Tag Archives: facebook

TMI?

Plenty of people who know me know I spend a lot of time on facebook – I love catching up with people, seeing what’s going on in their lives, reconnecting with people, sharing joys and sorrows, and all the rest of it. In particular I just find it so convenient – the fact is, however much I’d like to I’m just not going to be able to individually email/skype/phone/write to a 3 figure number of people very regularly, and it is just going to be a superficial Christmas and birthdays type arrangement in most cases, if that, whereas on facebook there are lots of my family and friends in the same place and I can catch up with lots of them in a relatively short space of time. With friends all over the world this has been an enormous blessing – I signed up for facebook when I was on my PhD fieldwork and found it invaluable in feeling still ‘plugged in’ to life back home and connected to my loved ones, plus it was handy for them to see that I was OK and having adventures and all the rest of it.

More recently, I’ve come across a few debates (on and off facebook) on over-sharing, particularly around pregnancy and birth. I suppose this is the next stage in the debate after thinking about over-sharing in a blog (one of the many reasons I’m enjoying the Project365 thing, as well as the opportunity to be creative and think of fun things to do and places to go is that I can blog regularly but quite superficially, which suits me for now – next year I’ll try to get round to writing a bit more substantially again). But even with my superficial blogging this year, following a chat with HD I did take down one photo which he (and, actually on reflection, I) found crossed the too-personal line (no I’m not going to discuss which one!). I think with social media, particularly a blog like this which I’ve done for years or facebook which I’ve also been on for 4 years and am very familiar with, it is easy to drop your guard and over-disclose without thinking of the consequences for yourself or others.

I have noticed a number of friends on facebook posting lots of baby photos, ultrasound pictures etc, and I am genuinely happy for them. But I do sometimes feel vaguely uncomfortable, not particularly on my behalf, but thinking about the impact this might have on other people who might be struggling with their less than perfect family life or other issues. I also wonder about how the child might feel about their picture being on the internet (more than one family I know, the kids love having their pictures up online so I’m not going to get all preachy about it, but in some cases I wonder if a line is being stepped over). There are a few blogs I read by parents which are all about their experiences as parents, so obviously the kids play a big part in that blog, and they are so well done that I can imagine the kids can look back on those blogs when they’re older and really know how proud of them their folks were. But I don’t know if I could do that.

This weekend I came across an article on the blog Feministing about so-called ‘Social Media Pregnancies’. This is coming from a staunchly pro-choice perspective and I think makes some interesting points (they also link to an article in the Washington Post which reckons that by the age of 2, 92% of American children have an online presence which I am both shocked and unsurprised by); it is also I think unfortunately rather strident and the arguments about ‘fetal personhood’ and women’s bodies as mere vessels are a bit unfortunate (this is something which is picked up on in the very interesting comments thread which follows). I think the stuff about the ritual of posting and sharing photos on sites like facebook is really interesting though and I would love to read some decent research about this.

And then today my friend blogs on exactly this subject and is so much more eloquent and gracious than me about it (don’t you just hate it when that happens? 😉 I should have just linked to her post and saved myself all this time). I love her take on thinking about how her life could be something that friends taken up with nothing but their young babies get jealous about, and which they could indeed be upset or jealous about. I don’t think we can self-censor to the extreme – whatever I post could potentially upset someone, so I have to be realistic and trust my friends to take anything I post in the spirit in which it’s meant. And it’s down to me to extend them the same courtesy (and if all else fails, the scroll feature is a wonderful thing).

Non-verbal accents

I vaguely remember several years ago hearing (or perhaps reading) something about regional accents in BSL (British Sign Language). I find that fascinating. This week I was reminded of it whilst reading some stuff on facebook. I am friends with a few teenagers (one from madchurch, who I remember when she was a bump!, and also a couple of cousins of mine) there, and they tend, more often than not, to post their status updates in txtspk. As most of you probably know, once you post a status update people can comment on it, and they can end up being a bit of a conversation.

So the other day I saw a status update from my 15 year old cousin, and the ensuing conversation between her and one of her classmates. All of it in txtspk. And as I read it, I suddenly realised – I could “hear” the Northamptonshire accent as I was reading! How freaky is that?!

More facebook fandom

Over the last few days it’s asked me if I’d like to become a fan of even more things. Such as:

* Oreos !!!!!! (it had the 6 !s specifically)
* Strawberries 🙂
* University of Sydney
* Chicago Cubs
* The Gentle Good
* Welcoming the Stranger

It’s getting more and more irritating!

Weird friends

For some time now facebook has had a feature where they come up with people who have a few mutual friends with you and suggest that you may know them too. I’ve got back in touch with a few people this way.

Also on facebook it is possible to become a fan of all sorts of things and people and musicians and all sorts really. Over the last couple of days these two features (friend finder and become a fan) appear to have merged, and so in the “You may know” box we’ve started getting suggestions of people and things of which we may wish to become fans. The suggestions are generally things and people that other friends are already fans of.

So far today I have had the following potential subjects for my adoration and fandom suggested:

* French knickers
* bacon butties
* God
* strawberry bonbons
* Celine Dion
* Orders of the British Empire

I think my friends are a bit weird.

Celebrity

I discovered today that I know a lolcat! How exciting is that?! This cat spends most of the day in the building where my office is, usually on landings leaning against the radiators. She’s been there the whole time I’ve been at Glasgow University, I think she’s been visiting the building since at least 2000. She even has her own facebook group!

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Spring is on the way!

IMGP6520 The only news today is how comprehensively beaten I am getting in ALL my games of Scrabble/lexulous on facebook. This morning Mary and I finished a game where she beat me by around 200 points. I demanded a rematch, which we played most of the day. She beat me by around 300 points. It’s a good job I don’t have (too many) self-esteem issues!

This picture is from the grounds of the Cathedral of the Isles in Cumbrae, so taken last Saturday. These are the first snowdrops I’ve seen this year, though I have seen a few crocuses peeking through the ground at uni (not flowering yet, but hopefully in the next week or so). I’ll look out for bulbs in Queen’s Park tomorrow, assuming I get up in time to go to the Farmers’ Market (not guaranteed given how tired I feel!).

I’m really tired of winter now. I want some COLOUR again! (I know grey is a colour, but that doesn’t count!).

Colliding worlds

The world continues to shrink and collide. I remember when I first started getting involved in online communities, talking about my “real life” and “virtual” friends, and then getting really startled when “real” and “virtual” worlds started to coincide and overlap, and “virtual” friends became as “real” as “real life” friends. People from the wibsite and Ship of Fools turned out to know/have grown up with random people I knew in real life (especially people from madchurch, bizarrely), and since being on facebook it’s been amazing to see how many people have unexpected mutual friends with me – a few people I know from online are friends with a friend of mine from uni, whom they know from GCN, for example. I’ve had several facebook exchanges along the lines of “where on earth do you know x from?!” – one madchurch friend saw a comment from someone (whom I got to know through a friend of HD’s) and messaged me to say “I was at a Crusader camp in the 80s with someone called Jane Bloggs*, I wonder if it’s the same one”, so I messaged her and it turned out they were indeed already acquainted but hadn’t been in touch for 20 years, and then they spent a fun evening reminiscing together and catching up via facebook messages. I’ve also had a couple of “real life” friends come up to me and sheepishly confess that they think they’ve been reading my blog. One of whom as lots of people already know now has her own blog here too – we first met in the early 90s, and I think at first we were both a bit freaked out by the real/virtual overlap.

Now it’s my various virtual worlds that are colliding. I’m really delighted that Katya, one of my most faithful and regular commenters over on my Glasgow photo blog, has started to comment here too. I can thank Ian for following her comments on Glasgow DP and starting to comment on her blog for her getting to know the wibsite a bit.

Every time I experience one of these mini-world collisions I get a bit of a jolt. A pleasant one mind! I think I didn’t realise until I had lots of friends in lots of different places coming together the extent to which I choose what I reveal about myself in each different context. I think all of them are authentic expressions of who I am, whether it be the creative, spiritual, pseudy, or whatever sides of me, but I always wonder if those who know best the spiritual side of me will be surprised by the slobby side, or those that know the creative me will be put off by the more spiritual, even though it’s all me. I think I’m rambling (Shurely not – ed), not to mention getting a bit “me, me, me” on you – anyway really all I want to say is despite the momentary discomfort I think the coming together of these different worlds is fun and helps make the world both a smaller and bigger place. Yay!

In other news, working at home hasn’t worked at all. I have no self-discipline whatsoever (she says, like that’s news). Tomorrow will be better (actually maybe I’ll go into work after all). Sigh.

* Name changed to protect the guilty, obviously!