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        • Practcally Cretan
        • ★★★★★★
        Member since: 1st January 2005

        I have been intrigued recently when talking about the use of Facebook how it creates polarised discussion. I know it is an old chestnut but it seems we continue to either love it or hate it. Already media reports in late 2013 in UK showed that "kids" no longer considered FB "cool". In both the US and UK research indicates that almost half of all those 65+ don’t engage with FB.

        As an older person, FB to me is becoming so complex. The ever changing rules are creating more and more options related to who can see what. All in the name of personal security. In fact several friends have urged me not to post comments on the recent goings on in Paris, no matter how strong the urge is to do so. They are not sure how "safe" FB is anyway from determined prying eyes.

        It seems younger age groups are already moving away from FB or never been to FB. For those, there is even a differentiation between the young teens and their favourite sites (Snapchat) compared to the older teens who access different sites (Instagram, Whatsapp) and then the 20 somethings into other sites again (Linkedin, Pinterest, Foursquare). Twitter is wildly popular among all age groups. None of these sites with simple uncomplicated quick messages can match FB’s functionality.

        UK research shows it boils down to this in social site usage: Snapchat is used to communicate with close friends: WhatsApp with acquaintances and Twitter to broadcast messages to anyone who chooses to ‘follow’ the sender of a message.

        In other research conducted by Dr Cara Booker at the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, followed the lifestyles and emotional wellbeing of around 5000 young people aged 10-15 who are regularly interviewed alongside their families as part of the Understanding Society survey.

        Dr Booker said:

        “More than half of UK youngsters are using social media for at least an hour a day – and it seems a little can be a good thing and our study shows this interaction can help happiness levels – but when they overdo it then the risks of depression and other emotional difficulties increase dramatically.

        We can see the same problems with those young people who are spending lots of time playing computer games or watching television. The best way to keep a healthy mind and body is get active – our study found that young people who played sport or exercised had the highest happiness and well-being levels of all.

        This research should be very useful to policy makers looking at increasing the nation’s health and to parents and young people who want to make the right choices now for the sake of both their mental and physical health in the future.”


        Another study in UK showed that teenagers ‘return’ to the FB website at the urging of their parents in order to keep in touch with them (and siblings) as they go to university or move away from home.

        Other Research has thrown up interesting observations on FB:

        – Facebook users are more trusting than others
        – Facebook users have more close relationships
        – Internet users get more support from their social ties but Facebook users get even more
        – Facebook users are much more politically engaged than most people
        – Facebook revives “dormant” relationships

        Perhaps less research is being carried out on the older age groups but I found on the Saga website this interesting snippet regarding OAPs:

        Be a Facebooker

        "Looking for a quick brain boost? It could be time to sign up to Facebook. Early US research suggests that 65+ Facebook users could see an improvement in cognitive function. Just make sure you get to grips with the privacy settings to keep your profile secure."


        I still get the impression that FB, let alone the Internet are yet to be a must have option in the homes of a number of Luddite expats on Crete.

        Which side of the fence do you fall? Use or don’t use Facebook?


        Compare hotel prices and find the best deal -

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            • Practcally Cretan
            • ★★★★★★
            Member since: 8th March 2014

            I was dragged in, kicking and screaming, when we emigrated because our siblings and children use it to keep in touch. I don’t look at it every day but, when I do look, it can waste up to an hour of my day as I desperately skim down screens full of inane drivel with "share this ‘truth’ about Moslems" (which is actually untrue) or "like this cute little cat", in the hope of discovering something interesting or useful.

            I find Skype a lot more useful and a lot less intrusive. I can limit my communication to close friends and family, without having a friend of a friend chipping in.

            Facebook is also scary in that anything you post is there forever. Over the years you will unwittingly expose your address, phone number, date of birth, political leanings, photos, etc. YOU might not be able to find and correlate those details but others can, and they could use them against you.

            Just call me paranoid. :-X

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