There are many social networks out there and Facebook is one of those that I love to hate…. I am not sure if that is because of the endless stream of bad press or because of the ever changing layout. It doesn’t feel as smooth as many of the others. Nevertheless I have a page for my photography there, it is where I first gained confidence to share my images with my friends and family, one of the scariest things I have ever done.

I joined Facebook when I had my son, it was a quick way to keep in touch with my friends whilst being a new mother with not much time. I think it brings about a little laziness though, there isn’t much effort in scrolling through posts, it seems to take away some of the normal interactions. This may seem weird, but having all your favourite people in one place takes away the intimacy of friendships. One of the saddest things I think I have experienced, was whilst being away from Facebook for a week or so, I missed the engagement announcement of one of my friends. When I found out, and the congratulations had been given along with other lovely excited things, I asked how and when it had happened….. in reply ‘Didn’t you see it on Facebook, go and have a look at my profile’. In that moment, a glimmer of realisation. Reading a status update from someone hourly, daily, whatever, it feels like you are keeping in touch….. in reality you aren’t.

Since that day, I have made sure to phone, text and email those closest. Every once in a while I write a letter or a postcard, with an actual pen, by hand. It is funny how these traditional methods seem more personal, perhaps that is something to do with the time it takes, given that time is our most precious thing. All the methods of communication we have are developing in to time saving acts, and in the same way social media takes a lot of our time away, even more so due to our devices.

I am not anti-social media by any stretch, but I take great pleasure in spending time in conversation. An hour on the phone to my Nan is so precious and the most delightful way to spend that hour. My parents send my son letters and postcards, the excitement that spreads through the house when something arrives in the post is unmeasurable, the return is also a very special event: the neatest handwriting, the licking of the envelope, the placing of the stamp and the walk to the post office are all great parts of the ceremony. In our family we leave little notes for each other, pictures, silly phrases and sentiments. Holding something physical with the quirks of the human hand combined with the thought of creating something unique for one person, is artistry in itself.

As the last rushes of air leave a person and their soul is released for another adventure, I wonder how many last thoughts are of regrets of not posting more status updates.


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