Facebook is an incredibly complex and popular piece of internet, and I have always found most of it to be complete drivel. I suppose many of its users spend their lives making “friends” and “liking” this or that. My Bishop has been using Facebook in a light-hearted way as a part of his ministry, and this has brought me to reconsider some of my former prejudices. Like anything, Facebook can be used in different ways.
One thing I do like about Facebook is the possibility of finding old contacts. I have recently “befriended” two old boys from my school in York, whom I met at about the time when a computer looked like an office block and a cathode ray oscilloscope!
Over the years, I got overtaken by the number of “friends”, and one has always to be on the lookout for spam, scams and computer viruses. There are some nasty people out there, and one needs to be discerning about whose “friendship” one accepts by clicking of the “accept” button. All that friends do is to give an increasingly complex and comprehensive “timeline” page, most of it trivia and drivel.
I find that some of the Facebook groups can be good and more “modern” than the Yahoo e-mail group. I have recently set up two of these groups, the dinghy cruising group I mentioned yesterday to mount a project of a gathering in Lower Normandy. Today, I bring up the group I set up on the Use of Sarum. It is based on my old Yahoo Use of Sarum group, which still exists for the sake of its archives and those who might feel motivated to revive the volume of traffic. The blog, the Yahoo group and Facebook are three different things. The blogger writes his pieces, and gets comments if the material is of interest. The Yahoo group is largely e-mail based and can involve quite profound discussions. The Facebook group, more graphic, involves short messages and the “turnover” is much faster. It helps to get people together, or can do.
My Use of Sarum group is open to all comers and people can “join” it if they wish. We are currently 49 members, a third of my old Yahoo group membership. The essential thing is that we have good discussions and share resources, especially any and all attempts to revive the practical use of this liturgical tradition within the Latin Rite.