Friday, 17 June 2011

21st Century Friendships

It's no secret that I love facebook, I have more contact with some people now than I actually did before leaving the country, although is it debatable how close that contact is, it is very easy to 'like' someone's status or leave a quick comment on a photo but are you really connecting with that person?  I'm not sure if at times it reduces the likelihood of a 'real life contact of a meeting in person or even a phone call. I get birthday wishes from people who I haven't seen for 10 or 20 years and you know it's not because the date is etched into their mind - it's the oh so handy reminder they get when they log on to facebook on that day, but it's people that I would not have been in contact with before facebook.

The Internet may give people an excuse not to see people but social networking sites can be a lifeline, before moving to Cyprus I 'met' a fellow ex-pat Brit and we were 'facebook friends' for almost a year before we met in real life. When we eventually met it seemed like we'd known each other for ages already!  Now I'm 3000 miles away from most of my family and friends I can pop online and find out how they are and what they're up to, and with the addition of Skype we can keep in contact with ease.

But I do feel it can make us lazy, a comment on a photo of a birthday cake is not the same as a handwritten card chosen with care and a 'LOL'  is not the same as actually laughing out loud in the pub with your friends, but when you are not able to do it in person it is certainly better than nothing in my opinion.

Even though you might not see some people much, or even for years the fact that you have the chance to easily keep in contact means you feel like you've not been apart for very long at all, many people knock facebook and other sites but I think they are worth their weight in gold.

NIVEA  are marking their 100th birthday and they are celebrating a million moments of closeness with a fab competion to win one of 100 prizes of 100 pounds - all you have to do is upload a photo of closeness and psychologist Professor Geoff Beattie will pick a winner every day. You can join the competition on their facebook page.

They believe that modern technology has brought us closer than ever  and are looking for your views in their Feel Closer debate, do you think the internet is helping our relationships or is it giving us an excuse not to see people?

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  1. I have 3 kids, including a fab little dude with autism.  It's hard to explain how isolating it is to be a full time carer, but if I didn't have FB and twitter I really dread to think of the state my mental health would be in.  XXX

  2. For those living miles away, Facebook is truly a godsend.  It keeps you in the small important moments of people's lives.  I know when my good friend's child is ill, I know tid bits about her work, small things you'd never put in an email

    Most importantly that means I know what to ask her about when I see her next. You don't have to suffer those awful silences when realise you don't know what to say any more.  No one is going to write an email telling you her daughter is scared of hula skirts, or funny stories about people at her work.  I find Facebook just ensures we can still be proper friend even if we've not spoken for many years.


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