Friday, 13 September 2013

Lyin' Eyes

I was thinking again about Facebook, or rather social media in general. As much as many of us love to use the medium to tell the world about when we're happy or sad or hungry, it also gives everyone an insight into the real you. Or often the "you" that you are trying to project, even if it is slightly fast and loose on the facts and detail.

A school friend posted news on Facebook of him starting a new job as headmaster at a school in the west of England. In the midst of the back patting and congratulations, I fell upon a comment from one of his friends saying how much he had liked the photo and biography posted on the school website. Ever the curious one, I thought it was worth a look.

His bio did look pretty impressive. But as I sifted through the many achievements and successes, I felt a little put out by what he had recorded as sporting prowess at school. Oddly my memory serves me very well on the silly little things, and in the seven years we were at school together I'm certain he played no more than twice for a ragtag reserve team (as opposed to the 15-20 times I played each year for the senior teams). As for the rowing, I recall he coxed a couple of times for a junior team but that was it. At the end of the day, maybe it's a petty thing to pick up on. Strictly speaking it wasn't false - semantics and all that. But if you're going to put information like that out there, be ready to defend yourself, Mr L...

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)

I'm not really sure whether I should call Facebook a guilty pleasure. I've killed many days of precious human existence trawling through cartloads of pictures offering up brunches, boozing and banality, only to drag myself away feeling drained and deflated. I'd always assumed living vicariously would be quite exciting and liberating. Unfortunately, 'Faceboast' doesn't always offer the best filter system. Sometimes it's like sifting through the cutting room floor of a bad fly-on-the-wall documentary. You're living passively, and not the passive part of life you really care for.

But then there are the other times. Real world experiences. Stuff you might not hear about (or at least not for some time) without the power of social media. You lose touch on a personal basis, yet there's still a front row seat as their lives unfold. Four weddings and a funeral, a child is born, the godfather. All manner of things. These are the stories that keep me connected. I still plan to undertake periodic detoxes of social media (too much of a good thing, and all that), and I must be more discerning. But, at the end of the day, it's here to stay - so embrace it.