The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Facebook Is Wonderful …
August 13, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

Over the years – despite being a massive user of it – I’ve heaped a bunch of shit on Facebook.

I think the commercial value of their ‘likes’ is massively overrated. I am fed up that they keep changing their privacy settings. I am over being served ad after ad after ad.

And yet, despite all this, I log into it copious amounts of times, each single day.

There are – without doubt – some obvious reasons for this.

I’m a nosy bastard, so like seeing what my friends are up to.

I’m a lazy bastard, so like using my friends knowledge to inform me what’s going on.

I’m a needy bastard, so feel good when people I haven’t seen or spoken to in decades, are prompted to remember me.

But recently, I was reminded just how brilliant Facebook actually is.

Many, many years ago, I knew a guy called David.

Even though I went to school with him, he was older than me by a couple of years, so I never really knew him … but many years later, we found ourselves working together as pot washers at the Nottingham Knight bar/restuarant in West Bridgford.

Whether it was the shitty job or just a meeting of minds, we struck a deep friendship quickly.

In the years I knew him, we managed to pack in a whole bunch of wonderfully stupid moments.

Though sadly – for David – they were pretty much all at his expense.

Without going into the detail that explains what the circumstances behind these stories were, here are some ‘headlines’ of those wonderfully stupid moments:


+ Setting his arm on fire with a can of Lynx. In a pub. Full of people.

+ Making spaghetti bolognaise by dipping pasta into a bottle of Heinz Tomato sauce.

+ Being arrested for owning sexual explicit material. Even though he’d only asked the policeman for directions.

+ Having a friend [errrrm, me] send his mother a letter that resulted in her finding his stash of porn mags under his bed.

+ Breaking his nose by chasing a mates car that suddenly stopped.

+ Jokingly shouting “help” in a park, only to be heard by a passer-by, who called the Police, who sent a helicopter to try and find the perpetrator.

… no, I’m not making any of them up.

Anyway, all this happened when I was in my teens so as our lives changed and evolved, we lost touch.

I’d always wondered what had happened to him and made some half-hearted attempts to find him – but nothing ever worked out and life just carried on.

Until a few weeks ago, when I got a ‘Facebook request’ from him.

I cannot tell you how happy this made me.

Genuinely, positively happy.

Seeing his big, gormless, Woody-Allen-meets-Slash face filled me with joy … and it reminded me how great Facebook actually is.

Sure, there are other sites out there that could have connected us up, but the fact is it was Facebook that did it. It’s almost like they’ve become the World’s biggest telephone directory … where everyone you’ve ever met can be rediscovered.

Unless they’ve gone ex-directory.

But the thing is, I’d forgotten that.

I know I shouldn’t have … but having used it for so long, Facebook role in my life had evolved into more about ‘managing’ my relationships rather than reawakening or activating them.

That’s my issue more than Facebook’s, though I do think they’ve missed an opportunity to remind us how wonderful it is to be connected, even if it’s only virtually. It’s as if they think society has moved past that stage and yet, deep down, it is a feeling that never leaves us and never stops appealing to us.

Sadly David has gone through some massive shit in the intervening years – shit that is beyond what anyone should face – but I can honestly say that Facebook has ensured he now has another mate who will be on his side to help, cheer and celebrate as he comes out the other side of the darkness.

So thanks Mark Zuckerberg, you may have founded your site for entirely different reasons, but you have proved technology doesn’t have to be purely about instant gratification, but can ignite the emotions we all need and desire as well.

If only more brands understood that, rather than treating it as either a cheap advertising platform or a sell-sell-sell tool.

30 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I’m glad you found your friend again Rob, but hear it from someone who knows, facebook is not wonderful, it’s not even great.

Comment by Bazza

You really enjoyed your 3 minutes working there didn’t you Baz.

Comment by DH

Let’s say I’ll never forget the experience.

Comment by Bazza

youre much fucjking more palatable when youre being a little bitch. emphasis on little. never grows old.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’re right Andy, you never grow old. Boom Tish.

Comment by Rob

You sound like Northern regarding Media Arts Lab. Which, now I come to think of it, is basically insulting you personally. Sort-of.

Comment by Rob

I heard that

Comment by Northern

I want to know what the letter was you sent his mum.

Comment by DH

I also want to know if he smashed your head in and if being weird is because of Nottingham or you.

Comment by DH

It’s a long story where I am entirely [well, entirelyish] innocent but I know none of you would see that, so I’ll just keep my trap shut and say it was a very long time ago.

Comment by Rob

I don’t know if I should laugh, cry or be sick. I’m confused.

Comment by Billy Whizz

More than normal?

Comment by Bazza

Fuck you midget man.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I agree with Bazza. He could have just googled you. Or searched for you on Twitter or any of the other apps via which you avoid work.

Comment by john

He used all those to make sure he avoided Campbell.

Comment by Billy Whizz

So what you’re saying is he didn’t really make too much effort to find me … so basically he just accidentally came across me. Well, thanks a lot … what a way to destroy all my positive feelings and happiness.

Comment by Rob

I prefer your usual view of Facebook to the one being expressed in this post, but I agree they (and Wieden?) have missed a trick not reminding people about the joy of reconnecting.

I’m certain that people generally fall into 2 camps. The ones who have already connected to all their friends and the ones who have connected to all the people they think they want to be connected to. But as you highlighted, all of us have other people out there and that initial interaction with someone who was once important is a treasured feeling that facebook makes easier to execute. (Unless you’re a millennial who prefers snapchat)

I hope your friendship with David carries on where it left off and that he overcomes everything he’s seemingly going through.

Comment by Pete

The good news for David is now he is back in touch with Rob, all his other problems will seem insignificant.

Comment by DH

That means David can look forward to more physical injury and/or possible incarceration.

Comment by john

you used to be an angry bastard now youre like cilla fucking black. get a fucking grip campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

Cilla Black? Hahahahahaha … that’s awesome.

Comment by Rob


Comment by andy@cynic

You started it.

Comment by Rob

I know I said how Facebook is wonderful, but we all know there are some ‘less than wonderful’ moments … of which their desire to force us to download their ‘messenger’ app is one of them.

Given this app opens the door to the sort of privacy issues that would make Julian Assange blush, here is a way to still be able to see your messages on your iDevices without having to actually download the app.

Cunning [for now] 1.
Zuckerberg: 0

Comment by Rob

zuck must be shitting his fucking pants.

Comment by andy@cynic

Facebook. For middle aged people who think they’re still young.

Comment by George

For no one.

Comment by DH

Dave wins. By a knockout.

Comment by Rob

Twitter, the world’s biggest echo chamber

Comment by Northern

Leave a Reply