- BC Games
The Lane provides the definitive word on social media
Like many of us, I’ve wondered if social media is making humans happier, if it’s making me any happier. I started on Facebook about two years ago and just this month joined Twitter. Am I happier now? Or even more informed? Yes – or no.
I see lots of Bowen people on Facebook and that’s nice and I’ve become ‘friends’ with many of you, though I mostly thought we were friends already. What isn’t so nice is that sometimes you have to un-friend someone because they post too many things, or post goofy things.
But we needn’t reveal those particulars here.
Now when you get a friend request on Facebook, it’s just that, a request. People don’t write “hey, what up? We’re doing fine, loved Dock Dance this year! Stevey has a pet otter and Tiffany is doing a Frisbee camp. Let’s get hooked up!” No personal notes, it’s all automatic, you click on an icon - done.
Which doesn’t seem very friendly.
Something I only just came upon after Claudia Schaefer and Wendy Cellik mentioned it on the Queen of Capilano is the Bowen ‘Buy, Sell, Trade, Loan’ Facebook page. No political rants or complaints like the Forum, just goods to exchange. I became the 633rd member when I joined this week.
Right now Karen Shea is selling a set of drums (intended, I think, for a kid) that look better than my first set and Heather Kerr is selling an Everette student flute. Deborah Neville was giving away a couch but it may have been spoken for. Can’t tell the date things were posted, that’s likely my incompetence.
Are small towns doing that all over the world? For a (random) example, does Sioux Lookout, Ont. (pop: 5300) have a Buy and Sell page? Doubtless many small towns are doing it and many more will do it and that is a likeable feature of social media.
Kudos to whoever set ours up.
On Facebook you can read things someone writes and click ‘like’ on it, a pleasing thing for the writer. Of course you can not like it and tell someone else that you don’t like it and others can read things you write and not like it and tell someone etc.. So as with other forms of human interaction, judging people and gossiping are alive on social media.
Here’s something: kids mostly send texts and Facebook messages that go like this: “Hi.” That’s often it. One night the Boy left his page up on the computer and didn’t log off and after he’d gone to bed I could see that he was still on it. Couldn’t help but read what he had just written:
Hockey Friend: Hey.
Boy: My parents think I’m sleeping but I’m using my phone.
Hockey friend: Cool.
We did the same thing when we were kids only for us it was listening to the radio underneath the sheets. Our experience, I can’t help but think, was slightly more edifying.
Finally, I just joined Twitter (@marcushondro). I only have six followers: my wife, son, step daughter, Outlook editor Justin Beddall, my friend Jason Bryden (funny comic) and a Justin Bieber fan who read a story I wrote about the Biebs on Digital Journal.
To gain more Followers I join the multitudes and attempt to write funny tweets. The night the royal baby was born I tweeted “The #RoyalBaby hasn’t done a bleedin’ thing and already he’s famous. Who does he think he is - Kim Kardashian?”When Toronto Mayor Rob Ford attended an event in his cups I tweeted: “Rob Ford careening about drunk is as newsworthy as Mel Gibson getting angry or Sarah Palin getting stupid. Yawn.”I didn’t get even one new Follower from either. So sure some features, like the Buy/Sell page (which, by the way, links to a ‘Bowen Island task/errand/small jobs’ page) make social media likeable, but the communication itself seems staged – like my tweets - and even a bit routine. Happier?I hate it when I can’t make up my mind.