THOUGHTS OF A FRUITCAKE, By Carolyn Aldis: Why I am off Facebook...

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So, I gave up Facebook for was nearly impossible, as I kept getting messages and so logged on to “check” that they were not emergencies. After a couple of days of this blatant cheating, I decided to de-activate my account, so there was no way I could just log back on...I was finished with it, fed up with the cons outweighing the pros.

The thing is, Facebook is good in some ways...keeping in touch with friends and family that don’t live near me, it helps keep me in the loop of their lives. I also love some of the inspirational quotes that I read...all good.

But then I see the negative posts that people share or the comments that some people post that are unkind, often about others that they don’t even know and I feel sad that this is what we resort seems we have to stamp on each other to get the cleverest quote, or to prove we are right, a holier than thou attitude comes through and it’s not pretty.

For example, there are posts about people photographed in Wal-Mart in somewhat bizarre outfits and they are often obese. I take a look at the comments and am amazed at them; they swing from “Look at the state of that!” to “Let them express themselves without judgement.” The last one referred to an older gentleman wearing hot pants, fishnet stockings and high heels...I’m not sure what he was trying to express, it just seemed an unusual outfit to wear while buying groceries.

Plus it’s soooo addictive...I can waste hours looking at my newsfeed, seeing pictures of people I hardly know, or coming across someone I used to know and thinking “Why haven’t they sent me a friend request?” can see how it can lead to negativity…

I see posts of things from the 70’s, programmes I used to watch, or bikes I used to ride, with the caption “Remember this?” And I think, “Yeah, I remember falling off my Chopper and getting lost on bike rides.” Yes, Sesame Street and Rainbow were great, but having more choice now is surely better? I am astounded by the post that says: “I’m glad I had a childhood before technology took over.”

Really? My memories of childhood were feeling bored, hanging out at the park, playing “Knock Down Ginger” and upsetting the elderly...and was life really better without mobile phones? The hours of frustration waiting for each other, with no way of communicating, the time spent on the telephone to the love of your life, the humiliation of a parent ending the call on the upstairs, give me my mobile any day.

If we are always looking backwards, how do we live in the now? Memories are great because they are memories-things to occasionally think about, smile and carry on with life.

There seems to be this unwritten rule that everything was better in the good old may have been simpler, but it was certainly less tolerant; every generation has its own issues and troubles.

So, that’s why I am off Facebook…for the time being…