Before social media it took time to get to know someone, now all we have to do is check out their Facebook profile and we know every single thing about them, what they had for breakfast, how drunk they got in the weekend, their favourite truck/car and what they would like to do to Donald Trump if they had the good fortune to meet him. Also, some unfortunate sexist and violent images best left alone. Some would say we know too much, but if you don’t want anyone to know about you check out your privacy settings - it’s surprises me how few do.

The Days Of No Facebook

In the mid-seventies I met a guy who I really liked, in those days with no Facebook I couldn’t check him out and see what he was up to, I had to rely on us running into each other at parties or the pub and then maybe we might talk and arrange to meet up later. It was an on/off affair for a few months but then I moved house and so did he. We mixed with new friends and we rarely saw each other. Most of us didn’t even bother with phones in the house, and if we did it was only so our parents could call us and make sure we were still alive. So this guy and I drifted apart, I got married to a loser……don’t ask, and I heard he married too and moved to another town.

Now I wonder what would have happened had there been Facebook back in those days.

We might not have drifted apart, we might have even ended up together and had a family. You see, Facebook would have saved all that. But would it? I wonder how many young people are getting together now under false pretences. With Facebook you can make yourself into a different person than you really are, it can be your alter ego, an ego you can never live up to, but you want your friends to believe you can.

You can work on your selfies to make yourself look thinner, younger. Make your holidays enviable, when really you had a rotten time and it rained every day. You can even make your children look perfect, they’re not, no one has perfect children for goodness sake! Our public image looks attractive, it’s like the tech plumping of the cushions before the visitors arrive, stand back and view the perfect you.

So really, who are we now? Sure we may look great on social media, but in real life…..I don’t think so. Facebook may have made it harder to choose not easier, at least in the seventies I knew who this guy was, he made me laugh and he had plenty to say that was interesting. Sure we missed out on better things, but at least I know what I missed out on. What would Facebook have told me?

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