Facebook one month in – nothing here will surprise anyone

https://www.penelopewallace.com/facebook-one-mon…-surprise-anyone/So, well,  I’ve been on Facebook for a little over a month.  What a very pleasant experience it is. I am touched by the number of people who have leapt to “friend” me, and by their assistance in answering my idiotic questions, eg telling me what a “newsfeed” is, and how to send a private message.  You’re all very lovely.

As an account holder, I have a profile and a home page which I personalise with the photos of me (profile picture and cover photo) that I want, general information ranging from my telephone number to my favourite films, and update my status, which seems to mean saying anything I want, and attaching clips/pictures/photos from any source I have, or indeed anywhere on the internet.  Other people who are either “friends” and/or (subtly different) “followers” of mine will see anything I put up (“post”) and can comment on my posts, like them, or share them.  Sharing them means attaching them to their own “wall”, and so all their friends and followers will also see them.  One can be a friend without being a follower and vice versa.  It is only possible to be a friend if both want this, and information on my wall can be shared by me with the general public (if any of them want to view my profile) or only by my friends.  I can also send individual messages to my friends that other people don’t see.  When I enter this colourful domain, I am faced not with my own wall, but with a newsfeed, a cascade of pictures, posts and jokes that show me what all my friends have been doing, or want to say, or want to show their appreciation of.  Life is too short to fully appreciate them all, but again I can like/dislike or comment on any of them.

There is a lot more that I have not yet discovered.

Yes, you all know all this, but you see I have only just learned it.  It really is possible to be that ignorant.

Like LinkedIn, which I joined some time ago, it is extremely confusing for the newbie, and I am aware that I am not doing it properly yet.

The inveterate Facebooker Judith Renton greeted my arrival with “Welcome to the home of cat pictures”.  And how right she was.  39 so far.  The number of cat/dog videos is a little alarming.  Who are these people who have nothing better to do than stalk their pets?

Other thoughts, which will also not be new:

  1. Most people have Facebook attached to their phone. Therefore they can add exciting things, and send messages, at any time of the day or night.  I have the most basic phone I can find, and I use an object called a home computer, so I am always behind, and am astonished at how much people (people with jobs, people in final year university) manage to do on Facebook.  I also don’t know where they find all this stuff – photos comparing Donald Trump’s hair with Boris Johnson’s etc.
  2. Everyone on Facebook is very very nice. At least, they are nice to me.  And to each other, especially their own families.    This has a Darker Side, for an evil person like me.  Have I entered a competition of niceness, which I am bound to lose?  Does a fairy die every time I refuse to “like” a picture that says “Send some love”?  Do people notice who doesn’t wish them a happy birthday?
  3. Everyone is also very very virtuous. I receive hosts of petitions to sign, and innumerable videos telling me about awful things in the world, and how people are trying to fix them.  These must be good things, but so many good causes, so little time!
  4. So far I have not been seriously shocked or offended by anything any of my friends have put on. This confirms that my Facebook network is indeed (of course) a self-selecting gang of the like-minded. If I want to meet people who are different from me, I still need to leave the house.  Such a shame.
  5. Outside Facebook, I received a text from my brother and sent a one-word text in reply. These days we have so many means of communication, so easy.  Phone, text, email – the distinctiveness of Facebook is the way in which without effort one reaches one’s whole network with the same words or picture.   And the same to everyone is like the standard Christmas letter – what is relevant to some is not relevant to everyone.  I’m told there are ways round this.  But I posted a little note about beautiful trees in Beeston, and my friend in Kirkintilloch pointed out it that it was a long way to come to see a tree.  (He’s got beautiful landscapes where he is, anyway.)
  6. Facebook have recently decided (because of course it’s their decision) to pay more tax in Britain. But I’m not paying them anything, so how do they make money to pay tax on?  Of course, it’s those annoying adverts, which are actually not as intrusive as some online.  Naturally I am learning to “hide” and trying to ignore all adverts… which means I am trying to get something for nothing from Facebook.  Is this ethical?
  7. I hadn’t realised that Facebook was so pictorial. Combination of low tech-savvy, basic phone and slightly dysfunctional computer means I’m not really able to post pictures, and anyway some of us are not really pretty enough for this.  Sorry!
  8. I haven’t yet properly organised my profile to add full employment history, family members etc. (The plan is to do this all in one afternoon and not irritate people by messages PENELOPE WALLACE HAS UPDATED HER PROFILE!! every five minutes.)  I’ve been looking admiringly at my friends’ walls (to learn how to do it), and would love to see some more quotes.  Penny Glover has a particularly good set.

So those are my thoughts and experiences so far… after the first 37 days.  What have I not yet noticed that I need to know?

Love from the PPI Blogger.  “Like me on Facebook!”

  • Malachi Malagowther

    15th March 2016 at 6:13 pm Reply

    As an antedeluvian Luddite ye’ll nae be findin’ me on Facebook.

  • Louise R

    15th March 2016 at 6:44 pm Reply

    Sounds like you’ve got a pretty good grasp of it to me!

    • Penelope

      16th March 2016 at 9:42 am Reply

      Not too hot on the “tagging” concept.

  • Clint Redwood

    16th March 2016 at 1:09 pm Reply

    For those who have an irrational wish to avoid Facebook – other social media outlets are available…

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