Social Commentary

James Proclaims (4)

Day eight of blogging 101 and given my unhealthy need to write about each of the tasks rather than just getting on with them quietly like a good student, I absolutely cannot do today’s assignment. It is as follows:

Leave comments on at least four blogs that you’ve never commented on before.

I frequently do post comments on other people’s blogs. I fully acknowledge that this is a way of generating interest in my own blog. And if I didn’t want people to read this stuff, I wouldn’t write it. Nonetheless, I like to believe that when I do comment on another person’s blog, it’s because the writing has moved me, amused me or in some other way connected with me. It would seem disingenuous to post comments on four new blogs today, only for those bloggers to come here and discover me writing about how I’ve only commented on their work because ‘Blogging 101’ told me to do it.

So that’s that. No comments today.

I feel however, that I should offer a little more in today’s missive than the above. And given that today’s task was about interacting on the internet, I thought it wouldn’t be too tenuous a connection to write about Facebook. So that’s what the rest of this is about…

At one point there were literally hundreds of people who had the dubious honour of being my ‘Facebook Friends’.

I’m not a huge fan of social media (said the aspiring blogger without a hint of irony). I’m not a fan of ‘social’ full stop actually.

Don’t get me wrong – I like people, I have friends. I just don’t like to have too many of them at once. I can’t maintain that level of commitment. I find it difficult enough to stay in touch with my family. I have a lovely family (I’m not just saying that because some of them read this…) but there are a lot of them…

So maintaining friendships is a big ask for me, and I don’t very often put in the required effort to stay in touch with people who I’m not going to see on a regular basis.

How, therefore, did I end up with so many ‘Friends’ on Facebook? Like many people I did go through a phase of adding anyone I could to the list There were former colleagues, former classmates, friends of friends, people that I’d had a drunken conversation with once, people who bullied me in school, and at least three people I’m reasonably certain that I’d never met at all.

I never really engaged in Facebook in a big way, but I enjoyed the shiny novelty of it when it first appeared in the world. And to be fair it was better than ‘Friends Reunited’ (remember that?).

I used to update my status regularly, trying really hard to think of something witty to amuse my ever increasing circle of ‘Friends’. Actually my updates would’ve been much more suited to Twitter I think, but that didn’t really exist at the time. I’ve never given Twitter a proper go – in some ways it does appeal but I don’t think tweeters are as inherently nice as bloggers…

I got bored of Facebook some years ago. Given the sheer amount of stuff that appeared in my ‘newsfeed’ that I didn’t have any interest in, it seemed preposterous to me that anyone would want to know all about what I was doing on a daily basis. I’m not sure I cared most days.

Plus it annoyed me when I could clearly see that someone, who was manifestly less intelligent than me in school, was now significantly more successful than me in one capacity or another. In most cases it was as if they were too stupid to understand their place in the natural order of things.

It matters not, I’m happy enough.

I just wish they were less happy I suppose. Which is mean spirited when I think about it and I wish I didn’t feel that way.

But I definitely do feel that way.

Really though, the problem for me was that I had so many ‘Friends’ that it felt a little ostentatious to ever do anything with my Facebook account. When I first created my account, my profile picture was one of me at a party drinking lager. It wasn’t a hugely flattering picture, but at the time it was representative enough. Then, because life changes, it became less appropriate as an image that defined me. But I couldn’t bring myself to change it because I worried that all the people in my ‘Friend List’ would see that I’d changed my picture and make judgments about me. It seemed better to stay inactive and unnoticed.

I decided a few weeks ago that this state of limbo was no good. I either needed to end my association with Facebook or reduce my list of friends so that it only included people that I know and like.

Given that it seems to be the preferred method of communication for many of my nearest and dearest, I decided to stay. I’ve now ‘killed off’ most of my Facebook friends (it occurs to me that if anyone on that list is found ‘less than alive’ in the near future, the police may have some questions for me…) maintaining only those that I think I will have meaningful communication with again in the future.

I think I might accidentally have deleted a few that I wanted to keep, but there are always casualties in war.

Ok that’s enough about Facebook. I’m boring myself now.

And this post is now very reminiscent of the assignments I did for my undergraduate degree.

The ones when I didn’t really understand the question so I’d answer a different ‘made-up’question.


  4 comments for “Social Commentary

  1. June 22, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Exactly, Facebook is quite annoying when you have a lot of friends, the huge news feed, so many pages constantly posting every minute of the day, and the advertisements, it just gets on my nerves sometimes.
    So much for social networking, eh?
    Your blog is nice, I like your style of writing, and to the question you asked in the community pool, quality beats quantity, big time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 22, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks – the irony is that since posting this I now have more ‘blogging’ friends than I do Facebook friends. I think that’s a good thing though…

      Liked by 1 person

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