Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Facebook: Friend or Foe?

So this really important thing happened to me and I was dying to share it on Facebook and 'nek minute, I had 50 notifications, with 45 likes and 5 comments pop up in my news feed. Before I knew it, people were nudging me, and inboxing me to express their sympathy, and sharing my status to spread the word.

Sound familiar? 

When has sharing important information come down to the number of likes and comments you've received on a status...and by who? A girl you went to school with years ago but no longer keep in contact? A friend of a friend who you met once at a party? Do you really want all 1,000 of your 'friends' knowing the most personal of your details?

Don't get me wrong, I'm a Facebook addict. I check my phone at least 10 times a day for notifications.

After recently moving away from many of my close friends I thought that I would become even more of an addict, trying to Facestalk to see what they'd be up to, to check out their pictures and to be able to chat for free, but the opposite has happened.

I realised that if they are my good friends, then I should be picking up the phone and telling them the important information instead of having them read it via a Facebook status.

And then I found myself questioning the whole idea of Facestalk Facebook.

How did we used to communicate before Facebook?

Well, to organise an event we'd ring or text our friends, so yes, maybe Facebook is better for that so that you can keep a list of whose coming, any changes to the venue, and what other people are bringing...but then it brings into question, what events should and shouldn't be shared on Facebook? Is it socially acceptable to invite people to your birthday via a Facebook event? What about your wedding? Why the difference?

How did we used to share holiday photos before Facebook? We'd invite our friends around for dinner and show them on the laptop...which okay, is fine if you're friends live close, but how about if they live far away? Again, a reason Facebook can be useful.

How did we used to communicate the important stuff, like someone's had a heart attack? 
We'd call grandma, who'd call Aunty Ange, who'd call Aunty Trudy...ohhh yeah... the scary thing with Facebook now is that it's almost "easier" to post something on there, in fear that someone else will spread the news first via a status update, making other relatives and close friends furious that they found out on the internet.

Which brings into question what information should and shouldn't we share on this social network. Too often now it seems like there's some race to have the juicest gossip, without really realising whose juicy gossip it is to share.

Is it OK to write congratulations on the birth of your daughter bla...before the parents have? Is it okay to update photos of a wedding, on the wedding day? Is it okay to share photos of other peoples children on your Facebook?

After some serious thought on the topic I decided that I probably have to be a little more mindful of what I should and shouldn't post on Facebook. How far is too far? Would I want my 600 Facebook friends knowing something that I'm itching to share before I've had the chance to tell my close friends in person, or even worse, after they've logged on and seen over 50 people like the status who they had never heard you speak of and be the 6th to comment?

I do think there's a time and place for Facebook, but I also never think, that in my eyes, that Facebook should replace good old personal conversations between two people.

What do you think?

Is Facebook a friend or foe?

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

No comments: