I don’t care I wasn’t part of it so why not just share it with those who were involved.
- There were happy birthday messages for a close friend, how her husband is planning to celebrate and lamenting her swollen knee – all acceptable.
- An ‘I love my job, awesome session’ brag post
- A shared fitness video
- Local music and gig guide posts x2
- Photos of coypu swimming in a French canal – mercifully only 4 (photos not coypu that is)
- A friend’s Top 11 photos of the year with 108 likes – brag post
- A ‘Do You Remember in Portsmouth’ post
- Information sharing for clients of a personal trainer friend – why not share with group – the rest of us don’t need to know the time of their session.
- An RNLI charity appeal
- A friend having an angry rant about his car breaking down
- Photos of swans feeding from the hand of someone’s mother in Majorca
- A video entitled ‘A stork love story’ – haven’t looked at that yet
- An unexplained photo of people at an unnamed football match
- A photo of a flower called ‘hanging naked men’ – mildly amusing
- A photo of an unnamed street at night – and your point is?
Some people seem compelled to share how wonderful they, their spouse or their offspring are. I don’t really want to know how spoiled you feel when your adoring hubby presents you with an extravagant bouquet for Valentine’s Day or what your children did for Mother’s Day. Let’s face it most of us probably get a card and a bunch of flowers and for those who don’t it does rub it in a bit.
A friend of my daughter’s posts stuff like ‘my hot husband’ – well I’m 68 and believe me hot he is not! Then there’s the photos of new and old grandchildren. I’m fine for your friends to say how adorable they are but it doesn’t sit well if you say so.
What about the stuff in life that goes wrong? This is often far more interesting. My own warped mind is much more inclined to post when things go pear-shaped or those gritted teeth moments usually involving cyclists in my case.
I could tell my Facebook friends about our 12-hour journey back from France to Gosport recently. My husband is not a patient traveller and it was truly like travelling with a 6 yr. old including toilet issues, but as he is not on Facebook this would seem unfair and a tad disloyal. Likewise, I don’t share the amusing happenings such as when he first got his hearing aids or when he forgets to put his front teeth in – yes I realise that I am sharing them here – oh the irony!
So I’ll still trawl Facebook in my stalker-like and Schadenfreude way but am increasingly reluctant to actually post anything for fear of being thought boastful, arrogant or worse inappropriate and disloyal.