Tag Archives: facebook

Social Media and the Voyage of Self-Discovery

Like many other writers and bloggers when the creative juices fail to flow smoothly, I find the internet is a great place to procrastinate.
I’m sure many of us who should be putting our precious time to good use can be found lurking within social media apps like Facebook.
Perhaps we even try to convince ourselves its actually research.
I’ll confess to meandering through Facebook on the odd occasion… coughs … ok .. regular basis.
I’ll also confess to playing some of the “self-discovery” games to be found on there.
You know the one s- “5 signs you are keeper based on your profile picture,” “What will you look like at 70 based on your profile picture.”
These entertain me.
My personal Facebook profile picture for the past few years has always been a photo of my Converse clad feet. What on earth can you determine from that?

FB game profile

Quite a lot apparently!
Here’s some recent discoveries……

Some of these are scarily accurate! I’ll let you work out which ones 😉

 

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This one was reassuring though 😊

FB game 13

Enough procrastination- I’ve a book to finish writing!

Memes And Motivational Thoughts….

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly social media has taken over our lives – in a positive and, on occasion, a negative way. How many of you remember life before Facebook and Twitter and Instagram?

I joke about being a “Facebook queen” but it allows me to connect with friends and family all over the world on a daily basis. I get to offer my congratulations to friends on their birthdays, anniversaries and successes. I get to offer my love and support when its needed too.

Social media is my main marketing tool for my Book Babies – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and blogs. The price is right…. FREE!

I’ll admit I post more than my fair share to Facebook – “we know” I hear my friends cry! – but I do try to avoid posting photos of my children and my dinner and the other mundane things that are shared millions of times a day across the world.

Those who know me well may have picked up on some of the thoughts and feelings that I never quite say on my own Facebook wall. I tend to use photos and memes and motivational thoughts to convey my own thoughts and feelings.

No one wants to see what I’ve had for dinner (trust me, this evening it was a very boring chicken sandwich).

 I don’t tend to rant either online. I vent in private (that’s what Messenger is for)

Another consequence of sharing photos, memes and motivational thoughts is that my mobile phone ends up home to literally thousands of them. Ok, I hoard the ones I stumble across and think “I might share that when the time is right”. Some never see the light of day again. Or you share it then delete it and years later Facebook reminds you that you posted it so you save it to your phone again…..and so it continues……

So, what have I shared in the past week or so?

Well, take a look….

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(images sourced via Facebook – credits to their owners)

 

Oh….and I might share the occasional photo of a certain rock star 😉

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(Credits to the owner Kevin Nixon via Facebook)

The Feel Good Factor of Two Little Words- Happy Birthday

Last Friday was my birthday. Not a particularly special number but it was still my birthday. I’ve never been one to make a fuss about birthdays. I never felt the need to have fancy parties for 18th, 21st or 30th celebrations. I did concede when I turned 40 and had family and friends over for tea and cake……oh and some wine! 😉

I suspect this disinterest in celebrating harks back to my childhood. True, I had a few birthday parties as a child but, as my birthday falls around the date that the schools stop for the summer and people in this area traditionally head off on their summer holidays, my birthday had a tendency to get lost in transit. My 14th birthday was spent driving through England to catch an early morning ferry to St Malo, France. The highlight of that occasion was a plate of chips and beans in a trucker’s rest stop on the motorway about 11pm and catching the highlights from Wimbledon of a Jimmy Connor’s match on a tiny TV on the wall above the counter. A couple of years later, we had just arrived in the Algarve the day before, and it was lunchtime before my mum even remembered it was my birthday! I rest my case… or should that be suitcase!

However Facebook has added a new dimension to this annual event. By the time I woke on Friday morning (my usual 5:50am) and checked my newsfeed there were a dozen birthday wishes from all over the globe waiting there for me. A beautiful start to my day. As the day progressed I was welcomed into work with a card and a gift (yes, it was wine before any of you ask!) and a few hugs and kisses too. When I next checked Facebook around lunchtime, the number of birthday wishes had swelled to over fifty. Some of my Facebook friends know me so well and there were a couple of “hot” photos appearing along with the kind words.  😉

Birthday Tea was a low key affair. The Big Green Gummi Bear did forego his daily trip to the gym so we could eat as a family at a reasonable hour. The four of us sat down to a simple meal of lasagne and garlic flatbread (thank you Tesco Finest). I had bought a tiny birthday cake and Girl Child attempted a rendition of “Happy Birthday” with her usual tuneless aplomb. Thanks, honey. I was treated to lovely gifts- tickets to see Miss Saigon in London’s West End from the Big Green Gummi Bear, silver jewellery from Parents One and Two, silver rings from Boy Child and Girl Child. I received a beautiful journal from a friend who knows me so well. (Thank you again)

At the last minute I had arranged for another friend to pop over for a celebratory glass of vino or two. My fellow rock chick arrived armed with wine and a present wrapped in red tartan gift wrap. She too knows me so well –I’m now the proud owner of an autographed Slash print! (Thank you- I’m still negotiating about where to put it on display) Cue a wonderful evening of loud music, mainly on vinyl, wine and laughter. One of those evening’s that’s good for the soul.

By bedtime, when I checked Facebook one final time for the day, the birthday wishes had swelled to over a hundred and there was another topless male adorning my Facebook wall (Thank you Myles Kennedy and Charlie Hunnam for providing those bodies!!) It’s a good job that the Big Green Gummi Bear has long since unfriended me on Facebook!

I went to bed with a smile, feeling very humble that so many people from all around the world had taken a few seconds out of their day to type two small words that mean so much- Happy Birthday. Thank you one and all.

MUM!!!!!!! – the modern teenage call

I never thought I’d hear myself say this but I miss the days when my munchkins would shout “Mummy” or “Mum”.

Now don’t get me wrong they do still yell “MUM!!!!!” loudly on a regular basis, their tone filled with hormonal teenage menace, and they are invariably requesting the same thing as they called for in days gone by- sustenance( snacks, juice).

Recently however they have both changed tactics- one more so than the other. Boy Child, being the elder and slightly saner than his sister, will Facebook message me from his room requesting snacks – usually a tortilla wrap and Nutella. (He must have eaten his weight in those by now)His messages are short and to the point. “Wrap please” is the norm. His sister on the other hand varies her “attacks” – sorry request strategies. Sometimes she will text my mobile, at others she will Facebook message me but this week she has also been emailing me. The texts and Facebook messages are littered with smiley faces or stickers in an attempt to convince me to comply with her requests. Her emails though are being sent with “eye catching” subject headings.

The first one arrived as I was leaving work the other day. Subject- “I have sacrificed the cat”. That got my attention! Content –” Darling Mummy can you buy me a Subway on your way home because you love me so much.”  I drove straight home.

The last so far – Subject –“You son’s corpse is smelly”. Content- “Juice please.”

I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! Where did I get that child from?

Penfriends – the modern way

How many of you had a penfriend as a child? How many of you still do?

Over the last thirty years I’ve had several. Some of them were “allocated” to me in school as I remember while others were sourced through various magazines over the years.

My first ever penfriend was a little girl from South Africa who lived on a farm and rode horses. We exchanged letters for a few years then as we moved into our teens the letters dried up, we both moved house and the new addresses were lost – the connection was broken. There was also a very scary boy from the Ivory Coast whose letters took a dark almost sinister turn and were ultimately returned “Not Known At This Address” to discourage him.  I was terrified he was going to turn up on the front doorstep!

I also connected with three others from across the world- from Sweden, India and Greece- and am still in regular contact with them. For more than twenty five years we’ve written freely to each other about our lives, exchanged photos and “grown up” together from across the miles. No thought was ever given to the amount of personal data that was being shared.

Now we seldom write the lengthy paper letters of the past apart from a short scribbled note inside a birthday or Christmas card. We’ve all moved on to social media- to Facebook. Is this the modern equivalent of having a penfriend? In one way it is.

Over the last few months I’ve “met” several new friends, of similar age, similar interests (Ladies you know who I mean!) and from across the world on Facebook. We share stories, jokes and photos and connect on a regular basis. Where’s the difference?

Now that we are all connected through Facebook I began to wonder what it would be like if my three original penfriends could all “meet” each other. I’ve started a group chat with them in an effort to find out. It should be an interesting conversation as they are three very diverse lovely people. I hope it works….time will tell.

When it comes to penfriends though my mum and her penfriend Gail win hands down. They started exchanging letters in 1949 and they are still in regular contact with each other. Both of them were only nine years old when this friendship began. Over the past few years they have progressed to email instead of the flimsy thin blue airmail paper and envelopes of yester year.  (I still find it amusing that my mum has her own pc.) They’ve also been fortunate enough to meet face to face several times over the last fifteen years or so, enjoying each other’s company as much in person as they have done for all these years on paper. It’s a very special friendship.

Who knows in time to come I may meet up with my three penfriends or with some of my newer Facebook friends but for now social media works just fine.