Monday, June 11, 2007

Getting back on track..

My blog has suffered a little lately, mostly due to the fact that I've had my face in a book. The good news is the facebook fad is wearing thin for me. Been there done that. Facebook is going a little rubix cube on me at the moment. I figured it out, now its just a cube with similar colors on each side, and the reason to continue using it is just plain moot. But that's not all.
Last week I had a conversation with a friend of mine who recently lit the fuse on a stick of dynamite strategically placed under the ass of his facebook account, and he made a few really good points why. His reasons are his own, and he is welcome to share them in a comment here if he so desires. One of the mutual reasons we had was about facebook replacing a phone call, or a real life meeting with a virtual note on a wall. Language is more than text. Communication is more than a scribble on wall. Meanings can, and will be lost in translation.
So, I am about to light a stick myself, and I'd be a liar if I said the match wasn't lit.
I have 35 friends, family, and coworkers in my list. There is a problem with this. The relationships i have with friends are different than I have with my family, which are different than I have with my coworkers, but more importantly, relationships I have some friends are different than others, and with family, more so again. Facebook wants to treat them all the same.
There is a feature called a "limited" profile which can be tailored to only grant or remove areas of your profile to specific "friends". I did this. I took almost everything important like my wall, status, online status, mini feeds, pictures.. etc removed them from the limited profile, then added all my coworkers to this "limited" profile. It didn't take long for them to do the same. Think about this. You're my "friend" but I don't want you to see anything I'm doing. Pump sand. Ok. This solves the issue of coworkers.
Now we have friends and family. My disclaimer is there many family members that I consider friends, so please don't be offended. People simply have a different relationship with their friends than they do with family, at least I do. Different enough to make it "odd" they all see the same facebook profile, and raises as many eyebrows as it does questions.
I once ran several different websites for our families, both my side and leo's side, as well as a site for friends. These were all separate entities, and the complexities of relational meshing was not an issue as it does for a single facebook profile.
As the match moves closer, it would be a shame not to reflect on the positive aspects of this medium. It allows the breach of physical contraint to keep in touch with people, maintain relationships, and to poke eachother. It allows people to come together as a group, and although the groups in facebook can have thousands of people and no posts, I'm sure there are groups which actually collaborate on something somewhere. It also coverts introverts to virtual extroverts.
I think facebook is great for people who communicate on single planes of existance, like student bodies, for which it was designed, but the complexities of our social threads which weave between the fabric of our reality can never be defined in a single profile.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

hhhmmm, well now.

Anonymous said...

Success! I missed Alex's blog so much I made a to-do about quitting facebook in hopes he would follow me and return to his blog! Just kidding.
I hope I did not rain on anyone's fun and put the poo-poo on the "Book of Face". But I stand by the quitting. (I am sure those of you never on facebook could care less). Anyway, beyond being a time suck, with facebook I found I had a tendency to simply check facebook instead of calling people or stopping by or even writing a personal email to them. Didn't like that temptation to keep friends convenient and at arms length as opposed to real people, live and in all our f'd up glory. So, I decided that the benefits of having a marginal goofy "relationship" with some folks I am not able to REALLY communicate with was outweighed by the time and tendency to let facebook distract me from the real. Hence, adios libro de cara.

Anonymous said...

...these sentiments about facebook are not really new feelings for me. I have long had these feelings about email actually and have even attempted to "quit" that to a certain extent (but without success.) It's rather easy to avoid real-time personal interactions nowadays. Sometimes that's really convenient...other times I think it can really hamper our friendships. I never thought too long or hard about facebook, just another fad and fun for a short time - it'll pass...but all along I've never really liked the idea of my past catching up on me (not that I have anything to hide...ahem). I just prefer living in the here and now.

socklady said...

I thought this quote from Barry White sums it up nicely
.."I've heard people say that too much of anything is not good for you, baby....."

socklady said...

I actually have a few other comments to make about the Facebook thing. I am not too big on it but it has, however kept me in touch with family and friends I would normally not talk to on the phone and for this reason I enjoy reading the quips and looking at the pictures of the fam. I sometimes feel so out of touch with the "Calgary crowd" and this facebook offers a great opportunity to stay in touch. You mention you would rather phone or meet your friends in person....but the problem with that is it rarely happens. You walk around with that blackberry all day long doing the ol' blackberry prayer so you will more then likely stay in touch posting a comment on FB or blogging etc....let us be honest here...you very rarely pick up the phone and call ...... just a thought!
A quick side note...I am also not one to always pick up the phone and dial out either so it this isn't a critisism.

Schaaper said...

love the barry white quote, and good points about in the latter comment, however I think there are better ways for families to stay in touch, such as a private blog or private website like we had before. Do you want all your friends to be able to view the pictures you just wanted your family to see? That's the problem with facebook, there is no separation.

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