FACEBOOK REVISITED by ELLIN CURLEY

I wrote a blog a few months ago when I first started using Facebook. I wrote about how disappointed I was because I didn’t feel as ‘connected’ after joining Facebook as I had hoped.

I realize now that my problem was that I didn’t really understand Facebook and had unrealistic expectations. My friends had told me that they felt much more connected and less isolated on Facebook. I assumed they were talking about emotional connection. So I naïvely expected to become more involved with my Facebook friends lives. To me, that meant regular comments, back and forth about our families, careers or hobbies, etc. I envisioned something more like texting, but with a wider range of people. I said I was naïve.

72-ellin-curley-serendipity-09222016_097

That’s how it may work for some people, millennials in particular. But my ‘friends’ are mostly in the Baby Boomer demographic. Some people post vacation photos or the odd family photo or announcement. Some even post about a particularly memorable meal. I see some cat and dog videos and photos and many wonderful humor posts. But mostly I get articles. And most of these are ‘political’ news items.

I’ve now developed a more realistic relationship with Facebook. I read it to find articles I wouldn’t have otherwise come across. I truly appreciate that. I also enjoy the comments my ‘friends’ make about the pieces, although I don’t usually read through the endless comments and rants written by strangers.

I particularly like the Facebook feature that tells me when someone has liked, commented on or shared an article that I have shared or posted. It is very gratifying to get a ‘like’ or a ‘share’ from someone. It’s like having a conversation about the piece and agreeing (or respectfully disagreeing) in that wonderfully bonding way. That actually does make me feel ‘connected’ on an intellectual level.

72-marilyn-ellin-marina-curley-gar-09222016_038

One of the major criticisms of Facebook is that you only talk to like-minded people. For me, that’s a plus. I read actual newspapers so I’m exposed to plenty of opposing views. I don’t need Facebook for that. But for those who rely solely on Facebook news, the lack of divergent views and ‘facts’ is a serious problem. On the other hand, I don’t understand why anyone would use Facebook as their primary news source. It’s content is fairly random and it is not designed to be comprehensive or unbiased, like a newspaper.

Now that I understand Facebook’s limitations and have adjusted my expectations, I am a big Facebook fan. I have interesting and intelligent Facebook ‘friends’. So I get to see a lot of fun, interesting, funny and informative things that I otherwise would have missed. I also get to share things that I find interesting – mostly articles from reputable news sources and funny videos and photos. And I get to learn about other people’s pet issues, just as they get to learn about mine.

I’m not really more involved in anyone’s life, but I am sharing mutually enjoyable content. It’s not what I went in hoping for. But Facebook has added an unexpected dimension to my life. For that I say, “Thank you, Facebook!”

24 thoughts on “FACEBOOK REVISITED by ELLIN CURLEY

  1. Pingback: My little simple thought

  2. Yes, Facebook has added a new dimension to my life too. The younger generation relatives are in my friend list and many friends of my children and many relatives of my age group too. Due to Facebook there is some connection now. The other day someone said because of Facebook , when we meet we do not meet as strangers. So true. I enjoy Face Book but I keep aside time for it. Regards.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ellin, Facebook is so many different things for people. It can be a rant outlet, a gossip center, a “news” source, friendship exchanges, etc.
        I usually check Facebook once daily. I check birthdays and send greetings. Even people I don’t know appreciate a sentiment.
        I scroll through things, seeing who is saying what. I usually avoid the rants. There are truly angry, maybe disturbed folks who vent their hatred on Facebook. I ignore them. Now and then, I exchange comments with people who seem intelligent but have opposing views. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the congeniality of conversation with people when we agree to disagree in a pleasant manner.
        Most of all, I enjoy the friendships I’ve made on Facebook. We exchange friendly banter. We share laughter and sorrow. Sometimes we get downright silly in our back and forth replies. It’s FUN!!
        One proviso: Facebook is not regarded here as a news outlet unto itself.
        Thanks, Ellin!!

        Like

  3. I tried FB for awhile many years ago under an assumed name. Then I heard that was not allowed. SO I gave it up.
    I read news papers too Ellin, you have to know what’s going on. Unfortunately our paper is getting thinner and thinner.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Facebook is a good source of news if you have intelligent and involved friends. I only get a few cat videos or recipe tips. Mostly it’s reprints of articles from news publications, print and online. So maybe you should try it again, to augment your newspapers. You can also get major publications online – I read the Washington Post and The New York Times on my phone!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m doing what you’re doing with it, although I do add my own art, poetry and photography through WordPress. It isn’t so much connecting me to “social media” so much as it is a great tool for finding things…articles…techniques…art inspiration. I love your observation. So true for us “Baby Boomers.”

    Like

    • I love your idea of ‘finding things’ on Facebook. That’s a much more realistic approach, at least for Baby Boomers. Younger people seem to communicate and share their lives more on Facebook. But our generation shares ideas and ‘things’.

      Like

  5. I admit to staying away from as much of FB as I can. Too many ranters, too much bigotry, ignorance. Too many haters, science deniers. And far, far too many people who can’t spell, don’t use punctuation, and think a complete sentence is a waste of time. I skim through looking for the few friends I have on FB who I figure I can safely engage in dialogue, then move on. It’s a useful tool for getting information out. I send out a lot of material from The New Yorker and the NY Times, etc. And Borowitz, who has become my daily sanity fix. And occasionally, post a bit of family news and a few pictures … but otherwise, it just makes me want to whack people upside the head with something hard and heavy.

    I may have to change my motto to “Stupidity is incurable. Ignorance is a choice.”

    Like

    • I agree with you about the stupid comments you read on Facebook. I avoid that problem by not reading most comments that strangers write. I only read a comment if it’s from someone I know. I really don’t care what a bunch of strangers think. I do care what the editorial board of the New York Times Thinks, or the editorial writers on the Washington Post. Those are the opinions I read. Otherwise I would drive myself crazy.

      Like

      • Since I seem magnetically drawn to those stupid posts. I either block them (I’m not even sure how they got on my feed) or just do a quick scan to see if anyone I actually know has sent something. I noticed yesterday that my “friends” on Facebook have dropped from around 1300 to just 800, so my constant culling is working. Maybe, eventually, it will entirely consist of people without whom I can risk a conversation 🙂

        Like

      • And I understand that completely. To me it’s just ridiculously too personal the way folks use it. I mean reporting your every move for the day, blow by blow just short of your toilet habits, is a bit too much. Remember I worked for a University where Facebook was a major daily occupation for students. I WILL admit that I rekindled a couple of past relationships I thought lost.., but I usually requested that further contact be done through email.

        Like

        • My friends and I don’t post personal stuff on Facebook – we use it to share articles and interesting information. I would hate to read about what everyone had for lunch too!

          Like

  6. I agree that one key to using FB effectively is selecting the right group of friends to follow. I actually look for those who might oppose my point of view on subjects. Fake News seems to be a hot topic of discussion now.

    Like

    • I am very careful not to share any article that I can’t vouch for 100%. I usually wait until I read a story on two reputable sites before I send it to friends. I am very sensitive to fake news but realize that at some point, I may fall prey to a clever imposter’s story. So sad that you can’t even trust that ‘news’ will actually report ‘facts’!

      Like

  7. Ellin,

    We are in the same age demographic, and like you I have found “friends” on Facebook who share similar views. However, I have found many who possess radically different views that either border on or fully exhibit extraordinarily negative traits that I won’t go further into. It really depends on who you choose to contact, who you choose to accept as a “Friend,”and how open you are to revealing any of your true thoughts and beliefs. Even if done so minimally via “Like” and “Share” actions, it is the self-revelation aspect that either draws “friends” like moths to a flame or or swats them away like unwanted pests, because that’s largely where the “like-mindedness” comes in, but it’s not the only place.

    FB’s Groups allow you to join with others who share a particular interest, and through that singular point of commonality “friends” are made, but those “friends” may or may not share your views on other subjects. It all depends on the focus of the group (a specific religion, a political slant, a love of ant farming…) and if that subject ranks so highly in your personal list of critical issues that making a “friend” with others within the group becomes worthwhile.

    Returning to the topic of demographics for a second, I have found that Facebook has lost some of its popularity with the younger crowd, many of whom have gradually adopted newer, supposedly more “hip” social networking sites. For the sake of my own mental health I have not asked my kids for the names of those other sites, nor have I sought them out. The younger set can keep and enjoy anime, Olly Murs, and every last show on The CW to their angst-ridden content. Me? After executing a purge of negative people and other unwanted contacts, I’m finally as happy as a clam on Facebook.

    All the best,
    Keith W. Viverette, Sr.

    Like

    • I avoid some of the pitfalls I hear about Facebook by limiting my comments to a minimum. I don’t write diatribes about anything. I just pass on professionally written pieces by reputable sources. I don’t even read most of the comments I see about these articles. I am interested in what the professionals say, not what some random person thinks. Especially if I don’t know who the person is who is ‘talking’ and where they are coming from.

      Like

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s