There was a newspaper article a few weeks ago where Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church for England and Wales (note the absence of Scotland there!), suggested that social networking websites, texting and e-mails were undermining community life. People were no longer having face to face encounters with real people, but were stuck behind a computer, or hunched over a mobile phone, “talking” to cyber friends. People were losing the skill of reading a person's mood or body language. It was all having a very "dehumanising" effect on our lives.
I doubt that I would ever have found my brother Mike without Facebook. I can’t see that Mike would have written a letter, or made a telephone call or simply just turned up on my doorstep one sunny afternoon. It is more likely that being on the computer anyway, writing one of his witty articles for Costa Life Magazine, he would have popped over to Facebook to see who was posting…and found me.
I confess to liking Facebook! I have 72 “friends” some of whom I have met face to face, some of whom I share more than a few chromosomes with and some whose names I know from the interests we have in common. There are one or two genuine “strangers”.
What I really like about Facebook at the moment is one of the messages that pop up in my notifications. It says, in capital letters “YOU’RE AMAZING!!!!!!!!” It is linked to an on going poll about who likes who! I rarely make the top ten of the best liked among my friends, but I find that the words YOU’RE AMAZING lift my spirit! It may only be a computer generated message to tell me to waste a little bit more time selecting ten of my pals to nominate, but sometimes I just need to be reminded that I am, indeed, amazing!
I have to admit that I would rather someone told me face to face that I am amazing. Over this whole year so far I think I have been pretty amazing! We all need someone to tell us that we are amazing, rather than have them scrutinize our lives to highlight the not-so-amazing things that we do!
I challenge myself! Don’t leave it up to a computer generated message to say to someome “YOU’RE AMAZING!!!!!!!!”