I’ve decided to put a cap on the amount of time I spend on Facebook. It’s very easy to follow Alice down that hole into Wonderland, only to resurface an hour or so later (what with side visits to the myriad links in posts etc.) But, even an hour spent wandering around my feed each day equates to a full workday spent per week – and I feel there are more important things I could be doing with my time.
I will let you know as soon as I find out what they are.
I do like to stay in touch with friends scattered all over the world, and FB allows that. I don’t like to discover that those friends or friends of those friends have nasty moral biases to which I am linked by our Facebook association. I have taken to blocking their posts from my feed because of this. And silently un-friending them a while later when I have a ‘clean out’. I am sure people are doing the same with my remarks and admonishment. Someone accused me of being ‘righteous’ the other day – given who it was coming from, I took that as a compliment. And told them so. And was immediately excommunicated.
The War in Syria and the flood of refugees into Europe has brought out the best and the worst in people. Generosity and trash talk in equal measure: with the usual unverified ‘facts’ being shared and believed and the unusual silence of people who have been accepted as immigrants into countries other than the one of their birth.
If living overseas for 20 years taught me anything it’s that we all have a story. I was an immigrant twice. I worked my ass off on each occasion. I paid my taxes and dues and council bills. I supported the economy and bought my goods from homegrown tradespeople. I ate the food produced there and provided employment for locals. So – I feel that I supported the country that had accepted me. Not all immigrants are low lifers intent on existing on a welfare pittance, despite seemingly popular belief. Some people are running away. Some people are fleeing. For me that wasn’t the case, I chose to go and live in the UK and USA – I did it legally. Sure there are people who are exploiting the system, ’twas ever thus. But, as said – we all have a story. And some of us don’t have legal options. Because sometimes being out on a rough sea in a leaky boat is a lot safer than being on land.
I source many of the images I use in my posts from Facebook. There are a lot of interested and inquiring minds out there – and what they share makes my day richer. People that I wasn’t aware had that depth and those interests. I am also fascinated to trace their shares backwards – often discovering truths that haven’t specifically been stated in shares about loss or mental illness or heartbreak. Again – we all have a story.
In its fashion – Facebook is a way of telling our stories. A hark-back to when a community would gather around a fire, or in a meeting place and recount the exploits of the great and ordinary. And we would learn about each other and perhaps find a point of contact that dispelled a perceived slight or dislike. Diffused a conflict. I can tell how people’s relationships are going by their posts. How they feel about themselves. And how their friends and family are responding to their situation.
Of course I am reading between the lines. But, if you look hard enough – all of life is there. As is the potential for interaction. How we do that and how often and why – that’s up to us.
(Note: this post was not sponsored by Facebook. In any way, shape or form. All of the images, however, were sourced from Facebook. So, if they belong to you – drop C&S a line and we will honour you tout suite.)