This may be a little confusing to all the lovely American’s reading this page, so I’ll try and explain why I’ve posted it.
The above link should take you to a piece in The Guardian newspaper about a UK kids tv show that ran in the seventies and eighties.
Grange Hill was children s programme that started in the late seventies in the UK. Back then we only had three channels on TV (and there was always something good to watch, unlike now when we have three hundred!.) Programmes tended to be watched by everyone at once, so they would often be the topic of conversation the very next day, on a much larger scale than they are now (even X Factor.)
Grange Hill told the story of a group of kids starting what would be the equivalent of High School, and the problems they had to overcome being teenagers.
It wasn’t sweet, or false, it covered issues that kids, especially working class kids like me, really had to overcome every day of the week and because of this realism, it became a phenomenon, to such an extent you’d be hard-pressed to find a Brit of a certain age who didn’t love it.
One of the big stars of the show was a guy called Terry Sue Patt (he is the black kid in the photo) who played a character called Benny Green.
Terry Sue Patt sadly died a few months back, and wasn’t discovered for a few weeks. His fame had been fleeting and since leaving the show he had dabbled in art, music, and a few other things but he had never reached the heights he had once held.
Such was the impact of the show on British culture he was still famous, but not with the money that modern fame usually brings so his life had been modest, quiet and almost normal.
The reason I’ve posted the article (apart from it being a great bit of writing) is I wondered about a particular line in it, and I wanted to know what other people felt about it.
In the piece somebody mentions that Terry wasn’t lonely because he had a lot of Facebook friends. It started me thinking about Facebook, and how we use it today.
I’ve always felt that a real friendship is emotionally nourishing, seeing someone you love in the flesh or hearing their voice makes you feel good, whereas Facebook friendship is a different matter all together.
I spend a lot of my time on my own, it is the nature of what I do for a living, I write, I think, I write, I look out the window, I write… and so it goes on.
I often switch off my phone or ignore emails and sometimes it can be for days that I won’t speak to people. My job has cost me a couple relationships with some wonderful people, but I’m not complaining, I have a career I love, even though it means I am alone at the moment.
I may not have time for relationships, but I will however visit facebook through the day.
What I find though is that I don’t feel the same sense of nourishment from clicking “like” or typing a few lines of comment.
Facebook is like junk food, whereas real interaction is a hearty healthy meal for the soul.
Like junk food Facebook is great in small portions, but it shouldn’t make up too larger part of your diet. We need a human voice now and then… even me.
Take care everyone, and make sure you speak to someone you love today. xxx