A decade of social network.

Happy Birthday!

Dear Facebook, you just turned 10.

You have come long way from a Harvard dorm room to modern, spacey office in Palo Alto.

The stats say that 1 out of 6 people worldwide are your users. Wow, you have lots of friends, don’t you?

Many more happy and friendly years to you!

And now back to serious writing.

I started using Facebook in 2008. Facebook had its “wall” but world still had to wait for the ubiquitous “like” button and busy News Feed, which was introduced in 2009.

I remember initially I had love-hate relationship with this new social network. In Poland we had already a site that connected old and new schoolmates called “Our School Class”. It was enough for me. Why should I share sensitive data in two places? However, little by little Facebook started seeping more and more into real social life around me not only the online reality. Jokes were passed online and commented in real life. Secrets were spilled on walls and private conversations. Pictures were uploaded and statuses took a crafty edge. Thanks to News Feed, birthday calendar, invites etc you could be in the center of the social life not really being a part of it on a day to day, real basis. All you needed to do was turn on the computer, log in and start down the highway of Facebook.

I gave up in about 2010. I shut down my account at “Our School Class” and devoted my time and privacy totally to Facebook.

Was I right to do that was tested when two and a half years ago I was given the opportunity to work full time as a Social Media expert.

And that is how I know look at Facebook. It’s my working space. My virtual office.

To sum up, Facebook not only gave us a considerable breach on privacy, made us overshare and upload to much information, made cyber bullies life easier. It also helped spread the awareness of global problems, helped people communicate, share their feelings and thoughts, boosted the blogosphere and created new jobs and professions.

After Facebook many similar social platforms followed.

But I think I will always have a soft spot for the blue channel and thumbs up. It seems like something more than a page now.

It feels like home.

Daily Prompt: It’s a Text, Text, Text, Text World

How do you communicate differently online than in person, if at all? How do you communicate emotion and intent in a purely written medium?

Communication online and in person certainly differs from each other. A variety of factors are decisive in these two separate situations. First of all when communicating in person I can use more aspects to appeal and convey emotions to my interlocutor. I can use my hands to gesticulate (I do it quite often), I can hold the other person captive with my eyes, making him/her listen to me intently and not look around absentmindedly. I can immediately read my interlocutors stance and pose so I know if I’m boring or intriguing him/her.

When writing I have more time to think about the words I want to use, about sentence construction, cohesion and coherence of my utterance. In live dialogue you have microseconds to formulate a thought and air it. It is more instinctive, maybe not as refined as writing but still the rawest and purest you the other person can receive.

As for the other question I have to say that written communication when comes to conveying emotion and intent is lacking something. In person to person communication, as I’ve written above, you can use your whole body to send the message, to reinforce it, to give it an emotional impact. When writing you have to rely on your vocabulary skills. You have to write in such a way that the intricate lines of words captivate your readers, allow them to imagine the scenes and emotions. You have to be convincing.

I try to pour my thoughts on a paper in a way that will allow my readers to feel the emotions that build up in me. To feel and understand them even though they cannot see me. If I succeed, if at least one person feels moved, inspired or interested in my writings, well then I can call it a good day. And immediately sit down to scribble another piece that will hopefully capture your attention.