Remember that feeling in the school playground when you’d fallen out with your friends? It’s happened to most of us at some point, hopefully it passed quickly and you were quickly reunited. But for those brief moments the world felt a sad and lonely place.
A positive product of such childhood experiences is that we learn how to cope, we learn that it really isn’t the end of the world and hopefully, we learn the characteristics and strategies we need to keep our friends. Does that mean we can stride confidently into adulthood in the knowledge that we now understand about friendships? Well that’s the theory, out of the playground spring capable and confident adults who now know how to behave. Simple, right?
And then came Facebook! Fundamentally, it began as a rather joyous expedition around the most exciting aspects of other people’s lives. I could watch distant friends’ children grow up; I could live life vicariously, discovering far off places I have yet to visit; I could begin my day with a hearty laugh, or with a previously unconsidered perspective. All very jolly if managed properly, but Facebook has a dark side…
- Time: How much time is spent on Facebook that could otherwise be spent productively? It’s like spending 3/4 of playtime sitting alone in the school lobby.
- Negativity: My bug bear, years ago, would we have stood in the playground with a megaphone and announced our annoyances/grievances to everyone? Worse still, would we have announced it cryptically?!
- Filtering: Facebook filters what we see, with the volume of ‘stuff’ out there, it has to. We are now spending playtime wearing our bobble hats over our eyes.
- Likes: Easily become an obsession, the horror of someone choosing not to like us, Why? What did we do wrong? I know, I’m going to run around the playground saying ‘please like me’ to everyone I come across. ‘I must have more likes or I am nobody’
- Behind the screen bravery: Sitting behind a screen creates the illusion of bravery.If people think first about what they are about to type, would they actually go up to that person in the playground and say it out loud?
- Advertising: Businesses desperately scratching around to find the latest gimmicks and ploys to attract attention. Imagine the most attention seeking child in the school and turn that one child into thousands. Getting it wrong on Facebook can make a business look a bit silly!
I still enjoy Facebook, I enjoy sharing wisdom and entertainment on both my personal page, and My Words Work For You’s page, but like with all aspects of life, it has to be managed with a degree of sagacity.
Come and join in the fun, don’t take it too seriously, remember real friendships matter most, the rest is just light entertainment.