Despite having written about it at the time, I’d wholly forgotten that I joined Facebook in June 2007.

I would still be in the dark had I not logged in1 last week, to discover that several people had Liked a photo I was tagged in. Said photo was one I’d uploaded, from my 40th birthday party. I’m guessing that Emma had chosen to reshare because it’s close to her ten-year anniversary, she was in it as well and I must have tagged her at the time.

Which was quite lovely, really. That’s when I like Facebook, the sense of bringing people together with a common memory, instead of just filling the Internet with the minutiae of our lives, and then complaining that Facebook knows too much about us.

It was also uncharacteristically sentimental of her. Worried now.

That’s when I dislike Facebook; those times when it selects a photo from this day in the past to remind you of it, presumably hoping that you will then share it with more people that you did originally so that it can track their activity better as well. Cynic? Moi?

“We care about your memories”, says Facebook, bringing up an image of you and your ex-wife that you’d done your best to forget, but you hadn’t checked every photo album and every upload, so… bof. A good reason to be careful about what you upload and who you tag, I guess.

Despite restricting myself to a few Likes and the occasional Sad (including yesterday, when my Hull-supporting fans were celebrating the Challenge Cup win over Leeds), and only posting five words since 1 January, I still can’t properly escape Facebook. I’ve agreed to take part in a project which involves some on-line collaboration… via a Facebook Group. Thinking about the alternatives, there isn’t really one – possibly LinkedIn, as I would assume by the nature of the project that all involved are on LinkedIn for professional reasons. Certainly not WhatsApp or similar, which are for messaging, or going down the tortuous route of a platform none of us are signed up for.

Of course, in those prehistoric times before Facebook and LinkedIn we’d just go down the pub. Happy days!

  1. Or is it logged on? I’m never sure. []