Two or three things I like about Facebook

A while back, I wrote a blog post  here: http://www.penelopewallace.com/two-things-i-dislike-about-facebook/.

I began by saying:

I am finding Facebook, although terrifyingly time-wasting, a source of a lot of innocent fun, gossip and useful information (as well as those pesky cats).  I am still refusing to wish everyone a happy birthday, though.

Well, it’s still fun, with reservations, and I thought it was time to redress the balance.

Clare Portwood is a friend of mine at church, and on Facebook, but it’s fair to say we don’t know each other very well.  A few days ago she noticed a triple rainbow in the sky, quickly photographed it, and put it on Facebook.  That picture must surely have charmed everyone who saw it; it was real, immediate, unpretentious, and uplifting.  Surely this is Facebook at its best.

I also love the simple connections.  Arranging meetings, learning news becomes so easy.  (As long as we don’t forget the people who aren’t part of the FB gang.)  I have an old schoolfriend who lives in New Zealand.  Our lives and worldviews are very very different, but our ongoing connection seems to matter to both of us.  Facebook is an ideal way to keep in touch – she posts about taking part in chess championships in Dubai, and I comment.

Because commenting is the best thing about Facebook.  As long as you’re a bit careful to take foot out of mouth before pressing “Enter”.

Someone puts up a wise or cynical picture-with-caption (what’s the correct term?) or a holiday photo or just a question or one of those annoying/teasing quizzes that proliferate and say “If you can solve this you are genius level”, thus tempting us all to waste time proving that we can feel superior to everyone else… where was I?

Oh, yes, someone posts a picture or paragraph or link, and I can pass on, or share, or like, or comment.

I don’t Share that often, partly because so many of my Friends know each other, and will already have seen it.

I Like quite a lot, but that’s easy.  (And of course potentially contributes to the tyrannical misery:  “I’ve only got two Likes for my post!! What does this mean? Nobody cares about me, I’m boring and friendless…” etc.)

But Commenting is huge fun – quick, easy and an actual connection to someone.  You can be supportive, witty (?), thought-provoking or whatever… and it’s all going to disappear down the endless newsfeed so if your joke falls flat, it will be forgotten in twelve hours.  (I hope.)  Commenting builds up warmth towards friends of friends.  This is not real friendship, but it’s acquaintanceship of a sort.

What’s your favourite thing about Facebook?  What have I missed out?

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