THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Starting to get hooked on Facebook

I was relieved to read in my latest issue of Wired magazine that “we are a society that is paranoid just because kids and adults happen to be in the same public place” BUT that “MySpace would love to have you – assuming you are not going to pose as a teenager.”

Point taken – and I never even wanted to look at MySpace.

But I read that 9% of MySpace users are over age 55, compared to 14% who are under 18 – so it’s not just the preserve of the multi-tasking 14-year old girl who can simultaneously watch ANTM, update her MySpace page, paint her toe-nails and chat to her friends on her phone (whilst adding hair extensions).

There is room (if not space) for us two-finger typists with glasses and the need for frequent pee breaks.

So I’m feeling a little more relaxed about my gradually increasing fascination with Facebook, the time I am spending updating my profile and contents – and the rather embarrasing glee with which I returned from a meeting in Event Square, Falmouth yesterday, excited at the prospect of seeing the first live photograph I had posted using my mobile phone.

Sad old bugger?

The reality is that I’m not terribly sure why I am doing this:

  1. searching for old friends? Unlikely – I’m very reclusive when not working (it’s a sort of backlash from my life as a semi-professional public speaker). I did run an enquiry on my old high school and didn’t find anybody within 20 years of my age or remotely close to my ethnic group;

  2. building a shrine to myself? Possibly – I think all writers, no matter how amateur, are searching for a means to leave a legacy;

  3. Just facinated by and playing with the technology? Another possibility – especially because my age, eyesight and manual dexterity make any form of computer game a fruitless and frustrating waste of time.

Whatever it is, Facebook has me semi-hooked, especially if it starts raining – and I suspect I’ll soon be loading even more old photographs, streaming video of my pulling faces at the webcam, searching for new tools and gizmos.

At least it’s stopping me from hanging out on street corners with other baby-boomers, looking for trouble.

Can you imagine?

Gangs of silver-haired, tooth-whitened oldies – standing around the town with portable digital radios tuned to Classic FM or Northern Soul – shouting across the street at teenagers “what are you looking at?”

Nope – it’s too cold for that.

Back to my computer screen – put the kettle on – let’s create a new album of my visit to a local garden centre….

Gripping stuff.

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