Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hooray for Facebook!

After about a year of ignoring invitations from friends to 'join Facebook' and people asking me aghast: "You're NOT on Facebook?!!" ... I decided to sign up about a week or so ago. Just to see why everyone was so obsessed with and addicted to it.

I couldn't understand it. My first impression was: "What?! This should be Maco-book, not Facebook!!" (See description of maco in this Trini online dictionary).

At first I wondered (and still wonder) why people would want to be pelting sheep at each other, having food-fights or killing and zapping each other. I also thought: "If someone really wants to be in touch with me they will e-mail me. Why do they need Facebook?" A friend of mine who is on it (who isn't?) and was trying to convince me of its merit said: "But here on Facebook everyone is right there! You don't have to remember them! They're right there!"

My point exactly, I told him. I prefer to know that someone remembered me because they remembered me naturally. Not because they saw me on Facebook. And if they want to be in touch, it wouldn't be via a quick 'poke' or short 'message', but through an e-mail or handwritten letter sent because they genuinely thought about me and wanted to be in touch naturally. But ... maybe that's an old fashioned way of thinking now. Like my incredulous ex-schoolmate told me when I went to fix my old cellular phone: "Get with it, Elspeth! Move with the times!" Maybe people aren't into long e-mails or, worse yet, snail mail letters ... things I still love to do and receive.

Anyway ... Etc etc etc etc etc.

"So, this is Facebook ..." I thought in initial bewilderment, fumbling around, adding and deleting applications and trying to figure out what was what.

I was going to delete the account after two days, but people were appearing out of the woodwork with friend requests and I decided to give it a chance, thinking that it must be useful in some way. A week passed ... and one day I thought: "Who can I look up on Facebook?"

After a bit of thinking, my friend H from South Africa popped into my mind. We were Newhall girls who had lived together in Beaufort House when we were postgrads at Cambridge. We had become great friends and ended our time together by traveling to Paris ("our nemesis") on an adventure, just a while before I reluctantly returned to TT.

It was H who taught me the only phrases I know in Afrikaans: I want a cigarette (in those days I smoked), I want a beer (in those days I drank), I am looking at TV (I didn't look at TV, but the phrase was easy to remember), I am looking at the girl (also easy to remember).

After a while we lost touch. A few years ago we somehow found each other again, then lost touch again.

Anyway, back to Facebook. I typed in her name ... and there she was!!! Her hair is cropped short and sandy, she has aged beautifully and still looks just like good old H! The best of all is that when I contacted her, she wrote me back immediately and told me that she had just found "H" (I'll call her H2 ... another friend who lived across the field from us and was from Zambia) ... and that H2 is coming to visit her in Capetown for December! That is fantastic. For years I wondered where H2 was ... to the extent that I even wondered if she was still alive. No-one seemed to know here whereabouts. Not even New Hall, whenever I wrote to Administration to inquire. She always appeared as "missing" in their updates and the magazines we get every quarter. Even Facebook didn't have her when I checked.

But ... to cut a long story short ... it's fantabulous to know that she is alive and well ... and that we are all in touch again, thanks to that which I had avoided for so long ... Facebook!



Blogger Frances-Anne said...


4:05 PM  
Anonymous Kikipotamus said...

Anything that makes YOU use the word fantabulous has to be a good thing. How 'bout I add you as a friend on Facebook AND send you a real letter on real paper?

7:42 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

That sounds good!

6:50 AM  

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