FACEBOOK MANNERS

I wrote the bulk of this note some years ago on Facebook. I think it applies just as much today as it did two years ago. I will add a few more observations about Facebook here. Comments are welcome and if I have offended you by this post, feel free to unfriend me on Facebook!

I have made about 150 friends on Facebook. Some I actually know; others I have not met before, but we seem to have the same interests, and there is a certain amount of communication between us, even if it amounts to nothing more than liking each other’s posts, wishing each other a happy birthday and passing the occasional comment on something that might interest us.

I have always expressed my sympathy to Facebook friends who are going through some kind of disaster in their lives, such as bereavement, loss of a job, or a relationship breaking down. Recently we had some bad luck of our own when my son-in-law lost his job because of his company being placed under provisional liquidation. He and 7000 other workers were left without a penny – no payment for the time they had worked in July, no retrenchment money, and still no sign of the eight years of pension money.

To compound the problem is the fact that there is a huge number of unemployed in South Africa and the strict Black Empowerment policy which means that white males are at the bottom of the list as far as finding new employment is concerned. My husband and I have managed to help them financially at the end of July, but we are both semi-retired, so I’m not sure how long we will be able to go on doing this. Some of my Facebook friends were kind and supportive. One kind friend even offered to send some money, which we would never dream of accepting, but we did appreciate her kind offer!

It is very true that you find out who your friends are when you have a setback like that. I’m afraid I unfriended one of our relatives who blithely continued posting junk on her wall without as much as a “sorry”!

Other “friends” ignore me –  perhaps for reasons of their own –  but why did they befriend me in the first place? Just to add to my name to the hundreds of other Facebook friends on their list?  Surely they have the strength to click the “like” button if I wish them happy birthday, or even make a very occasional comment so that I know they are still there? In this category I include some “friends” I have known personally for years. Do they look at my posts with a superior sneer and conclude that I am silly for posting them on Facebook?

March 2011 was a bad month for birthday greetings and March 2013 has not been any better. Very few of the March birthday boys and girls liked or thanked me for wishing them happy birthday. How rude is that? They obviously don’t think my well-meant birthday greetings are worth the bother of a collective “thank you” or even a “like”. The occasional “like” or “thank you” would not go amiss. At least I would not have the feeling that I’m communicating with the ether.

I share recordings, news and blog posts about my former teachers and life-long friends, Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler. I also have pages for them on Facebook and I run the <a>Booth-Ziegler Yahoo Group</a> (with only 34 members!) Anne and Webster meant a great deal to me and my intention was to keep their names alive, but this is a losing battle. I realise that their recordings are not to everyone’s taste as one of my Facebook friends told me recently – at least he was honest!  Other friends who knew them very well – two are even related to them – ignore these posts.  Just as I could always sense whether an audience was enjoying my stage performance or thinking it  pretty awful, I have the same sense on Facebook, apart from a few obvious exceptions – I would have given up a long time ago without them! My one consolation is that my recordings of Webster and Anne’s solo and duet recordings on <a>YouTube</a> are warmly received, often by people who had never heard of them before.

On the plus side, I have made some interesting new friends, followed some fascinating pages, and rediscovered some old friends who do keep in touch with me on Facebook. I hope you are in this last category!

Jean Campbell Collen – original post written in 2011/updated 7 August 2013.

 

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pearl
    Apr 14, 2013 @ 20:08:46

    Jean, please forgive me for not being a good Facebook Friend. Actually the only reason I am on there is sometimes to contact Tanya, who is a better FB corresponder than an e-mailer. Or to find out why I do not hear from her and what she is up to! I find it takes far more time to write a personal e-mail, but that is just my old fashioned way of contacting my real friends, second only in time and effort to the written letter (now obsolete!) If I feel very strongly about an issue, I will post it on FB, it is a great way to get messages / photos out to a lot of people quickly. Otherwise, I will just stick to the old-fashioned means of E-mail to my special friends. And you are one of those. xxx

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    • jean2371
      Apr 14, 2013 @ 20:51:05

      Pearl, Thank you for your note. I certainly was not thinking of you when I wrote that irate post. I was thinking of those who do not communicate with me at all although I know they are on Facebook quite often posting things and communicating with other people. I’d certainly rather receive your interesting emails or chat to you on Skype. One cannot post anything personal or private on Facebook for all to see. I’m glad I am one of your special friends – as you are certainly one of my oldest and dearest friends.

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  2. Pearl
    Apr 14, 2013 @ 21:12:56

    Thanks Jean– I know what you meant! Just wanted to reassure you that you are one special friend that I value very much! Take care xx

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  3. Peter Wallace
    Apr 15, 2013 @ 17:55:54

    Jean, Facebook is a strange thing. I know some people accept any friend request that comes along. I am a bit more choosy, I think. In most cases I have had some contact with people before they are added. Compared with others, I have few “friends” but even then I struggle to follow everything. Too much material. It took me a long time to get into Facebook on any level, and it surprises me how open a lot of the younger users are. Maybe I come from a more reserved generation. Anyway, accept it as it is. At least it is good to have contact with people like you Jean that I have never met, but pleased to know you through the internet.

    All the best, Peter

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    • jean2371
      Apr 15, 2013 @ 19:14:47

      Peter, Thank you for your interesting comment about Facebook Manners. I am certainly glad to have made contact with you and the British Dance Bands Group on the Internet and Facebook. I have made a few new friends and made some interesting contacts through my musical interests and relationship with Anne and Webster. All good wishes, Jean.

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