Tuesday, January 08, 2013

What Did We Do Before Facebook?

I was trying to think the other day what life was like before Facebook?

I signed up for it in 2007.  Before that I had My Space and Bebo accounts that I rarely used but because I’m an author, I thought it might be useful to get on a social networking site to promote myself and my books.

Initially, I didn’t use my Facebook account at all.  I hadn’t bothered uploading a photograph so, I was still a silhouette, a bit like Peter Pan and his shadow!  Then one day, an author friend added me.  How she knew I was Lynette Rees the author, I haven’t a clue, as there are several Lynette Rees’s on Facebook.  But that prompted me to add a photograph.  Then other people added me and before long I had hundreds of Facebook friends.

I’ve used Facebook for all kinds of things, from promoting my books to joining and/or running groups to catching up with old school chums and reuniting with them in real life.

But what about before Facebook?  What did I do then?

I first bought a second hand computer, supposedly to help the kids with their homework, back in 1999.  Back then, the Internet was quite new to me.  I hardly knew of anyone in my hometown who was online, apart from the man I purchased the computer from.  My only experience of the Internet was a couple of  computers set up to log on the Net at my local college that only select students were allowed to use.   Back then it was the old dial up system too that took ages to launch you into cyberspace!

So, I was surprised when the man who sold me the computer told me it was ‘Internet Ready’.  I thought the Internet wouldn’t be for me.  But before long I had joined genealogy groups and websites which really helped me to trace my family tree and even put me in touch with living relatives.  I joined an online Yahoo group of over 1000 women writers who inspired me.  So much so that I started writing articles and got published on websites and in magazines.  In the group not only were there writers but editors and publishers too.  One man [okay it was mainly women but there were some men too!] was the former comedy editor of Playboy Magazine!  He was also the co-writer of the movie, Blue Streak!

I saw several writers achieve great success at that group, some even made the best seller list!  And for every achievement, no matter how great or small, we cheered one another on.

I even ran my own online e-zine with the help of other writers who wrote for me.  They lived all over the world.  It was called Positively Woman and it was a wonderful, positive experience.  My local newspaper, The Merthyr Express, printed an article about me and the e-zine and as a result, I met someone from California when she visited Merthyr.  She was an ex pat who visited her family every year and wanted to meet me.

I also got into blogging before I got on Facebook and began this blog in 2005!  So when people ask me what did I do before Facebook, I tell them plenty!!  I achieved a lot.  Facebook though is the thief of time if you let it be.  You have to use it wisely.

That’s why I am getting back into blogging to go back to the things I used to enjoy so much!

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