Do you ever ask yourself: “What’s the blooming point?”
Don’t worry, I’m not getting all philosophical on you – I’m not going to start rumbling on about the meaning of life. That’s a bit deep for a Monday morning.
But do you ever ask it about some new gadget or technology?
“What’s the point of that?” I know I ask myself it about some of the latest gadgets.
And sometimes, I really can’t come up with a good answer beyond “It’s a clever bit of technology and it’s fun to show to other people”. Not really a great answer.
But it’s not always like that – and Facebook is one example.
It’s popular, you probably know. And so I often get people ask me “But Tim, what’s the point of Facebook” (I know, getting asked questions like that is maybe a sign I’m not going to the right dinner parties.)
Usually the people asking have friends or relatives tell them they should start using it – but they don’t see why.
At first, I was a bit sceptical of Facebook. And it doesn’t help when you hear people saying they have umpteen million “friends” on Facebook – and of course, they’ve never met most of them.
So that’s one way some people do use it – to “meet” new people and get as big a collection of “friends” as possible.
It’s not what I’d recommend and when it comes to a collection of friends I’d definitely say size isn’t what matters. But some people like to do that.
But there are other ways you can use it.
Some people use it to stay in touch with friends they see all the time – you can use the messaging feature in it to quickly (and without paying anything) send messages to other individuals or several people at once. Handy if you’re organising to meet up later on.
And because often people have Facebook friends who are local and they’ll have friends who are local and so on, it can be a good way to get word out in a particular area. Just recently I’ve seen it used to try to track down a lost cat – and within a day or so hundreds or thousands of people in the area knew about the lost cat and were keeping an eye out.
But even that’s not the main point of Facebook as far as I’m concerned.
I think it’s best for keeping in touch with people who you don’t see all the time. Friends and family who don’t live just across the road. Maybe even in another country.
For example my family’s quite spread out – my Mum and Dad are down in Plymouth, my brother is currently in Saudi Arabia, my sister in Australia…
So it’s really handy to have a good way for all of us to keep up to date. We can jot a quick note on Facebook to say what we’ve been up to or any news – and anyone we’re friends with can see it.
Or if the boys are proud of something or want to show something off, I can take a photo and put it on Facebook – and minutes later my Mum and Dad might see it – just moments after I took it. That’s particularly easy if you have a smartphone or tablet but you can do it with a PC or laptop and a camera, too.
Taking video and sharing it is no harder, which can be really great. When Edward first started speaking, I was able to get him to repeat them, video it and share it with my family – just like that.
It’s not always the big significant things, either. Just being able to see what my sister’s been up to day to day helps us feel like we’re not thousands of miles apart, even though we are.
So that’s what the point is, as far as I’m concerned. And next time you hear about people having thousands of friends, well, as far as I’m concerned, they’ve missed the point. But it’s up to them!