The Good, Bad & Ugly of Facebook

Arley Gill

by Arley Gill

I know that I am living in the modern age and the cyber world. An age, it is, of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all the different social media.

One gets a sense that, you should get with the program or you will get left behind. I have a problem, though; me and Facebook have issues.

I have had a Facebook account for years now, but never bothered with it; that is, until a friend convinced me that Facebook is not that bad after all. I always told him I was not interested in Facebook.

So, in recent times, I have been checking out Facebook; and, to be honest, I have found it to be more interesting than I initially thought.

On Facebook I get good news items that I would have missed — interesting articles and other good learning materials. I am able to see all races by Grenadian track stars Kirani James and Bralon Taplin, and catch up on the latest music releases.

However, it is the Facebook quarrel, confusion and cursing I cannot take. I am certain that founder Mark Zuckerberg and his friends, years ago, did not envisage that they were creating a modem platform for “bacchanal’’; but, here it is.

I grew up in a rural community where neighbours used to quarrel with one another, exchanging words across hedges or fences, while remaining on the safety of their house yards. That use to be good entertainment, since there was no cable television with soap operas. The soap operas used to be live with village characters, unedited with all the raw cuts.

Sometimes, villagers would pass and “throw word’’ for someone who was standing by the roadside or for someone who was inside their house, simply minding his or her business. Now, over time, that kind of word-throwing and exchanges became less frequent. I guess, with better education opportunities, employment, migration, cable television and general modernization, people engaged each other more through social media channels.

However, old habits die hard; Facebook seems to be the replacement for the verbal person-to-person exchanges of long ago. On Facebook, you can find people quarreling, “throwing word’’, cursing one another, as if it was over the hedges as happened with older folks of years ago. I guess that’s what the cyber age means, everything gets modernized. So we quarrel in cyber space. Unbelievable!

Sometimes I ask my friends what is this issue I noticed they were discussing on Facebook. They will complain and question, how I get to know about that discussion because they never see me on Facebook. They then tell me how I’m only “peeping’’ and how I “macco’’ on Facebook. I tell them that could be true, because Super P, did an excellent job documenting that part of Grenadianism in song. I suppose, therefore, that I am taking that part of our culture into the cyber age.

So for now, I do not post on Facebook; nor like or dislike anything, or comment on timeline and so on. I simply observe what goes on.

I have no doubts that Facebook is a good thing. It’s just that like with the good you find there, you also meet the bad and the ugly as well.

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