Facebook, I Love You

© - yes, I know!

A few years ago, my son Swee’ Pea asked me to become his ‘friend’ on Facebook. I was resting in Brittany after a long fight with cancer. I was tickled to death (well, this is a very inappropriate expression as far as I’m concerned) . Anyway... his ‘friend’ on ‘Facebook’! Wow.

I opened my account and started using it, as well as I knew at the time... which means not well at all. I loved finding ‘friends’, most of them being my son’s friends. I loved adding my very witty ‘comments’. But more than anything else, I loved to create pictures albums.

I really enjoyed every minute I spent working on my computer, adding stuff to Facebook.

Adding stuff? Well, adding pictures all the time. Flower pictures, summer pictures and... Swee’ Pea’s and friends’ pictures.

Very bad, I was told. This was a very bad breach of trust and etiquette because I had not asked prior permission to put the pictures on line.

I did not know there was some kind of etiquette on Facebook concerning pictures, especially since those pictures were very nice, I thought and since they were mine too.

I am very uncomprimising and since I was asked to take those pictures off from my account, I decided to quit. Just like that.

I desactivated my account, which was quite interesting at the time. ‘Facebook’ didn’t take it very easy.

I did though and I resumed my life without Facebook. Detox wasn’t too painful. Real life friends were still there. And some ‘Facebook friends’ kept in touch.

Then Swee’ Pea left France to go to work in faraway places. He asked me to open a new account so that we’d feel closer. Please notice that he asked me to. He didn’t beg me to reconsider my position. Too happy to comply!   Detox, did I say detox?

For a while though, I did wonder how close Facebook could make me feel to my own son. Skype could do the trick. Phone calls and mails would be nice too.

He convinced me. I opened a new account. I got my ‘friends’ back (most of them - the ones I cared about anyway). And then I started to make new ‘friends’. I found through Facebook old ‘real life friends’. Very easy... But then some of them turned out to be only ‘Facebook friends’ after all.

I’m glad to say that most of ‘my friends’ are real friends and that I only share half of them with Swee’ Pea. Of course, my ‘friends’ are not as numerous as his, because whenever I travel to and from Brittany or Belgium by train, whenever I meet someone, I do not ask: ‘Do you have a ‘Facebook’ account? Do you want to become my friend?’

I guess I am too old for this or maybe too French - old and French - French and old.

I no longer post pictures with or without permission. Because I have discovered ‘Mobile Me’ which is very convenient and quite private too. Gee, I’m really getting old. Not true. I've discovered the blogger's world too.

I enjoy looking at my Facebook friends’ pictures and even my Facebook friends’ friends if they are careless enough not to secure them.

Am I turning into a Peeping Tom? Thank you so much, Facebook, for revealing the dark sides of my nature.

Well, anyway, I probably enjoy Facebook very much because my life is not very exciting most of the time and rather lonely... and so your pictures, my ‘friends’, help me travel around the world, live vicariously your happy moments. Thank you so much for enlightening an otherwise very dreary life.

Please, keep posting pictures. Don’t let my candor stress you out. I love your pictures! I do! And I never gossip about them!

Another thing I love about Facebook is the background ‘diversity’ of my ‘friends’.

(By the way, the quotation marks are not at all derogatory. They help make a difference between my real life friends who are getting fewer and fewer due to age and sickness, and my Facebook ‘friends’, who mostly thanx to Swee’ Pea, are young and healthy! End of digression.)

My ‘friends’ background is most interesting. Sometimes it gets very frustrating though.

Let me explain. On my ‘News Feed’, I get messages written in French, English from GB, Ireland and India, American English (well it’s all English since you can’t talk on Facebook or can you? Anyway it looks impressive.).

I'll add Spanish, Portuguese (from Brazil), Russian, Azeri (probably), Tamil and what else. Well, of course, Arabic - classical, Lebanese and Syrian. Let’s not forget Chinese (Mandarin).

Amazing when you realize I’ve been living most of my life (half of it, I’d say) in a world when picking up ‘Voice of America’ through the shortwave of my transistor was a remarkable feat! A totally split and paranoid world!

Imagine my frustration when one of my ‘friends‘ writes a long message in his/hers native language and gets like fifty answers to it while I’m home, scratching my head, a little bit bewildered but mainly amazed! This is the real world out there on my computer screen and I’m part of it. Thank you, Facebook.

Thank goodness, most of you, my ‘friends’, speak and write English... which means that sometimes, I do send you a very shy ‘I Like’ sign... Wow, I love being part of such a world!

One last thing I love about Facebook besides keeping in touch so easily, with you, my ‘friends’...
(Another digression or rambling about my ‘friends’. You wouldn’t be on my list if I did not like you a lot - there are a few exceptions though because I am so polite. Ah, ah, got you there... ‘Who is she talking about?’ Don’t even worry about that. You’ve got hundreds of other ‘friends’ and besides, I was just joking. ‘I Like’ you all.)

Back to the last thing I love, bla bla bla...

Facebook helps me keep track of global time. Let me explain. I do not spend all my life on Facebook but when I do, let’s say, it’s noon in Belgium. Some of you have been awake for a long time while some of you are still asleep. It’s so much fun to watch the first American messages coming in... I’m moving along with the earth. Well, I always do, of course! I’m not that dumb. But Facebook has a nice way to make it very tangible.

One last, last thing: Thanx to you, my ‘friends’, I no longer loose a lot of time on the web. Most of the time, you provide extremely interesting posts or links. It does save me a lot of time and I feel like I’m forever learning. This is extremely enjoyable.

The universe is expanding! Thank you so much my dear friends/‘friends’. Real ones and virtual ones as well!

Thank you so much, Facebook. Swell idea after all!

But watch out, you guys. Remember Aesop's fable about the tongue!!! What’s great can also be very bad! (I’m also a George  Orwell’s fan, sorry. Can’t help it! 'Big Brother' is always looming in!)

Remember - shortwave transistor and paranoid world!

*Good Night, and Good Luck*

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