Friday, 5 October 2012

Are you on Facebook yet?


This morning while reading The Hindu, the headline "Facebook . . . one billion and counting" made me stop reading the paper. Why? I could not help but gush at the impact of Facebook on our lives. Well, for once I am going to ignore the ones who shout, "We are more often online and have forgotten real relationships." Even when I wrote a post on "How personal the virtual can become?" I did not fully wonder at the idea of Facebook. Now, how this sudden change, you might be coerced to wonder. Well, I have ample reasons to be. Read on and nod ;)

One, I spend most of my time on Facebook, interacting with several like-minded individuals who offer support, courage and excellent advice on anything under the sun. There are many groups in which I can discuss any random topic and not be judged. If someone likes it, they will respond otherwise they will just be silent observers. Well, in real life I cannot even think discussing some of the wild topics that I have discussed in these groups. It is just the freedom of speech that these groups provide that enable me to passionately discuss diverse taboo topics.

Second, on a grim day when one is seriously working and opens Facebook for some time, there are the funny messages that colour the home page. These messages instantly bring a smile and sometimes even laughter! I just love that burst of energy during odd times of the day. here I must mention my blogger friend Janaki who posts the most hilarious messages and forces me to break into laughter. On duller days, her inspirational messages have uplifted me up many a time. Tell me where else can one find all these things together in one package. Can a real friend, no matter how close make you laugh/smile/uplift you at the odd hours of your 'under the weather' times? Maybe yes but not always (Please don't think that I am substituting FB for people. It the people in FB who make the journey worthwhile).

A screen shot of Janaki's Facebook humour :)


Three, the amount of knowledge one gains by reading the various quotes, random videos and new items posted on a friend's wall is quite huge. And we can get all this for free even when we don't expect them. A quote about giving, a video about Noam Chomsky, a blog which discusses Fibromyalgia (I didn't even know what it was before this post by Corinne).

Four, my love of cooking is given colour and expertise by the many recipes that are posted by fellow bloggers and friends. Thanks to them, now I never have a grey moment in my kitchen.

Five, old songs are resurrected when I snatch a quick moment. Karen see to it that she picks some good old country music and posts it for us to jive and jazz (in our minds, of course).



I can go on and on about the various brownie points of Facebook and how glad that I am to be a part of it. Of course, there are many privacy issues, time-consuming tales, and other such but today I am happy happy to be part of this network. Ah, I forgot that I have also met wonderful new people through this space. I get the power to know people through their interests and posts and then connect with them (this happens in the old style ofcourse, right?).

Well, so what keeps you going with Facebook inspite of the many issues? Are you on Facebook?

Image 1: Internet
Image 2: Internet

You might want to check this post by Shilpa Garg for an exactly opposite take on this post.

41 comments:

  1. One of the things that make my day on Facebook are the crazy pics that people post, on a dull day, these can really crack you up!! I think social media is just as interesting as the people you interact with there, I usually tell those who say that FB is boring that they must be interacting with boring people. It is not just about the platform but rather the people in the platform.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're on the same page. It's definitely about the people.

      Delete
  2. :D

    Very true Susan. Yup M on facebook. Though I was very reluctant to join it I finally did this year sometime in March to celebrate my blog's 1st birthday and I am loving every moment there. I have made some wonderful friends, read some beautiful stuff which otherwise I would have not got to, participated in discussions / arguments, ranted out my heart without fearing any biased judgements...the list is long. And yes you are right, it is not FB it is the people there who make it worthwhile <3

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    Replies
    1. Glad that you chose to join FB. Happy to have met you here.

      Happy :)

      Delete
  3. I know people who find FB to be intrusive and superficial - but it's what we make of it. I think Blogplicity and now Indiblogeswaris is proof of that, don't you think? I have tried other platforms but I just can't connect in the personal way I can on FB.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It was B and IB that I had in mind while I wrote this post. They are definitely wonderful forums to be part of. Can't be more happier.

      Delete
  4. Thank you and love you Susan. Life became 'my life' once I joined Facebook...frankly, it was to keep an eye on my daughter...but, a world opened up for me. First, Blogplicity and then IndiBlogeshwaris....the best that could have happened to me. I have learnt a lot from my fellow bloggers and its great.
    <3<3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of love back at you, dear Janu.

      We are all learning, unlearning and relearning.

      Delete
  5. i used to be on facebook....i am almost 2 years free from it....ha...i wont knock it too bad and maybe it is my very open personality but too many people in my business and it got a little too personal for me...so i probably wont be back...

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  6. Well, I totally don't recognize any of this above. Strange. Have an account now for a year or so and have thought about closing it down several times already.
    Maybe I'm using it wrong or I want something different than what is offered!
    Still I'm glad you enjoying yourself and find the support you want to have Susan.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Elizabeth for some there is nothing at all in Facebook. Perhaps your group is a very quiet one. Me, being gregarious and talkative manages to float around happy and talking.

      Delete
  7. Such a sweet post, Susan. Yes, FB is really good in so many ways. And, yes there are wonderful people in both the blogworld and FB that rally around you and support you through good times and bad. For me the issue is lack of time. I frankly can only cut down on FB because I cannot cut down on my work, house obligations, teaching my kids, my cooking, my walk, reading and writing. So, I am consciously trying to stay away from FB. I really don't know how people can be stuck to FB all day long commenting and updating :). There has to be something in the real life that they are missing out on in the bargain. And, the biggest flaw of forums is that you don't know all the people on it. Conversations can easily be leaked out and judgements formed. And sharing too many personal things and views about yourself with strangers always has a flip side to it, doesn't it? Sometimes, conversations can become emotionally draining too. I think, it is for each individual to set their boundaries to derive the most positive experience for themselves from social media. <3

    ReplyDelete
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    1. When I am in the University, as I do my work, I also keep FB on and so I guess it's easy. When I go home, there is no internet and TV. The time I'm in the Uni, I am online. For some, the time is quite an issue. Perfectly agree to your point as well.

      Delete
  8. I agree with you Susan. I am in Facebook but reluctant to write very personal things or display my picture or my family member's picture there! I don't know why, I am comfortable while writing my past history in blogposts! Weird!

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    Replies
    1. Blogposts are also effective means of interaction but closed when compared to FB.

      Delete
  9. yes i am on FB but I a sure you have realised I am not on it all the time as most people are ..

    to me its a waste of time .. I have been on it for yearssssss now and I dont see anything good out of it .. sorry :)

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smiles. Your opinion is respected, Bikram. Maybe you are a very busy person unlike me :)

      Delete
  10. Facebook can turn any socialist into a socialite. That's what keeps me going. :-)

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  11. Why is Facebook successful? Because we are always more interested about what is going on in others' lives!! (copied from a quote that appeared on my FB wall)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Aaila. Such a long time. Glad to see you here, Vinay. Hope you are well.

      Not only that, there are other things to it as well. And, if we are interested in people, we are sure to be interested in what's going on in their lives, isn't it?

      Delete
  12. I am on FB, sort of. I rarely visit it. I have no objections to it, I just don't feel I have the time. Still, every so often I do browse through family pages. It's so nice to wee their pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes. I forgot to mention random photos and news about distant and some close relatives.

      Delete
  13. I'm not on FB, and not tempted to join it yet. The main reason - lack of time, and perhaps I'm not a very socializing person after all.

    (Thanks for your kind comment on my blog, inquiring about my absence from bloggie land. I'm OK, just busy with things).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to see a message from you, dear DUTA.

      I can read you when you say, "I'm not a very socialising person."

      Thanks for stopping by, dear DUTA.

      Take care.

      Delete
  14. FB is good in many ways as long as you know how to keep real world and virtual world separate. FB has been good to me and I got back in touch with many friends with whom I had lost contact.

    As you said, I get to read so many wonderful things and make new friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One should definitely restrain caution and if one knows how to travel on FB, then it's a wonderful terrain.

      Thanks for coming by, Vinita.

      Delete
  15. I Susan:
    I've been off Facebook for a year this month. Yes it is true that I miss interacting w/several people. However, I REALLY didn't like where FB was going w/their design changes, w/their constant changes over privacy etc. And while I do miss talking to my FbB friends I found new voices elsewhere.
    --
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No wonder I don't see any of your posts. Even I have concerns with many of their changes but I'm still not thinking of deactivating my account.

      And, one is sure to find new voices when one is cut off. we are after all, social beings.

      Love to you, dear Chris.

      Delete
  16. facebook is my drug of choice and if i wanna get addcited to something..this is way better than anything else..that said it has brought me both love and heartbreaks, fabilous friends, work opportunities, all the bells and whistles too..cant think of a life without being connected some way or the other to an online community

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes. I know how much you are connected. Glad.

      Delete
  17. Funny, the timing of this post. I took a decision to deactivate my account for good the day this post has been written. To me, it was becoming a huge hindrance in the flow of life.

    And not because I was all the time on it. I usually spend less than 30 mins on it every day. However, those 30 mins were interspersed as 2-3 mins once in every 3 hours. And the most appalling thing was, it was becoming a spontaneous habit that I was losing control of. I started to go to my FB account frequently by habit without thinking and that was something to not be very satisfied about.

    People are different. Perhaps some need less stimulation to be happy and some, more. Frankly, the endless stream of updates, coupled with the other million things that the internet throws at you, was getting too much of an information clutter and overload for me. I was reading too much but learning very little and growing very little. FB did not give me the satisfaction of having fully savored the experience of either interaction or knowledge intake.

    Glad to see that you are enjoying it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, that's why I don't see you as much I was earlier. I had thought you were busy in your new job and so on. Ah, now how will we interact? I guess we have to write mails to each other and get our phone numbers exchanged. Well, with FB there is a feeling that you see the person and what he/she are up to even without talking or writing. That connects us in a way.

      Yes, I realise that for some, FB becomes a place of information clutter. My sister also was away for some time. But somehow I feel that you will soon come back.

      Please do write a mail and send me your number :)

      Delete
  18. Vary valid points... agree on all of them... FB gives great insights, learnings, good friends to connect with, wisdom and smiles too. But there could be side-effects of Facebook too.
    You may like to check them out here... http://shilpaagarg.blogspot.in/2012/06/facebook-ke-side-effects.html

    ReplyDelete
  19. Haha... yeah, music can brighten any dull day. Letting those notes wash over you and resound in your head... as you sing along and the world is not so big and troublesome anymore. I love the quotes and little articles you put up, interesting way to spend time.

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  20. Yes I am on facebook. My family is spread all over the Globe. FB has been instrumental in helping us stay in touch with each other, share photos and relive the memories of the wonderful days. I do get to stay in touch with friends from college and school and the quotes and pictures shared, really makes me smile.

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  21. I absolutely agree with you! Some people who have issues with FB are those who overshare and then regret it! I find that as long as we are mindful about what we say, we can make it a fun experience!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Recently I got a message from FB saying that my FB account was accessed from an unusual place. "If it is you then there is no cause for alarm, if it is not you then change the password"
    When they showed me the Google map from where it was accessed, I was surprised to see that it was from Dallas !!!
    I changed the password.
    Advive to all:
    Keep changing the password on a regular basis (once a week the better)
    Go easy on the involvement on FB, the less personal information the better.
    Keep a watch on unusual activity on your account.

    ReplyDelete

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