Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Facebook Culture

Hi. You don't know me, but I went to high school with the stepcousin of a person that you posted photos of on Facebook captioned "Birthday 2009". She's my friend on Facebook now and due to photo tagging and your choice of privacy settings, I was able to see all of your photos. Anyway--in the fourth birthday party photo from the end, there is a picture of someone who I believe I would like to get to know (tan shirt, sitting at the table in the back on the right, by the mic, third from left). Now, like I said, you don't know me; but I'm confident we can make this happen, one friend at a time.

It could happen.
Telecommunications is transforming our society--not quite yet at the speed of light, but getting there. It's no biggie for some; Millenials and younger, who've always had constant access to seemingly all that (and who) there is to know. This point was rather cavalierly made to me by my smug 15 year old recently, complete with a pat on the back for his doddering mom, as he explained his indifference to the coolest thing ever.
But for some of us, those who remember things like card catalogs, IBM Selectrics and actually writing--and mailing in the mailbox, letters-- the information age can be pretty awe-inspiring, when you think about it, and the ways in which our social interactions are affected, I think, can be peeled like a bigger onion every day. For one thing, first with email and now, even more so with texting and tweeting, everybody's reading and writing more; people that don't even like to read! Being on Facebook can be like reading, writing and sending postcards one after another after another.

The Pew Research Center's recent study of people aged 18 to 29 reported a decline in blogging as use of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook and tools like texting and tweeting increased. I totally get this--and not because Facebook and blogging are means to the same end--nowhere near, in fact. The fact is, after hanging out on Facebook, it takes awhile for my brain to regain the capacity to produce streams of consciousness, rather than spurts.

The difference between Facebooking and blogging is this: a butterfly flitting from flower to flower, sipping sustenance; and a spider spinning row after row, a web to ensnare sustenance.

You might think going from brain fart (to borrow Bill Maher's Facebook metaphor) to brain dump, would be, well, a "no brainer".
Either way, one could argue, you're less full of s***.

Turns out--for me anyway--not so much. This brain doesn't transition quite so nimbly, anymore. There's constipation in the interim; grimacing, clutching, struggling to form a trend of thought, or at least put more than two sentences together--
and then this is what I come up with.
Maybe I should go back to "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything!"

1 comment:

Chris said...

Welcome to the world of social media. It is not going away.

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