My Internets Getting Personal
Just lately my internet has started getting personal, but in a good way, and the blame lies firmly with Facebook, you see I have been using networking sites for quite some time now and blogging for almost as long, first I used Yahoo 360 for both networking and blogging, then I tried Multiply for both but never really settled properly with either of these services. And now I think I know what one of the problems was, why I didn’t settle properly with these services, the answer has come in the form of Facebook.
I think one of the main problems I had was that although I had plenty of online “virtual” friends I never really knew them in “real life”, I had two very separate existences. I had my real life, in other words my life offline, in this life of course I have friends, family and workmates, and at the same time I had my virtual life, my life online where I had only “virtual friends”, in other words folk I only knew online and had never actually met in real life.
These two lives existed quite separately from each other, ok I had one or two friends or family join and connect with me online but it was only ever one or two, every one else was purely on these services and not real to me in many ways. I enjoyed these services to a certain extent but ultimately found them unsatisfying and unfulfilling and eventually left. The networking side of things seemed so distant and unreal, not really relevant to me and my life, I had a lot of contacts with whom I had nothing in common with, we had no common ground between us and our lives, our existences, were completely separated
The blogging side of things was no better either, my blog was only being read by the same folk, people who didn’t know me properly, people with whom I had little or nothing in common with, again it was unsatisfying. Also I found that as these services were designed to be both blogging and networking services the actual blogging side of things didn’t really suit me too well. Don’t get me wrong, both 360 and Multiply were good but they were, for me anyway, just too virtual and not relevant to my life.
I moved my blog to over here on WordPress, a dedicated blogging platform and found it much better and more suited to my purposes, as far as blogging is concerned anyway, but I was still missing the networking side of things, one that I could feel was relevant to me. Then I decided to give Facebook a try, the fact that Facebook is separate to my blog doesn’t bother me, in fact to a certain extent I like it this way, it means I have a certain amount of freedom between the two, I can post what I want from my blog to my Facebook page but stuff I’m not too fussed about having on Facebook I just don’t bother cross posting, if avid readers want to see it they only have to pop over to my blog to check if there’s something new that hasn’t been posted to Facebook, as if I have any avid readers
What I swiftly discovered about Facebook, apart from the fact that I actually quite like it, is that there are plenty of folk on it who I already know, yes I have luckily found a few of the good friends I made on those other services there on Facebook so I still have these good virtual friends as contacts, and I am making a few new virtual friends here on Facebook. I am though trying to keep it all relevant, I don’t want a friends list full of people who I don’t know and have absolutely nothing in common with, been there, done that, instead I’m mainly trying to fill my friends list with folk I do actually know, I will accept some people who I only know on Facebook but only if we have something in common, an interest, hobby or life experience.
But I have discovered much more than that. I found there are a lot of my workmates, my friends and family on as well, folk from my real life who have now become my contacts on Facebook. I love this, I can chat or make comments to folk on Facebook who I really know and really know me, I can keep in contact online with family and friends
I find Facebook far more relevant to my life and me, it means more in the context of my real life, its more personal, it also means that the folk I really know on Facebook, my work mates, friends and family are far more likely to pop over here to my blog and have a little read, meaning of course that my blog is also being read much more by people I really know now, I like this as well
My real life and my virtual life are now much more in synch, they do still exist separately but they also co-exist together, they are linked in a real way like they never have been before, I do still have some friends, some of them very good ones, who are purely online virtual friends, but I also have plenty of friends online who are friends in the flesh as well.
My internet life has indeed become much more personal now and my life in the real world now has much more of a link with my internet existence and its mainly due to Facebook, thanks Facebook