I’ve often told people I hate Facebook. I do, largely. I hate, for example, that it feels the need to massively redesign at least once a year, and continually tweak stuff in the months between, just to make sure everyone’s absolutely certain that it’s doing everything both Myspace and Twitter are doing too. I hate that it seems to rely on such artificial friendships. I have Facebook friends whom I am in no way friends with, and close friends who aren’t my friends on Facebook. I hate that all my family have started to add me, and I hate that this is such a problem because Facebook lets you upload photos of other people and ‘tag’ them so that all their Facebook friends can see what they’ve been up to. Essentially, I hate Facebook because literally the only purpose of its use is to be nosey about people’s lives.
But these last few days, I’ve been on Facebook a lot. Because I’ve been nosey about people’s lives. And I must say, from the perspective of the nosey rather than the nosed, it’s bloody brilliant! Yes, I’m aware I’m somewhat late with this, but I’ve spent multiple hours in these last couple of days wondering what old so-and-so from school has been up to in the last few years, and just going and finding out through the joys of candid photography. I’ve also found it quite nice to browse through photos of close friends who are no longer around – by which I mean who have moved away, not who are dead. It’s nice to have a sort of slideshow of their lives to look at.
But I especially love how you inevitably find out about connections among your friends. How on earth did my first-year university housemate come to be in a picture standing next to a friend from primary school who I’ve not seen in about ten years, for example? How about my friend’s sister, who now lives in another country, apparently being pally with an acquaintance I met through the local music scene? It’s extraordinary to see all these lives intersecting in such an unlikely manner.
I still hate Facebook. I’ll still not turn up to an event you’ve invited me to on there, because I do not know about the event if you do that instead of, y’know, phoning me or something. I don’t check invites, I don’t reply to wall posts, and I most certainly will never, ever join your group.
But I’ll totally giggle at pictures of you falling over drunk on a Saturday night