That brings me to another reason why we know less: social media is huge. Just because someone’s posted something somewhere, doesn’t mean other people are going to see it. People once arrived at my sister’s flat for a party she didn’t know about because she hadn’t read about it on Facebook. No-one had told her, and the party was at her house. This is one example of many I can think of when someone didn’t know about an event due to social media being used. And, to be honest, I’m guilty of relying too much on Facebook as much as the next person to share my news. Old fashioned phone-trees, letters, invitations and cards were much more onerous, but at least news got out there. At least a letter would be eventually returned if the address was wrong. And if people aren’t totally up to date on what’s going on in your life, fine. They may not care anyway. It’s just a mistake to assume that because you’ve put something online all of your friends are going to read it.
I’m not going to break up with Facebook. A big part of that is because I’m scared of what I’ll miss out on finding out if I do. People just don’t send personal messages anymore. Had I not been on Facebook, I wouldn’t have found out about the births of four friends’ babies in the past month, as none of them got in touch with me in any other way to let me know. I wouldn’t have found out my friend had died, albeit seven months too late. But, I’m going to be better at sending proper, personal messages. Because, after all, without doing that, how can I find out what’s really going on with my friends I don’t see often? And, this week, I’ve learned the hard way how bad it can feel to know you’ve left that too late.
Lauren is a Wellington mother of two. She blogs at Modern Mothercraft, where she applies a 1945 handbook on motherhood to parenting in the modern day, as well as writing about other topical issues.