OK, I’ll admit it, I’m probably the world’s last convert to Facebookism.
For years I’d held out against it. I’d insisted that ‘liking’ someone or something was an emotional response, not a cute little thumbs-up symbol; that a friend was someone I cared about, related to and interacted with, not someone I’d never met who clicked a button in order to build their virtual popularity.
I was dragged, kicking and screaming almost, into opening a facebook account. “It’ll help you publicise the book,” the (real) friends told me. “It will drive sales.”
So I relented. I joined. Initially my worst fears materialised. (Fears tend to behave that way, of course, since we create our own reality, but my guard was down – I’d forgotten that!) I was carpet-bombed with banal posts about the drinking and partying exploits of people I barely knew, I was exposed to the angst-ridden adolescent ramblings of ex-pupils and I was approached to befriend people I didn’t know from Adam.
Then something quite amazing happened. A genuine pre-Facebook friend began sending posts. They were wise, profound, intelligent and thought-provoking. She invited me to join a group and suddenly I was virtually meeting all manner of people who behaved the way my sort of friends do. They sent personal messages and we started to get to know each other. It was beginning to feel like a community … and I understood.
Yes, Facebook is a virtual, 2D version of friendship, but that doesn’t make it any less real. All experience is real! We respond to this incredible world around us in all manner of ways – face to face is just one of them. I’ve now found yet another way to interact with it.
So feel free to become my friend – real, virtual or both – and if you’d like to follow me, you’re very, very welcome. I’ll do my best to lead somewhere worth going.