By Clare Jerrom
I love Facebook and find it highly addictive. I moved away from my home town aged 18 and this has really helped me to keep connected with a lot of my friends back home – some of whom I haven’t spoken to properly for years.
I can send them a quick message or high five them and they know I’m thinking of them even if I’m not down the road anymore. Plus, as we get older a lot of my friends are having children and this networking tool allows me to see these children develop from tiny babies into little people.
The applications are also great fun – you can buy a friend a virtual drink, turn them into zombies, send them a virtual bouquet of flowers or a free gift or even virtually karate chop or hug them.
Critics would probably dismiss this as childish and pointless but it’s keeping me young at heart. When I try and convert people they always say to me “I don’t want people asking to be my friend who I don’t want to be friends with” – almost virtual stalking I guess. But I point out that you don’t HAVE to be friends with anyone – you just get a friendship request which you can politely ignore.
I’ve now got 80 friends on Facebook. These include my best friends, my work colleagues, friends I went to college or school with and some random people too. Some live abroad and I’d probably never have heard from them again if it wasn’t for Facebook.
Ok so we’re not going to be best friends but having the means to ask how things are going in Oz is kind of cool. It’s also nice to know how your school friends turned out – are they married, where do they work? It turned out one old friend I went to college with and enjoyed a holiday in Majorca with who I unfortunately lost touch with when she went to Japan actually lives 5 minutes from where I work!
You also find out really interesting facts from people’s profile – what their hobbies are etc. Work wise, it also helps me keep abreast with what other magazines and websites in RBI are up to.
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t condone people sitting on Facebook all day at work – as a manager I would be livid if my team were spending 5 hours a day high fiving people.
But I think having a quick lunch time surf is fine and if anything I thoroughly recommend it. It certainly brightens up my day when I log on and find I’ve been bought a large pina colada!