In this day and age, most of us are connected to friends and family via social networking. It is just part of the world we live in these days, we need to be in touch with every one all the time it seems. Do we really need to be available to everyone all of the time? I think there is a time and a place for it.
I keep in touch with my friends from down south via Facebook, as well as picking up new friends along the way. It is the easiest way to let people know what’s happening in your life. It also though has a more important role, so linking people with similar interests. I have connected with people worldwide, via various Facebook groups in connection to Autism. It is therefore a brilliant learning and information sharing tool. I am sure it is not just as a parent of children with ASD’s, but parents and adults of various infliction that find talking with other people who have been there and done that invaluable so you don’t feel like you are all alone. After all, it isn’t always practical to talk to someone at 3am but your Facebook community is usually buzzing 24/7. It would be much easier to keep up with people if the powers that be at Facebook didn’t keep changing the layout, but you can’t have everything!
Twitter on the other hand I see differently. It is on the whole faceless. You are communicating with people you don’t know, so having a rant is never personal to them. Having said that, I have made some good friends on there, who I do talk with in a different way. I mostly use Twitter to enter competitions, and have won a few great prizes through it! It is also another great means of information for people with specific needs. It isn’t always practical to have direct communication with people in your area who have similar experiences to your own, but it doesn’t take long to find people who you know are going through similar problems in their lives to you. Any resource that helps make your life a little less stressful is a positive thing.
I have a mobile phone, but I have probably only made 2 calls on it in all the time I have had it. I really hate talking on the phone. I always have. When you can’t see a person, reading them becomes difficult if not impossible, I therefore avoid making calls as much as possible. I instead spend half my life talking to Hubby via Blackberry messenger! To think about what you want to say, delete it half a dozen times, before you finally “say it” is far better! I do always carry my phone with me as there may be a time when I am needed immediately, but on the whole things can wait.
My problems with social networking is that there is a time and a place for it. To see people walking down the street, tweeting away is just unnecessary. Hubby is one of these people who are addicted to it. He just has to be checking it. He keeps up with so many things via Twitter, that it’s as if removing it for even a short space of time gives him the jitters. It is the first thing he does in the morning and the last thing before he goes to bed, and often if I turn over in the night, I will hear the click click clicking of him on his phone sending a message. It was such a refreshing change while on holiday when there was poor phone reception so he couldn’t be using it while in the caravan. He did make up for it however when we were out and about.
Now, I should be the last person to be moaning about social networking as without it I would never have met Hubby. We “met” on a site called FaceParty, this was before Facebook. We were in a group and started chatting, and found we had so much in common. We then took our friendship out of computer and into the real world, which wasn’t the easiest thing when you live 550 miles apart! As they say one thing led to another, and we were married within the year, and I had up rooted my life and moved to the north of Scotland. Almost 12 years later, I can say not all people you meet online are loonies, but you have to be careful.
I think like so many things in life, it is everything in moderation. We need to know when to prioritize our time in the real world and our time in the cyber world.
I think I must end now and go and check my timelines, after all, I might have missed what somebody is cooking for tea!!!