Norwegians really really like Facebook. I’m personally the sort of person who uses Facebook to communicate with friends, read good articles, watch hilarious cat videos, and occasionally look up people that went to my high school. In other words, I tend to use it as a fun way to stay in touch with people and as a source of procrastination. I see email in a completely different light. It is a way for businesses bug me with promotions, a way for work related things to get done, a way for extracurricular things to get done, and a way for people bug me about things that require an in depth or thoughtful response.
Norwegians see Facebook and email slightly differently. Facebook is seen as THE way to get in touch with people. It’s not uncommon for a business to have a Facebook page instead of a website or for people to use a Facebook group to coordinate instead of say email or Google Groups. Since coming to Norway, the number of pages that I’m following and the number of Facebook groups that I’m apart of has exploded. In terms of Facebook groups alone, I’ve joined or been invited to:
- The best Norwegian course!!
- Moholt Student Village Activities
- Nordlysvarsel for Trondheim (Northern Lights group)
- Fulbrighters on Top of the World!
- TEDx Trondheim Community
- Hyttevaktgruppa høst 14 | Studenterhytta (Information on the NTNU Student Cabin)
- Students’ market Trondheim
- NTNUI seiling
- Sailing group autumn ’14
Yup, that’s a lot. Or at least I consider it a lot. Reminder: that doesn’t even include Facebook pages.
As for email, the only emails I’ve received in Norway have been from other teachers and from students; in short, only work related emails.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think that Facebook can be a great resource. I just like to keep my personal life and procrastination separate from my extracurricular activities and other miscellaneous things. I’d much rather have my inbox explode than get tons of notifications from Facebook (largely because I can leave something sitting in my inbox as a reminder whereas I’m more likely to see a notification and then promptly forget about it). The lazy part of me also acknowledges that it’s much harder to try and run a Norwegian Facebook page through Google Translate than it is to do that for an email or a website.
Something else that has surprised me about Facebook in Norway has been posts like the one below:
Having been told time and time again to be careful with what is posted on Facebook, I find it hilarious to see such unapologetic posts in Norway. And yes, weed is illegal here.
In conclusion: having recently graduated from college, I was hoping to decrease my Facebook usage and instead have had Norway drag me back into it half heartedly kicking and screaming.