The View
from Here:

    Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline and is the editor-in-chief of Harbour Magazine for Saint Barth and Saint Martin. When she's not organizing the St. Barth Film Festival, or writing for various magazines including Live Design, MACO, and All At Sea, she turns her all-seeing eye upon local happenings.

    June'09

Do You Show Your Face?

Dear Readers, how can it be almost the end of June already? Last I looked it was only May! But I must admit I have been so busy on Facebook, I didn’t notice the month fly by. And it is actually very surprising to see how many people and places in St Barth are lurking on this social networking site. You can visit Chez Ginette, the local bar in Anse des Cayes that prides itself on its numerous flavors of homemade rum punch. There is also a page for the UMP, the political party that the presidents belong to—as in Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Bruno Magras of Saint Barth. A few other Facebook groups are more personal such as one for dating and one for kids… or the one for St Barth Attitude, which seems to be a line of clothing. There’s also a nature group called something along the lines of Preserving The Real Saint Barth (flora, fauna, architecture, stone walls…), and that group alone has 480 members. Another one along the same lines was formed to protect the salt ponds in Grand Cul de Sac and currently has 276 members, including Benoit Chauvin, the voice of the opposition (and often of reason) on Saint Barth’s Territorial Council, which governs the island. I have been meaning to start a group for the St Barth Film Festival, while other folks, such as Virginie Mantello, manager of La Plage restaurant in Saint Barth, cleverly uses Facebook to send out invitations to special events at La Plage, such as full moon parties, which even if you don’t attend, it makes you think about going there for lunch or dinner. And Helene Bernier recently used Facebook to send out an invitation to her next showing of old photographs on Sunday, July 5 at AJOE at 6:30pm. On a small island, where everyone is either really related or simply related via six degrees of separation, it’s fun to browse Facebook and see who is friends with who, and explore the interconnecting web that links everyone to everyone else. Do these people really know each other, or are they just online friends? Is there an unspoken competition to get as many Facebook friends as you can? How many people can you really stay in touch with anyway? And there is also a certain kind of voyeurism going on… you can browse the friends of your friends, and make them your friends as well. But beware, once you do, there could be hundreds of people sending you messages, invitations, and groups to join. It takes time. In fact, one of my friends recently took herself off of Facebook as it was taking up too much time. Almost immediately her Facebook friends got messages of concern, wondering if she was okay. Which is comforting: if you disappear from the face of the island, surely your Saint Barth Facebook friends will notice!

More to come,

    Ellen Lampert-Greaux

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