Every word of this is true.

My sister-in-law came to stay at the weekend. On Saturday night over a very pleasant dinner we had a lively discussion about social media. She’s just joined Facebook and has, after some consideration, been accepted as a ‘friend’ by one of her three adult children … so far — the other two, 18 & 20, are still thinking about it! (As they are, ahem, entitled to do, of course.)

This led to a discussion about some of the issues around Facebook ‘privacy’; WHO you could/should count as your ‘friends’ on Facebook (i.e. what your criteria should be); and why some people seem to want to be everyone’s friend — thus ‘cheapening’ (in my view) the whole ‘friend’ thing.

Some people even seek Facebook ‘friend’ status with their business competitors or critics for reasons that make me feel bemused but queasy. (In my view the stigma isn’t worth it.)

Then, at dessert our guest presented fortune cookies. This was mine (I’m not kidding):

Confucius on Facebook? (image: my fortune cookie)

Confucius on Facebook? (image: my fortune cookie)

Confucius said, “Make faithfulness and truth your masters: have no friends unlike yourself, be not ashamed to mend your faults.”

How cool is that? What GREAT timeless advice we can apply to social media.

(Of course there are layers to these things — I value eclecticism and contrary points of view, impassioned arguments etc — but let’s not go too ‘deep’ on this — it’s a fortune cookie, after all!)