Friday 7 January 2011

Thought Picnic: C'est la vie, c'est la Facebook

Your numbers are yours

My recent blog about Facebook elicited a comment that I felt I should immediately address and draw into context.

There are probably 6.5 billion people in the world, it must be a popular place and I interact with probably not more than 5000 and that is a stretch including everyone I might have ever met.

On Facebook, there are over 500 million users; my own managed network contains a figure less than 200.

Facebook is what you make it

Facebook's popularity has no bearing on my network of friends and relations, I take out of it what is of value to me, what others do is of no particular consequence.

You make your Facebook world what you want it to be, pointless or valid; useless or useful; a waste of time or wonderful – it is a template given to you to mould to your own requirements. That is work you need to put in it, it is not handled to you bespoke and tailored to your specifications.

Off the shelf, Facebook is nothing, but once populated with your relationships, it becomes your own little Facebook corner.

C’est la vie, c’est la Facebook

There might well be a lot of fickleness on Facebook, but that is hardly what I get from those that are my real friends or those who want to engage me positively, productively and in edifying ways, I also have the option to de-friend another who comes into my space fouling up the ambience I am trying to create and maintain.

There is also a lot of fickleness in real life but you make your value judgements and gravitate towards the more wholesome interactions whilst giving little time to those who want to waste it.

Indeed, one can easily begin to look at Facebook as some phenomenon in the context of everyone there but why should that have any bearing on your particular circle of relationships, you are not everyone and everyone is not you.

My own little Facebook world

I do not link initiate link-ups with people I hardly know, I am interested in being seen in the social circle of presidents, CEOs or gurus of snake-oil remedies for life, which is not what Facebook is for in my view.

With Facebook, I have re-established contact with long lost friends, relations, people and situations, just as I have established contact with like-minded people I would never have met in other circumstances – just as airplanes have made the world a smaller place through making travel easy and fast, Facebook allows you to create a more global community for sharing views and ideas, engendering discussion and useful conversation.

Online networks are part of you today

I have seen great value in my many networks, through LinkedIn that has helped me professional, my blogs where people have followed my thoughts and views or even empathised with me in very trying times, on Twitter where a quip or thought just crystallises a situation and could generate interesting interactions and now Facebook where management and control is very much in your hands to work it effectively or mismanage it and consequently it yields no pleasure.

Now, my view of Facebook and my Facebook personality cannot be extrapolated to help people see it the way I see it, I am just having fun with it, I hope everyone else can have just as much fun.

Humanity is being expressed in person and online, the train is leaving town, even if you do not have a ticket, you should be on that train.

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