Tag Archives: Facebook

Cyber holiday… Almost


On Sunday I deactivated my Facebook account, putting my personal and business page into some sort of suspended animation, frozen, switched off, silent. Triggered by a long overdue need to unplug, some challenges in my business, some stresses in my personal life, the time had come, in anticipation of our family holiday, to silence the social networking beast.

It possibly seems hypocritical to have switched Facebook off and then to be writing a blog about it but this is exactly my point. The endless hours I wasted checking my Facebook page for notifications, messages, tags, @ mentions and new posts in the groups and pages I like, life was passing me by!

My children, if asked to draw a picture of me would probably draw the apple logo on my nose for wherever we are I’ve been hooked into the Facebook matrix via the apps on my phone and iPad. It’s a sorry state of affairs when your brain starts interpreting every situation, task, trial or experience as a Facebook status, check-in or photo comment. My reaction to the boy pulling some awesome new stunts on his scooter should be to applaud, congratulate, encourage and hug him, not check it in with some catchy status like “Annie Smith…’is watching the boy perfect new tricks on the super scooter’ at St James Park” he won’t remember the check-ins but he will remember his amazing achievements being ignored whilst Mummy tip taps away on her technology AGAIN!

I’ve justified it to myself all this time because I have a business page on there, I must always be available in case a potential client needs to contact me, simply not true. I have a website, an email address, a phone number and a contact form, they can contact me 24/7 if they want to, they don’t need me to be on Facebook to do it and in fact it causes more issues if I am on there… Heaven help me if I update my status to say I’m having a glass of red and a take out when someone is waiting for their gallery to be uploaded…. Bring on the messages headed ‘I see you’re online, is my gallery ready yet!’

So for now I’m out of it. I’m going to try and stay out of it at least till the end of half term, and if/when I do go back it will be on a very limited basis!

Creating a timeline for our children


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Facebook timeline, it’s occurred to me that my children will grow up to find that their Mum has kept a detailed chronological record of their lives from their birth (my status March 08 reads: Willow Heidi Smith, 1hr 24 min old, she arrived 6th March at 1.55am, she’s amazing) through to other major events (when my Mum passed away in November 2010 I wrote: few people have the privilege of being able to hold their loved ones as they gently pass from this world into the next, we love you Mum and we are all so grateful to have been together today, my heart is aching, such a beautiful and gentle mother, watch over us x x x x)

I’m starting to weigh up the pros and cons of this, on the plus side it means they will have a detailed window into their Mum and Dads lives, where we went (through all the ‘check-in’s) to how they behaved as infants but then I started to worry! If this is going to be there for them to read do I celebrate the positives enough or do I spend too much time moaning about sleepless nights and teething? Do I share things they will be mortified to read as young adults or am I recording memories that would otherwise slip away into the past?

As I mentioned above I lost my own Mum in 2010 and one of the overwhelming feelings I have is that I didn’t know her well enough, I mean I did obviously know her very well but I find myself wondering what she was like as a child, I can only guess at the things she would have ‘liked’ on Facebook, though to be fair she wasn’t much interested in technology so probably would never have used it even if she’d been able to (she had progressive MS for 32 years!).

So when my own children look back on my timeline, either with me or after I’m gone what will they be gaining from it? Will it reveal the real me or will it only show the version of me I choose to portray online? We all do a bit of a PR job on ourselves online… Some write with such melodrama that you’d never recognise their calm exterior on the street, others with charisma that far outperforms their face to face contact, I’ve known friends describe themselves in ways that are completely alien to me, but is this perception or reality?

My children will never know a world without touch screen, social networking, wireless technology, they will be different adults because of this… Make no mistake this is changing all the rules of social interaction! I’m sure some much smarter people are already studying these ideas and writing about them so I won’t claim to be an expert on human nature or psychology but I do know that relationships are built and developed based on trust, knowledge of one another and shared interests… On the one hand social networking has all the potential to accelerate the way humans form bonds and develop friendships, on the other it is so wide open for abuse it’s frightening!

My husband doesn’t do social networking (yet! He didn’t ‘do’ mobile phones until about 2008!) and doesn’t suffer for it, he is still happy to actually talk to people face to face or on the telephone (oh that’s what those little smart boxes are we all carry!) whereas I never have time for that nonsense and arrange what I call my ‘real life’ though a range of tweets, direct messages and status updates. I’m going to make a mental note to revisit this post each year to see how things have developed!

As always I would love to know your thoughts?