Sometimes you just have to write…
People seem to love to complain about Facebook. They complain about the ads, about the privacy settings that keep getting changed, about the switch to a new format, or about whatever other changes the company has come up with this week.
I know that each time the company changes something, I have to go back through my privacy settings carefully to make sure they haven’t changed. I have to ignore the ads – generally for weight-loss products or, ironically, dresses that only the skinniest of women could ever wear. I have to readjust to whatever new format has appeared from one day to the next.
Nevertheless, I love Facebook. I love it because of all of the everyday trivialities I get to read there. I know that most people hate that: hearing what a friend cooked for dinner, accompanied by a photo of said dinner, or seeing dozens of pictures of the new baby of a colleague, or watching funny cat videos.
Those trivialities keep me connected to people I would not have any contact with otherwise.
In the old days (putting on my old fogey cap here), we had to write letters or call. If you were nearby, calling was fine, and I kept up with lots of people that way. But long-distance calling, on the other hand, was expensive, so you saved it for the once-a-year birthday call.
Writing letters was the only other option, and I was terrible at that. I knew that I should, but, I suppose, the fact that I felt an obligation to do it meant that I didn’t want to. I procrastinated – a lot – and lost touch with people who had been important in my life at one stage or another.
Since I joined Facebook, though, I’ve reconnected with people: friends from as far back as elementary school, ex-boyfriends, relatives. Many of them are people who have meant a lot to me at one point or other in my life. These people are spread all around the world: the US, Canada, Austria, the UK, Israel, Australia, to name a few.
If my childhood friends and I had stayed anywhere near where I grew up, I wouldn’t want to hear all of the trivialities of people’s lives. I’d know those details already because I’d see these people regularly. But I live in the Netherlands, and I have two jobs and a family, and I don’t get to see many of these people who have made such a difference in my life.
So, friends and relatives, keep feeding me the trivialities of your everyday life. It makes me happy. It makes me feel like I’m still a part of your life, if only as an outside observer. And thank you, Facebook, for making this so accessible and easy!
I’d also love to hear how you feel about Facebook: does it improve your life?