Yes, there’s the funny cat videos and motivating sayings posted very widely. But mostly I love reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. I try to have fun, but also try to engage others in debate on issues that are important to me. I have some great mates who are always ready to challenge me on my political views. I love it! Twitter is totally different. I follow people I don’t know that generally have similar political views to mine.
What I really love about Facebook is this.
Last night I was engaged in a conversation about cost of living pressures with some friends on Facebook when this post appeared – “Facts??are you kidding? Do you read the press or watch any television or are in touch with any form of information other than your mates at “destroy the joint” please …, your smarter than that.”
I gave myself some time to let this sink in before responding. Before that, a bit about me…
I am an expat westie. I was conceived on the back-seat of an FJ Holden somewhere in Sydney’s western suburbs in the mid-60s. Mum was 16 years old, dad was 20. My dad was a blue-collar worker, mum worked various part-time jobs over the years, mostly cleaning houses. I didn’t really leave my small town on the outskirts of the metropolitan area until I was 27 years old (I had a brief adventure in Kirribilli when I was 21 but moved back home because I couldn’t afford to stay). When I did leave I ventured to Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
I started uni back in the late-80s, but dropped out after 18 months. I wanted to earn money. So I got job as an insurance clerk. The 80s were great! After working some years I ventured into IT, had a baby, travelled, got married and then decided to return to uni when my baby started school. I am the proud recipient of a BA (politics major) and LLB.
My interest in politics has grown only during my adult years. It was a taboo subject in our house when I was growing up. It just started arguments – very unpleasant ones! I’m pretty sure I voted informally, certainly disinterestedly, for the first few elections after turning 18. Thanks to Tony Packard, that all changed.
Who remembers Tony Packard? “Just up the Windsor Road from Baulkham Hills, and let me do it right for you!” was his catchphrase. I remember him because he was my first personal encounter with a “well known” political candidate. He came to the local train station to hand out his leaflets and ask for support, I met him as I was arriving for the 7.10am train to the city. (It was a long commute!) He was a member of the Liberal Party and he was campaigning for the Federal seat of Greenway in 1990. I knew enough about politics, even then, to know he had no chance of winning, so I voted for him! It seems I contributed to a swing to the Libs of 1.1% on a two-party preferred basis.
By the time I started uni again, I was pretty hooked on politics. In my first year at uni I won a prize for the best performance in a Political Science subject. I was a good student, completing both of my degrees with a distinction average. That was 2004.
Just over eight years later, I really enjoy my Facebook interactions. Both the frivolous and the serious. It has allowed me to reconnect with my Westie roots. I hope I haven’t lost touch with reality just because I don’t live there anymore. My Facebook friends have given my the motivation to enter the world of blogging. I hope my first post doesn’t deter you from reading my future posts!
By the way, this was my response to my friend on Facebook:-
“I do read the press, quite widely & watch tv, even struggle through the occasional commercial tv news programs so I can try and get a broad view. I listen to parliamentary question time or follow reports of goings on if I miss it. I read academic papers and sometimes even read legislation, nothing beats going to a primary source. I even read Andrew Bolt when I feel like really punishing myself, although I do draw the line at Piers Ackerman. I do confess I do not listen to 2GB! I read a variety of blogs of independent journalists and some others written by regular folk. I interact directly with politicians, journalists, tv presenters and others on twitter. I am not suggesting any of that makes me smart, but I don’t live my life with my head in sand.”
He said “Ditto”. I hope he continues to challenge me.