Tuesday, October 19, 2010

FACEBOOK -- PT. 2


I should put this on Facebook! Mum would be so proud! (No, I don't know how to rotate photos.)

I was thinking of calling this entry "Facebook Sucks."

I have my reasons for a little antipathy. But then I thought about it some more. And Facebook -- and social networking in general -- does have its pros as well as its cons.

So let's look at them. And let's do a little psychosocial study without going into overkill.


SOME PROS AND CONS

PROS:

* It is a way for people to connect, reach out, be cyber social.

* Some people are too ill to leave their house. For them it's a blessing, of sorts.

* You read the occasional interesting post, see the occasional intriguing photo (my friend Pauline takes awesome shots!), and find the occasional interesting group.

* It is a convenient way to share certain things with other people, all in one fell swoop.

* It so easy to use that I can almost work it out. (But not quite.)

* I'm sure there must be other pros but I can't think of them right now.

CONS:

* News flash! Not everyone on the Internet is who they purport to be. Some of these people are not very nice folks. Keep that in mind.

* Privacy. Does it still exist?

* FB doesn't substitute for real-world experiences because... wait for it... IT'S NOT THE REAL FREAKIN' WORLD!!!

* Nearly everybody is super happy and near damn perfect on FB. How do I know? They keep telling me! "I'm having an AWESOME day"; "Life rocks!"; "Check out this Photoshopped pic of me looking more like a supermodel than the werewolf I really am!" (Hey, there's nothing wrong with being a werewolf!)

* Spare me the details: "Just had a great chicken panini sandwich for lunch!" Who gives half a s***. Trivia is only an art form in the hands of the very greatest creative talents. And guess what...

* The words "Facebook" and "privacy" were never meant to be in the same sentence. WHY there's suddenly a big stir about FB dishing off info about its members is a mystery to me. You put your personal info on the Internet and all bets are off. That's called logic. And yet, yes, it's still disturbing and worth a second thought.

* The personal photos. They're a bit much, aren't they? Do we really want to know you that well? Do we have the same high opinion of you that you seem to have of yourself in front of the camera?

* And the Big One: If you're walking down the street of your home town/city, do you pull out a wad of photos of you semi-clad, getting drunk, kissing male strippers etc. and show them to total strangers? Do you regale these same strangers with tales of last night's debauchery or that great panini you just had? I'm thinking no. So why do it where 500 million people can step into your world?


What I really look like. (Prolly not going on Facebook.)

MORE FRIENDS THAN YOU CAN POINT A CURSOR AT

I mean, you gotta realize, "friends" in the cyber world is a misleading term. You might have 5,000 cyber friends, but if you break your leg and end up in hospital, don't expect the line of visitors to go round the block. Capiche?

Here's the thing: I'm just concerned that our lives have become too public while, at the same time, our real social skills and face-to-face connecting are spinning their tires.

I believe that when we overdo the social networking thing, we're losing more than we're gaining. And we do overdo it, now don't we? Because, y'know, it's kinda addictive to be "famous" on Facebook, right? Famed pop artist Andy Warhol never lived to see the advent of the Internet but he was totally right when he said (in 1968!!): "In the future everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes." That's Facebook. That's reality TV. That's the "idiot culture."

And 500 million registered users? Holy rollers! Facebook could attack the U.S. and kick its ass! Scary numbers, baby, just scary! (Is there actually anybody walking around outside these days?)


Andy Warhol


UPSIDE, DOWNSIDE

Facebook can be fun. It's when people take it too seriously that their psychoses and insecurities show. Hell, FB is a landfill of insecurities thinly covered by a veneer of hyperbolic happy platitudes: "My life is totally working out now!"

As long as gossip and voyeurism and jealousy and exhibitionism and hooking up are popular, there'll always be a Facebook of one kind or another. People want to know what everyone else is doing... and then outdo them. And FB lets them do it more efficiently than ever. I'd just like to see more inventions that encouraged us to flex the better muscles of our nature rather than stuff that constantly seems to appeal to our egos and apathies.


CONCLUSION

The real significance on the macro level is that this is another distraction that keeps the masses occupied and passive. Fine in small doses but when combined with TV and video games and sports etc etc, it doesn't leave much time for thinking about things like feeding the poor or true democracy or "What the hell are they teaching my kids in school?"

Look, I ain't the Grinch, okay? But Facebook isn't your online lord and savior either. Keep your life in balance and your ego in check.

You're much more lovable that way.

Take care and take a walk outside,
Adrian Zupp

IF YOU FOUND THIS BLOG POST INTERESTING you might like to take a look at FACEBOOK -- PT. 1 or THE IDIOT CULTURE.

5 comments:

  1. Is that Harry Potter in the top photo :)

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  2. My favorite two lines: "Hell, FB is a landfill of insecurities thinly covered by a veneer of hyperbolic happy platitudes..." and "As long as gossip and voyeurism and jealousy and exhibitionism and hooking up are popular, there'll always be a Facebook of one kind or another." So very true. Couldn't have said it better myself and am not even going to try! Excellent blog!

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  3. Journalist by day, pole dancer by night? :)

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  4. Ade, right on the money again mate!

    If you have 5000 friends, that whould make your Christmas card bill about $10,000 after postage and handling! Reality, hardly! (except if you a trying to flog something!)

    I know some of my friends and family put way too much personal stuff on FB! I find this very disturbing indeed! How about phone call, a personal E-mailing, that ink and paper thingy umm..... thats right! A letter! or ,be jesus, talking in person to someone who genuinly cares!

    Treat it like we treat all types of media!
    Another a bit of time wasting entertainment. Nothing more!

    I've been poked so many times I'm starting to look like a Chesterfield lounge! But what's it supposed to mean?

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  5. Thanks for the plug Adrian but mostly, I concur! Is there any moderation in this day and age anymore? Bigger, more, over the top may be funny at times but only for about 5 minutes. Balance is a rare thing of beauty these days.

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