I have to admit to being totally obsessed about Facebook for several years now. I have a personal profile and a work one. I have a charity ball page, I manage my dad’s plumbing & heating page and I now have a page for both of my blogs – this one, and one for Gaelic Medium Mum. In the last few weeks I have taken a slight step back from Facebook though as I try to really get to grips with Twitter (@TheSlummyMummy). To be honest, I have just replaced one obsession with another.
My big “problems” with Facebook are:
- Family. All my family are on it so I feel I have to censor everything – somethings are meant to be just between friends. Don’t get me wrong, I know I can set it up so that different statuses can only be read by specific people but then family get offended that they’ve been excluded. I’ve seen major arguments (from which we’re still feeling the fallout 18 months on) betweeen family members, and on one occasion an aunt took the hump with me and with my mum because she found out I was pregnant through a Facebook status update rather than personally. I should point out my mum had said she’d told all my aunts and uncles before I updated my status, but she’d accidentally forgotten one. Oops. To be honest, I felt it was my news to tell as I wished, and if I really wanted to use Facebook that was my decision to make. Just as the same aunt’s son had announced his engagement on Facebook a month earlier…
- Posts hang around forever – especially with the new timeline when it’s even easier to go back to a specific time to check back on a post. It’s like the proverbial husband/wife who won’t let go of the bone in a fight – nothing is forgotten and everything can be cast back up.
- Filling in the gaps. 90% of communication is non-verbal but online it’s ALL verbal. There’s no place for intonation or nuance online, and so much can be construed from a simple throwaway phrase that people can quickly become upset. I’ve seen friendships flourish and blossom on Facebook only to eventually shrivel up under the weight of it all. Who’s commenting to whom? Why are they PMing each other? She keeps checking in with X “spur of the moment” but she’s always telling me she’s too busy. Time was if you wanted to speak to someone you picked up a phone or you went to visit. Now, it’s a whole new minefield.
There are probably more reasons but these are my biggest bug bears. However, there are loads of things that I love about Facebook:
- Friends. To be friends on Facebook you both have to agree. There’s no one sidedness, one following but the other not interested in what you have to say.
- Posts hang around forever. (OK, it’s a positive thing too – shoot me!) You can leave up a status knowing that even if some people you would like to read it are not online that they can both check on it later and follow the whole conversation. On Twitter I find that there are wee offshoot conversations and it’s difficult to keep track.
- Photo albums. I can share every little moment of my life, if I wish, from my mobile, and it’s great to keep up to date with family in Essex and Australia. I love that I can watch my wee nephews grow, even if it’s at a distance. It’s a double edged sword though because if you don’t comment people start to get offended again…
- Community. It’s not that this isn’t available on Twitter, just that I find it easier to keep track on Facebook.
All of these positives (and more) are the reasons I’m looking to really make a go of my blog Facebook pages. Over the last month I have come to feel that there is a real blogging community out there and I’m slowly finding my way in it, but I feel that it could be nurtured even further on Facebook. We can share our favourite blog posts, comment on random trivia, share photos and just general support at our own pace – Twitter can often feel like a bit of a frenzy, but to do that we need to get involved with each other.
My Facebook pages are wee newbies and it’s a bit like having a conversation in an empty room. I look at my wall and feel like some sort of egomaniac, talking about myself all the time so I need your help. I would love it if you would Like my Facebook page(s) and really get involved. Post things, comment on things – share things. And make sure you leave the link to your page below so others can follow them, too. Let’s use Facebook to our advantage.