Although I’ve been on Facebook for years, I’ve never been on Facebook. I’ve used it as a blog platform, and I’ve occasionally signed in only to find messages from old friends withering away in corners like unloved pot plants. I always assume people I know will contact me in other ways, and believed, and hoped, Facebook is for the type of ‘friends’ who are actually friends of friends of friends. But now, having to have a few pages (are they even called that?) open all the time, I see it can be useful for keeping in touch with real people that I really like.
And yet, and yet …. it’s always going to be a love/hate thing. Facebook makes me feel like a teenager again, and the type of teenager who never really wanted to play the game. If I didn’t like stuff, I didn’t really do it, and nothing much has changed. I can’t really understand where people get the time to present these perfect lives, and why they even bother – though I admit I am, of course, drawn to looking at their lovely photos and I can’t help envying their seemingly idyllic lives.
There was a great interview in the Observer magazine with Judy Blume, the writer, who was a prolific children’s author in the 1970s and 80s and wrote about ordinary kids having normal feelings of inadequacy and uncertainty. Blume made the point that everything is about superheroes now. Ordinary is not enough, we have to strive constantly for more. All the blockbusting films are about supercharged warriors – Iron Man, Transformers etc etc (none of which I’ve seen). Even Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings are playing at elevated levels. It’s not the ordinary hobbit-in-the-street that counts, it’s the one with the massive quest or the ennobled beardy ones (and no, I haven’t watched any of those franchises either).
I watched Eurovision on Saturday night – no idea why, really – and sure enough, Sweden won singing about heroes. Heroes have their place, absolutely, and striving is good, but let’s face it, feeling a little bit rubbish and staying in your dressing gown all day is more the norm. Or is it just me?