As I sit here in front of my laptop once again, wasting hours starring into the screen my eldest gone to his Uncles with his dad, Chloe out with her friends, Mikes quietly playing with his lego and me enjoying a Sunday afternoon doing what I seem to spend the majority of my time doing, looking into an online world.
As I flick from blog post to facebook, to my emails and back again, skimming through this world full of other people, telling their life through the posts and snippets they choose to share, I glide over the stories reading some, commenting on others but on the most part just looking.
Then a post on facebook caught my eye, 'WARNING : personal messages are viewable on your timeline - this is not a joke - I've checked!' As I read the post detailing how old private messages from 2007 - 2009 were now showing up as wall posts, I went off to see for myself if this was true, or just another scaremongering chain mail type message, I opened up my profile page, and clicked down the list of years, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007... Joined Facebook 28 June 2007
I starred into screen, a condensed story of my life. Scrolling through the photos and posts in 2007 Sure enough there was a box '65 friends posted on your timeline' opening up to read through the messages I recognise some of them as what maybe at the time I thought of as personal messages, all one sided, no replies from me just the messages I received, because if you remember back to early facebook days there was no way to reply under a message but only to post 'wall to wall' and with facebook being a new site and much smaller in size, people did not have the worry of over sharing or privacy that everyone seems concerned about now, so indeed these messages were never private, but infact it is our views of what should and shouldn't be public that have changed.
I read through them, 'Hi Sarah wow long time no see, great to hear from you!' I smile at the newness to facebook, the thrill of connecting with old school friends and catching up, then I stop and click away, and realise I am maybe one of the most unsociable users of social networks there is!
What happened from that time when I started using facebook and each person I added to my friend list I connected with, had a conversation with, swapped stories of the missing years and shared photos of family, why now do I still have the draw to facebook but I seem to sit their with a silence? a lonely spectator.
The catch up messages, the friendly chat no longer needed as we sneakily peek into each others lives when we post, no need to interact, personally, we can silently watch. with a quick 'like' here and there. I now have many more friends on my friends list than I had in 2007 I still have the old school friends I added back in 2007 and I have new friends that have been made over the years.
The old school friends who I remember being happy to hear from, I have not interacted with much over the past 5 years, I have not been over to say hello, how you doing? and nor have they to me, friends who I used to email often with lengthy catch up messages, have not been contacted, my email box is missing the messages, they are no longer needed as we can catch up on facebook....
But do we? Do we really keep in touch on facebook, or is it all abit impersonal, in a publicly sociable way?
Facebook is wonderful, is a brilliant way to keep in touch with friends and family, but is strangely lonely too if you forget the reasons for having it there in the first place. I tend to have facebook open in the background slip in and out a few groups I'm a member of here and there, but other than that I really have no idea what I do there! I seem to miss my friends updates and haven't had a catch up chat with anyone in a long time.
So I am going to make an effort to actually say hi to my facebook friends, interact more and use it in a all round much more sociable way.