Friday, April 24, 2009

I like it . . . or do I?

Cyberspace seems full of "My Top Five" lists. I refer mainly to those on Facebook. I quite frequently complete them, the most recent being "movies" "TV shows", "beer", etc. It all seems harmless enough and quite a fun thing to waste five or ten minutes on, deciding your favorite (if you didn't already know).

I'm not altogether sure whether I like FB or not. I do enjoy regaining contact with former school chums (that's a good old English phrase), former work colleagues or neighbors, but even though I comment on what I'm doing, just have done or about to do, does anyone really care? Possibly not, but I do think they are interested. Before the likes of FB, MySpace and blogging, many were I suspect, like me when opening a newspaper or magazine, interested in the opinions of other readers and enjoyed the "Letters to the Editor" page.

Whilst I love finding out what my FB friends are doing, I wonder why we don't disclose these thoughts more in person. I frequently email my daughter, who unfortunately lives 4000 miles away, and follow her "exploits" on FB, but there's nothing like chatting to her on the phone, even if much of the chat is of everyday things. Of course, it would be better still to chat to her face to face and give her a real hug rather than a virtual one.

Shortly after starting this blog, my son mentioned that he learned a lot about my earlier life from reading some of my postings - and he lives not 4,000 miles away, but only ten minutes! I wonder how much more I would have learned of my father's earlier life if blogs and FB were available when he was alive.

A personal journal? A lot of blogs are. Whether we agree with the views of members of FB and other social networking sites, forums or blogs, the fact that we take an interest in them must contribute to our realization that (a) we are not alone in our views or (b) not everyone thinks the same way as us. Respecting that is the key to a world of more understanding.

Those who have known me for many years would jump to agree that tolerance has never been my strong point. Tolerance is something I am working on and recognize as being one of the most important aspects of a happy life. Facebook and the like can, I hope, help achieve this.

Oh, and my favorite beers? In no particular order . . . .

Adnams Broadside
Yuengling Premium
Stella Artois
Woodforde's Wherry
Sam Adam's Summer Ale

Sadly Broadside (draught) and Wherry are unavailable here in NC . . . unless you know different!

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