If you ask people about Facebook (as well as – to a lesser extent – other forms of Social Media) they may say that it is merely a way of people who use it making themselves feel important by posting about every little detail of their life and chasing “Likes” as though they are some kind of valuable object.
It is not only people who have never been on Facebook who say it. On Friday I was complimented in person by one of my
friends, who is on Facebook, when they said they like reading my statuses because I write well and don’t go for the lowest common denominator.
I cannot argue with the fact that there are some people on there whose sole purpose seems to be to do exactly that. (And I honestly hope that it makes them happy.). However, saying that about every user of Facebook is doing some of us a great disservice.
For some of us Facebook is a great way of connecting with friends and family who we don’t see very often (I haven’t seen some of my Facebook friends in person for over a year – and I may never get another chance to do so because they live in other countries).
I also use Facebook as an extension of my blogging activities. This really helped me feel supported when I was in hospital going through a very tough time a couple of months ago. Writing is my way of emptying my brain – so it was natural for me to share what was happening via Facebook (it also took some of the pressure off my Dad because he didn’t have to field questions about me from humans he didn’t know). It continued after I came out of hospital – I do try to mix the serious stuff with some more quirky stuff.
The funny thing is – I keep wanting to get my amount of posting on Facebook back to the level it was before I went into hospital. However, other people tell me they like my output too much to allow me to stop.
Chasing Likes is a lot different from posting about something serious because you hope that there are people somewhere in the world who want to support you through it.
In the same way that there are people who would call 999 because they broke a fingernail (or even get plastic surgery for a minor imperfection – but that is a topic for another blog post) there are people who abuse Facebook.
The problem starts when – on being told that I am on Facebook – people assume I am just on there to chase Likes. I haven’t got the brain-space for that any more (nor did I ever chase Likes in the first place).
In my experience – Facebook is a great way to connect with people, to educate and be educated. You just have to know how to use it sensibly.
Even I get put off by people chasing Likes for the sake of it.
I hope this has gone some way to convince you that not everyone uses Facebook for the same reason.