Monday, 31 August 2009


Over at kwa Wambui, I was reading a post she has on Kenyans and Facebook. nteresting.

I felt like the oldest person on Facebook when I signed up in the fall of 2005. At least that's what it seemed like back then. The dude who introduced me to the site was 23 (I was 27) and everyone else seemed to either be an undergraduate student, or graduated from college the previous year. That was then. Not any more.People older than my parents are on there. Even organizations as big as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, just to mention one.

It's nice reconnecting on facebook with people you haven't met in the 10+ years since seco, get to know who married who, has kids (the wildest gal in our class is a mother and no one seems to believe it), who switched religions,etc. And meet new ones. I once met a a jamaa that I had an immense crush on through a conference that I only knew about because of facebook. (And dated another one that I met on I weird or what?)

One of the biggest inhibitions I find when using Facebook is that I use my real-life names and pictures, so it's not like I can blurt out something like "I want my boss's job!". That may not be professionally savvy especially since some of my collegues, local and regional, are also my facebook friends. I remember posting an update about (possibly, back then) losing my religion and getting feedback from some unexpected corners. I wish I could choose who sees my status updates!

But here are some of my 'rules' on facebook:

1. I'm probably never putting my relationship status on there. I started with 'It's complicated' (and it was in real life, then) and stuck to it for a year or so. In real life things may be getting less complicated now. But still, were I to update my relationship status every time it changed in the past 4 years, I could have been 'in a relationhip', 'single' and 'it's complicated' for---never mind how many times. I don't want to have to explain each time.

2. I try to not live on face-book, though it's tempting enough. I feel like there are people out there who do. Like: I'm now feeding my cat, I'm riding my bike, I'm making chapati, I'm in a matatu, just killed a mosquito with my bare hands, going to see grandmother, going to take a shower. You get the feeling their virtual lives are more interesting than their real lives- do I make sense? But well, there are pictures to prove that's not the case...still, I don't want my whole life on facebook!

3. I try to not bring my 'issues' on facebook. With some friends, you know they are having baby-daddy drama by what they post kila siku. Man-hating,the philosophical statements, the works.

4. I try to project a positive and balanced view and attitude. Fake, it may be, but well, it's like interacting with real people. You don't want to have a long face when interacting with your friends in real life simply because you're having a bad day either. Again, there are people who party on facebook all the time or go to church all the time. You can almost 'know' someone from what their status updates.I know I've formed opinions on people based on them.

5. I've never been facebook friends with people I've dated, my siblings or half-siblings. Not even sure the last two categories are on there. I don't think I'd be with my parents if they were technologically savvy either-they are sooo not.

6. I don't want to get automated emails each time a friend updates their status or changes their relationship status. That clogs my inbox which I can hardly keepo up with. Neither do I want my friends receiving such emails. Or notifications.

7. I delete wall posts and comments on my profile that I don't like-because I like having a wall and want people to comment but don't want people bringing issues that I have decidedly left out of my profile.

Do you have facebook rules?

I got this link from Wambui's comment section: Here's to managing your online life once your're dead. From there, went on to realize why your facebook relationship status is complicated. Oh, and try using facebook in Kiswahili, as Cee asked on my previous post. Utapenda. Not sure why 'Grad School' remains 'Grad School' in the Kiswahili language setting. I suggest 'Chuo Kikuu Zaidi'.


Ssembonge said...

You can control who see's what on your profile, including the status updates. But first you have to categorize your 'friends'.

I've got high school, work and stranger friends categories. Strangers can't see my family stuff and co-workers can't see my social stuff.

Through facebook I have reconnected with old friends. This past weekend I met up with someone I have seen since 1991.

Cee said...

Ati Chuo kikuu, u have made my night...I had never thought of it. I def understand what you mean with Facebook rules, I use it to keep intouch with friends and relatives but I don't think all of them need to know every tiny little detail about my life and my days...I rarely update my status update (I only do it when I need to toa steam about something about our politicians they force me to react)

The best thing about FB is you can control who sees what and also what you see. All those pals who update their status every 2mins, are all hidden from my news feed...How could we forget the people with over 1000 pals....aiii, si they just open a fan page....

Mrembo said...

The philosophical(sp) statements get on my last nerve. Hate them

gina said...

I do a lot on FB, I am friends with my children, my sisters (in Kiswahili, they do list kaka, dada, watoto), other family, and my church members. We do a lot of keeping up with each other on FB. I have made a couple of friends from Kenya for the sake of helping to learn the Lugha. I don't say when I am going to bathe, but I do put a lot out there. We have some very interesting conversations on FB.