Self and Humanity
When you do it every six months, and not every day. There's a thing about facebook. Facebook is not social networking, it isn't even a technology. Facebook is just glorified webmail. At its base underpinning - is an embedded chat client, an SMS gateway server, a webmail server and a few other relatively straightforward elements of existing technology.
This means that people who are 'users' of facebook , and who are 'adept' at its use - are really only people who are adept at filling out someone elses web form. It is made to be easy to use (with the exception the facebook people extending to you the courtesy privacy against the possibility of every message, preference, and degree of freedom in your own circle of friends to be used against you by some third party vendor or spammer).
Facebook does, however, help us play some evolution or de-evolutionary games with the concept of self. And after thinking about it for a while, I've come to some pretty negative conclusions - I was surprised this weekend to find that these conclusions are shared. One thing that struck me as particularly fitting was the concept that facebook is anti human software. To be clear, there's nothing wrong with facebook - it's just another website. It's not an 'app', or a new, or exciting software product - like, say, for example 'iBeer' app for the iPhone. It's a useful site that keeps itself running by selling off your personal information. And it enables a sort of transformation of humanity and self, if you choose to give it that power.
The people who put their text messaging and facebook pages up on an altar and surround them with candlelight - are the ones that would say that it is an indispensable tool. My question is - how many of these people, actually do anything you're really interested in? What do they do, that pushes the limit? It seems to me that there are always going to be a few exceptions that prove this rule: but the concept that corporations should have a facebook page and be treated as 'people', or even, for that matter, political campaign candidates (who are, in a world of multimillion dollar endorsement deals and media blitzkrieg - just front men or women for their own small businesses) - these people are not people. The idea of being a 'friend' to a corporation is chilling. Can a person be a friend to a vetrinary clinic? What if you felt down one day - The vet clinic will not call you up, with a six pack in its hand and go hang out at the lake with you.
Corporations, or computer websites - are not elements of a healthy social network. You can't have a personal relationship with a website. If you feel that you have actual 'friends' that you have never met, or done anything with - then your concept of friend is 'pen pal'.
Facebook and other 'profile' based sites play a game with the concept of self, where the potential is very real for us to become cartoons of ourselves - the pre-selected 'what are your favorite music' questions, the pre-defined concept of yourself as , say - perhaps a party person? Or a cool swinger? Whomever. These are all constructed images of yourself. The essence of humanity is that you adapt, and change. You listen.
So when someone is talking, instead of using your smartphone to type about whatever it is they are saying. Instead. Just listen. When people send you text messages, unless it's business related - don't respond immediately. You don't have to. It's a text message. Read and respond later.
When others are around you, instead of using your phone to make some kind of lame update - and even if its awkward - talk to them. Try to connect to the world around you. The connections that form there, give us the basis of humanity.
Connections that can be bought and sold as advertising data are like banner ads and pop up windows passing themselves off for real web content. They are there for a reason, to make money - and they disappear just as quickly. The people you 'meet' on facebook, don't really enter your life. They don't really help you out. They aren't really interested in your 'status' updates. And they won't be there when you need them. If you think about it, facebook is , after all - just another thing that you have to do. Sure, you get benefits from seeing long lost friends - but given that you have an ultra cool cellphone, public internet, and all of this - was there a reason you actually fell out of touch with them in the first place? Is it really that hard to reconnect with old friends? What if - everything you did in facebook, you tried to do in real life*?
Facebook is a trend, and a strong one at that. Going against a trend can be difficult. But sometimes it's the right thing to do. We should focus on hacking instead of submitting ourselves to being hacked constantly in the name of convenience. There are alot of other places to go if you want to have fun.
Tune in. Turn on. Log out.
As I wrote this, I realized, there is a question here that we've all seemed to miss. Ok, fine - we can visualize what it's like to do the same things +we+ do, on facebook - each day, without Facebook. But what would it be like, if there was someone in our lives - that did to us each day, whatever it is that Facebook is doing with us?
How many times would you let someone write down whatever it was that you were saying, and carry it over to someone and then narc on you? Or gang up with someone you've never met before, and give them your information so they can stalk you? What's your idea?