Monday, 16 February 2009


Last week I signed up to Facebook.

Is this supposed to be easy? I am still unclear what I am supposed to do with it. My relief that my cousin agreed to be my friend was quite overwhelming. We share some blood and genes but little else on a daily basis, yet she was the only person I knew (a) was on facebook and (b) would probably be nice enough to say yes. It was an anxious 24 hours.

One friend. Doesn't look great and my husband refuses to waste his time by signing up as well. A bit of head-scratching makes me think of someone else. Turns out his wife is also on: I'm up to three already.

I go to a church full of students: surely they're on. That makes life quite easy, as I write to all of the ones I know the names of and then others whose photos I recognise. Our minister is allegedly signed up as well, although it is a dodgy photo. Thinking about it, he hasn't yet said he'll be my friend.

OK - so I've worked out how to ask people to be my friend (marginally less scary than actually talking to mums in the playground or someone in the queue at the cafe: real people are rarely avoid conversation altogether.) Now, what is this about my Wall? What do I do with it? How come I can send messages via a Wall, write on someone else's Wall and also send emails? What is the difference? What does it mean to poke someone? Why should anyone be interested that "Catharine is... wasting her time in front of the computer ... again..."?

It was in the midst of this that I read about Respect the blog. The blog, as an art, is being attacked. Yet at least it gives us a chance to write what we think and the space to expand (some might say waffle...) Unlike Facebook, twitter and the like, which rely on quick soundbites and instant information, the blog allows freedom of expression and the development of ideas across people, cultures and continents. And, delightfully, unlike newspapers it is free!

So now I must cross the Facebook 'friends' who haven't yet responded off my Christmas Card list, spend time updating this blog and find out how to tweet, and perhaps - just perhaps - I'll keep technically ahead of my eight-year-old for a week or two longer.


Working mum said...

I am a blog person, definitely. It's all about the posts for me! I enjoy creating posts and reading others'. And I don't think it would be a good idea for a teacher to be on Facebook, do you?

Catharine Withenay said...

I've found the quickest way to get friends is knowing students!
But you are probably right: dangerous to be a teacher on Facebook, although you could refuse to be friends with any of your pupils. And their parents. And grandparents and ... ok, don't join Facebook.

Troy said...

I signed up for Facebook and twitter but with hindsight I think they are just a novelty. Whereas blogging is for life!

Catharine Withenay said...

Novelties and horrifically addictive. Twitter I don't get at all yet (although someone wanted to offer me a discounted rate on buying his T-shirts); Facebook is proving a lovely way to keep up with my African friends.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thank you, Catharine, for your heartening comment over at mine. Much appreciated!

I think I am addicted to blogging. When I was away from it I missed it. It stimulates the mind.

I've given Facebook a miss. We may use Twitter for our businesses but we haven't cracked it yet!

cheshire wife said...

My blog is as much as I have time for at the moment. There is too much to do in the real world to be living in cyberspace!

Catharine Withenay said...

Hadriana - I have to agree that trawling through the blogs is fun, whereas twitter is just chatter coming at me all the time. Still got a long way to go to understand it yet.

CW - couldn't agree more. I waste far too much time on the internet. Like most of this morning, come to think of it! Btw, we've had our offer accepted on the house ... more blogging to come there!

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