Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oh Dear! Me Too …

In the end I gave in, despite putting up strong resistance for several years. I did not need it, I thought. I am a blogger, although I have been far too busy of late to find time and space to both read and write.

Lately emails and phone calls have been very frequent between myself and Sweden due to events and situations in “the old country”.

On Saturday my brother said “But you are the perfect person for it, your circumstances make the ideal and optimal setting for it. If you join you will be constantly updated about what is going on. You will feel the physical distance disappear.”

So after thinking about it for half an hour, I finally set up an account and joined 175px-Facebook.svg . Easy peasy, lätt som en plätt, as we say in Swedish. I had been advised how to find my first “friends”.

I requested to become “friends” with people I have known all my life, which sounds a bit odd actually. All of these had their own “friends”, and mutual “friends”, who in turn had other “friends”, and so it went on.

Within half an hour others had detected me and requested to become my “friend”. I started to understand how it worked. My circle of “friends” began to widen almost organically. There was an abundance of suggested “friends”, most of whom I had no knowledge of whatsoever. I recognised some faces and names, but not necessarily in combination. Names from my past appeared on the screen in front of me, and then welcome greetings started coming up on my “wall”. I also had a message from somebody with an explanation of the difference in visibility between the “wall” and my “message” box.

When I clicked on “Friends”, the whole world seemed to stream up from below onto my screen. It would not take much to get really silly and try to make everybody my “friend”. I actually thought of the old song “Everybody Is Trying To Be My Baby”, as sung by The Beatles once.

I soon realised that I had to be selective and restrict myself, not to go into overdrive and try to break some record. I really just needed another means of communication with, in the first instance, my family.

I have not explored all features of Facebook yet, only really just opened my account, but I already know so much more of what is going on in some people’s lives, all those little things you get to hear when you bump into each other at the supermarket. I believe Facebook is trying to transform the whole world into a small market square. The trick is, I suppose, to find a balance between the advantage of virtual proximity and one’s need for some privacy.

6 comments:

oreneta said...

Precisely. I'm on facebook too, but will only friend people who I have met AND liked in real life, generally much more than once. Balance is definitely the key.

swenglishexpat said...

Oreneta - Yes, it is too easy to get carried away. You have to ask yourself "How friendly are your friends?"

matthew_in_ham said...

I saw your familiar face pop-up on facebook recently but as all your friends at that time had the same surname I guessed it was for more private use and ignored facebook's suggestion that we link up there. Happy to do so later if you widen your circle of friends.

swenglishexpat said...

Matthew - I am still finding my feet on Facebook, but if I decide to widen the circle I will have you in mind.

ladyfi said...

Welcome to Facebook! It's great fun.

swenglishexpat said...

LadyFi - Thank you. I'm getting the hang of it, bit by bit. Good fun.