4 Aug 2009

FaceBook - Not all bad?

Last week Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, claimed that social network sites (FaceBook amongst them), text-messaging and e-mails were undermining community life.

Part of me understands where he is coming from. After all Niece #1, still staying with us, seems to prefer telling anyone and everyone of her movements (' am so hungry any 1 wanna cum make me tea'')* or sitting doing all manner of quizzes ('Are you a tease?' and 'How dirty is your mind?' to name but two of them) on FaceBook rather then communicate with Hubby and I. But, and I never dreamt I'd be saying this, it also has it's plus sides.

For one thing, it's given my nurturing side an outlet since I discovered FarmVille where I now have rabbits, sheep, cows and pigs to 'look' after. Then, almost daily, it has allowed a certain Swedish Priest (well known to quite a few of us for his contribution on our blogs) to send me at least one hug and sometimes flowers - ok, so they are only virtual ones but they still make me smile. And thirdly, it has allowed a relative who we lost touch with almost 8 years ago to get in touch again. Yes, we could all argue how awful it is that family loose touch like this but it happens - and isn't it nice when these so called social net-working sites allow us the means to get together again?

* Personally, and call me old fashioned if you like, but, it is this lazy, not to mention incorrect, use of the language that concerns me more. What do you think?


emeraldfire said...

I'm a college graduate and it always shocks me that people of my 'generation' sometimes can't spell words correctly on the Internet. I think it is laziness. Personally, it drives me crazy :)

Petty Witter said...

Obviously, a 'little' older then you, it annoys me as well emaraldfire. Younger family/friends laugh because I even spell words fully and use punctuation when sending a text.

emeraldfire said...

My mom was an English teacher so I always had to watch my spelling. :)

susan s. said...

Yes, Petty, I find the fact that not only are words not spelled correctly, but that correct grammar is lost on them, very irritating. I'm 64 and it just bugs me. I would never be able to text message.

I saw an ad for cell phones(you call them mobiles, right?) where a couple were sitting on either end of a sofa calling each other on their phones instead of just looking at each other and talking! That was before the time of texting, and it was meant as a joke, but it did irritate me to think that that actually happens.

Petty Witter said...

Yes, we call them mobiles. Ok when used every now and then but it really annoys me when they are constantly going - especially at meal times. Niece #1 turns hers onto silent but I can still hear it vibrating, next stop will be to get her to keep it in her room.

Erika Baker said...

I'm in two minds about this.
I hate the spelling, especially because I know that some kids really cannot spell properly and this makes it appear ok.

But the medium itself - there is something materially different about quick chats with someone on facebook and proper face to face conversations. It hasn't anything to do with depth or closeness, it's something much more related to being able to say important things with very few words, being able to wait a few seconds before responding (useful when a bombshell has been dropped), and it's easy to exchange quick jokes and giggles.

I speak as a mother who has had IM conversations with her daughter while we were both in the same room. There's something realy funny about it, a little subversive, and we love watching each other's faces when a particularly outrageous statement has been written.

It also takes me back years and years when we were children and my sister and my mother (and sometimes my mother and I) used to have little written conversations with each other while we were all watching telly together, with exactly the same sense of depth, fun an quirkiness.

Petty Witter said...

Yes, I agree Erika, there is indeed something different about quick chats on Face Book and proper face to face conversations. What worries me is the amount of people (generally young) who don't know this. We know people who have ended relationships, resigned from their job, told family members that another family member has died in a car crash - all on Face Book which surely isn't the right way of communicating such things.