By Irina Pino

Photo: elperiodico.com

HAVANA TIMES – A writer friend of mine used to post fragments of his books and stories on his Facebook page. He got a book published, as a result. He always told me that I should make my own page.

In the beginning, I only used Facebook to chat with my famity, then I started looking for people who had studied with me at high school and pre-university.

I benefitted from getting to know a writer and psychologist with whom I share my love for literature, music and other things, with. It’s been over two years now, that we’ve been filling each other in. He’s an excellent person, and has even helped me out of more than tough spot. 

Things I like

The positive thing about Facebook is that you can find out what is going on in people’s everyday lives. Likewise, we can reconnect with somebody from our past, or meet new people.

El Vedado de siempre (The same old Vedado) is a group with stories and anecdotes about buildings in this neighborhood. It’s a tribute for people who were born there.

I joined a group about European film, because I’m a moviehead and I follow new releases, their directors and actors. I’m also in rock music and art groups.

One of the most active groups is about animal protection. It speaks about inhumane practices animals are subjected to, those destined for slaughter as part of the meat industry. It is useful for advocating for an Animal Protection Act in Cuba, and it includes solidarity events and possible adoptions.

Author and animal rights activist Veronica Vega created Benditos los que escriben (Blessed are those who write). I especially like this group because it encourages me to research global literary figures.

I have published poems and articles about Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Bradbury, Chinese poetry, Mary Shelley. Also, about writers who committed suicide: Virginia Woolf, Anne Sexton, Angel Escobar and Raul Hernandez Novas. As well as texts I’ve written myself.

Nevertheless, it’s not so satisfying, as people in the group don’t even take the trouble to comment, they just give a like at most. So, I think it’s not really worth it, if there isn’t any feedback.

For those people who are more daring, Facebook is the perfect platform to denounce and protest against social injustice, via messages, photos and videos.

Things I loathe

The most common foolishness includes banality, ego-boosting, showing off physical attributes.

There are plenty of stupid videos, chain messages, religious prayers, that apparently come true when you send them to a large number of friends. Chains that only get in the way of communication.

Other times, people abuse emojis, and other figures, instead of giving an intelligent response.

Fake News, which we also call Bulos, is also very dangerous. The thing is that this kind of news gains followers without any credible source, and the controversy begins until it ends up becoming one giant snowball.

When we spend so many hours on Facebook, it becomes an addiction. Signing in becomes a part of your everyday ritual.

Read more posts by Irina Pino here.


Irina Pino

Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.

4 thoughts on “What I Like and Loathe about Facebook

  • ……and I Irina respect your writings !

  • Thanks, I apreciate your coments.

  • Anything that increases the flow of information for Cubans from the outside world should be welcomed. Fake news has been continuously distributed by Granma, CubaDebate, Mesa Redondo and other arms of the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of Cuba for sixty years.

    Facebook allows young Cubans the open exchange of opinions. Reading them as I do, is instructional, for it discloses the depth of misinformation to which they have been subjected throughout their school years. But that increases their thirst for the truth as they exchange views and opinions. That in turn has removed the Castro promotion of the blind leading the blind – the blinkers are being removed!

    If only the US would lift the embargo, to allow those young minds to comprehend that the multitude of problems they suffer daily, are a consequence of the Castro Stalinist interpretation of communism, not the embargo.

  • Hi Irina, I do not follow you on Facebook but I alwys enjoy your writings here in Havana Times. Keep up the very good work, Hi from The Republic of Ireland.

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