12 January 2015

Facebook - Ten reasons why I gave in and joined up.

Facebook users pie chart
Seems I'm part of an elite group
Having written a post in 2013 titled "Ten reasons why I'm not joining Facebook (just yet)" I feel I need to comment on why ten reasons were not enough to prevent me finally giving in and joining up.

1. First, I discovered that reason number 10 is not actually correct. A lot of my friends are on Facebook. Along with a lot of my cousins, uncles, old school mates, friends who've moved interstate or overseas, and other lovely people who I've lost contact with somewhere along the way. It has been great fun catching up with them all. I enjoy seeing photos of their children and grandchildren, and having brief to-and-fro interactions, rather than those long "here's my news from the past twenty two and a half years" letters or emails (though there's still a place for those).

2. I got tired of hearing what my daughter in Italy is doing from people I barely know. If they can find out from Facebook, why can't I do the same? Thanks for friending me, Zoe.

3. As expected, my other daughter hasn't friended me on Facebook. But she hasn't refused to speak to me, as threatened. Yay!

4. When I was toying with the idea of joining up, I asked my husband if he'd be my friend. He shrugged his shoulders and said "I suppose I'd have to." So I joined without friending him, just to prove that he didn't have to. Nah nah!

5. Besides which, as I mentioned in my previous post, I do actually want to communicate with him face to face, rather than Facebook to Facebook. So now we sit in the same room, commenting on what we're reading on our FB newsfeed. It has opened up a whole new realm of conversation. "Have you seen that picture of Joe in Widgiemooltha?" "Joe who?" "I'll send it to you."

6. I get to post out-of-focus shots of things that no-one else would ever bother to take photos of, and people 'like' them. "Like" on Facebook means many things, most of which are unrelated to the English word "like", but never mind.

7. I discovered Facebook does have some privacy settings. They're not great, they sometimes don't work, they keep changing, but they exist. And I've learned not to post anything I don't want the world to see.

8. I decided that maybe it's time I overcame my snobbish introversion and joined the crowd. I now have over 50 Facebook friends. That almost qualifies me to be an extrovert, doesn't it?

9. Mark Zuckerberg likes books, even if he hasn't read any. I knew he was a nice man really.

10. Google + may be a social network but in Australia at least, it's a Clayton's network.

I still have some misgivings. As predicted, FB is a huge time sucker, though I'm getting better at rationing the time I spend there. Reason 4 still bothers me ("When something online is free, you're not the customer, you're the product"). Some of my closest friends aren't on FB. But overall, it's not as scary or as useless as I thought it would be. 

Image: By Tatiraju.rishabh at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

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