Springingtiger's Blog

The Lure of Facebook


Oh it is nice to be back on social media, having finished putting the Glasgow Ubiquitous E Steampunk Society Newsletter together! I mentioned the other day just how addictive Twitter and Facebook can be. However they are fun. I still remember how when, after I was given my diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome, I was offered a contact to a social group for Aspies, my wife remarked, “It’s called Facebook!”. She wasn’t far off the mark.

It is strange how many good friends I have on Facebook I have never met and some I have, some I knew first from Facebook and met later. I suppose it is very probable that when you make friends on Facebook with people who share your interests, that sooner or later your paths will cross, certainly if you live in the same city. Much of my Facebook time is spent on special interest groups. I love how someone can share a post which leads me to visit a page where I see something amazing that provokes me to comment. The person who’s page it is replies to my comment and I respond and suddenly I find myself with a new friend and a new source of ideas and inspiration.

Talking of ideas and inspiration. Once I have looked at my notifications, perhaps spent some time on my time line, I like to go to my groups and see what has been added since I last looked. The political groups are very useful for keeping me abreast with various campaigns and sourcing information to pass on to other campaigners. The autism groups let me know what’s happening in the Autism Community, much of it I ignore because I’m bored with many of the debates, particularly around vaccines. At the moment I am spending quite a lot of time on Steampunk groups because they are such a source of ideas and other people’s experience which is a godsend to anyone involved in crafting and creating.

Facebook is a good source of material. The graphic on my Facebook Profile Header I got from Facebook. I hasten to add I am using it with permission. I generally find people are very generous with their work as long as I ask permission to use it and acknowledge their work. I was on a march the other day wearing Steampunk gear and several people took my photograph. It is nice when they ask first, not that I mind particularly when they don’t, but it is courteous. I notice that many professional photographers are very scrupulous about asking. It is even more important to get permission to use other people’s art work. The painting you share in a second may have taken the artist weeks. It is not so bad to share what they have themselves shared on Facebook, but to take a picture from their commercial catalogue and share it without permission or acknowledgement is tantamount to theft. Having said that, most creatives are delighted to have their work appreciated and are happy to have it seen widely. If you ask, they will usually let you. When you share someone else’s music or writing you may be giving away that on which they depend to put food on their table by selling. Again if you ask they may be happy to allow a representative extract to be shared with appropriate acknowledgement. I have said it before, and I will repeat, people on Facebook tend to be very generous as long as you treat them and their work with respect.

I have several ongoing conversations on Facebook Messenger. Often these are related to the groups in which I’m involved, for example one of them is a way the committee of a society can discuss matters relating to the group without putting them on the Group’s page. Another is a means of sharing news reports with a small group interested in a particular subject. Messenger is also a good way to keep in touch with family and friends, some conversations are better not put on an open page.

I am back after just a couple of days. I miss Facebook when I’m not using it, even if it were just a couple of days. However coming back and immediately getting involved in disputes with people whose relationship with reality is utterly illogical and uninformed reminds me why it is so good periodically to take a break from it.


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