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Posted on August 18, 2011

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…. is to the young what rock and roll was to my generation – a powerful medium which unites and entertains a generation. It also alienates the oldies. In my day the oldies blamed rock and roll for corrupting youth with drugs and revolutionary ideas. Now it’s facebook that cops all the blame for providing the feeding ground for perverts, paedophiles and riots.

 Publishers are keen to get in on the act, encouraging authors to set up facebook pages and twitter their exclusive thoughts. So as a rock and roll chick raised on Dylan and the Stones I was not about to get excluded. Then I discovered that it is perhaps best to leave the young to enjoy their own networks. I am crap at it. I set up a twitter account and then couldn’t work out how to tweet. I set up a facebook page (with great difficulty), clicked on loads of people who I knew and might want to be my ‘friend’. They mercifully agreed. The next time I facebooked I found they all needed clicking to be accepted as ‘friends’ again. Confused I clicked, thinking this can’t be right. I then got an email from my daughter saying that I had gone onto HER facebook page because she had been using my computer and now all these ‘oldies’ had requests from her to be their ‘friend’ which was so EMBARASSING and I needed a lesson on how to log on.

 The trouble with facebook is that there are so many other more important things to do in the day that I never remember to check my ‘wall’. And then when I think of it, I can’t think of anything to say. Writing is my craft but when it comes to social media what on earth do you say? Bigging up my own work feels impolite. Bigging up my children feels even pushier. I could recommend films and plays but then who cares what I think when you can read the reviews of proper critics online. It took about a month to pluck up the courage to log on to facebook again. I found lots of messages saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATE!!!!!!! in July when my birthday is in November and couldn’t understand why. Then I looked at the top of the page and found that for some weird reason it said that my birthday is on the 23rd July 1990 which makes me very young and a liar. So as I said I am crap at it.

 But for my teenage daughters it is a miraculous life line. It means that they are connected to each other and to their extended family. This technology will define their future just as rock and roll has with mine. And it is an essential tool. My eldest daughter has set up a theatre company – ROAR THEATRE – and they recently staged A Midsummer Nights Dream inAbneyParkCemeteryinLondon, where the audience was paraded from scene to scene. They set up a facebook page and before the show opened, 900 people clicked to say they would be coming to see it. They could only accommodate 30 per night and the three week run sold out before they opened. The show was a triumph. The facebook generation is the future and it looks bright. 

 

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