papers/lighter/text

crumbled and rolled

02/09/2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — paperslightertext @ 4:27 pm

There is something awfully overwhelming and invasive to me about Facebook.

From time to time, I forget why I stay off Facebook chat, and the urge to log on overwhelms me. Before I hastily click “Offline,” I am assaulted with a melange of names, names of people I haven’t seen in years, names of people I haven’t even THOUGHT of in years, names of people I was best friends with in elementary school. From names, it’s an easy jump to profile, then photos, and thus begins the downward spiral of narcissistic voyeurism.

You can click on anyone you want. It’s easy that way to compare your life to yours. You post a comment on someone’s wall, everyone sees it. You post a status, you start a “conversation.” You like something on Facebook, like say for example a product, and the advertisers get to use YOUR name and profile picture to endorse their product to your friends.

Is that not disturbing to anyone else?

I know it’s hypocritical to write about Facebook on Facebook, but the reality of it is most of our lives are increasingly dependent on technology. As frightening to me as the concept of “social networking” is, I can’t deny that it is useful. How else would I be able to know the intimate details of the lives of everyone I’ve ever met? Doesn’t it disturb anyone else how you could sit for hours looking at profiles, pictures, status updates, notes, or anything else ever posted by people you grew up with, people whose lives would have otherwise remained a mystery? Doesn’t it disturb anyone that we’ve volunteered all this information for public consumption?

The internet has grown exponentially since I first started using it to look up super nintendo cheats in 1999. Internet was a luxury at home- something I had only because my dad worked with computers.

Back then, we connected to the internet through the phone lines. You were lucky if it worked half the time, and it sometimes took ten minutes of trying different phone numbers just to connect. You had to wait entire MINUTES for graphics to load- oh, and not anything flashy, just little animated GIFs of dancing hamsters or Pikachus. Oh, and God help you if there were more than four or five images on one page- forget it!

Within just a few years, Instant Messaging became popular. Remember AIM? MSN? Yahoo? From middle school on, I had them all. I hung out in chat rooms. I had dial-up til I was 14. Only then did access to music and media really become available. Xanga and Myspace allowed us to feel the illusion of community. It also allowed us to feel as though we had an audience. Fuck, I found out Antioch was closing via a Myspace bulletin! Remember Top Friends? Top 4 and Top 8? It was a big deal if you got moved out of someone’s Top Friends! Now there’s the Feed. The ever-updating, constant stream of updates. It’s your own life made into clickable, interactive entertainment.

It is up to us whether we let ourselves be sucked into the distraction trap.

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5 Responses to “”

  1. Shaq AttacK Says:

    I ponder, ponder, ponder, and then ponder some more. I just had this very same conversation with a friend of mine a mere two days ago. I, for one, am so very happy that i don’t use any of these social networking sites. I can only assume that I will be using them later for professional purposes. However, I refrain from using any of these sites-especially Facbook-for any personal networking (much to the dismay of many of my friends and family).
    Don’t get me confuse. This is not a high and mighty declaration, and I don’t think I’m better than people who use Facebook. It’s all a matter of self control. To be honest, when I get online I lose all sense of it!
    I choose to refrain for the simple fact that I need to keep my sanity. I agree with your sentiment. I don’t know where the future is headed, but intuition tells me that if I continue to try to live without the technology of tomorrow I might as well not be living at all. Oh, to be so behind the times.

    • Yes! Me too! I have to deactivate it for my own sanity, or else I am literally checking on it constantly. Even when I have just checked on it. Such is the nature of Facebook- it’s constantly updating. It’s your life in real time, unfolding on a screen before you, and it’s addictive as crack.

      Ugh. I recently turned mine back on after being peacefully disconnected for eight months. I slipped up for half a second, and there I was again- ankle deep in other peoples’ public personal lives.

      • also… shaquez??
        how on earth did you end up at my silly blog??

      • Shaq AttacK Says:

        How did you guess it was me?! Haha, I thought that little nickame would help make it obvious. I remembered your blog and the poetry you write. I was just curious to see what new poetry you posted, so here I am!

    • Shaq AttacK Says:

      Interestingly enough, I don’t have my own account. But if ever I have a friend who is viewing their own I get sucked into the Facebook world. May I add as a helpful reminder-I DON’T HAVE FACEBOOK-I’m simply viewing my friends’ pages. As addiction would have it, even though these aren’t my pages and I don’t know to whom my friends are speaking, I still get sucked into it!
      Any time I know somone who will allow me to browse on their account, I get even more sucked in and start trying to find old cronies, or I update myself on the lives of current friends.
      Again, I don’t have Facebook. The previous statement is about a person who doesn’t even have Facebook and yet I’m borderline addicted! I must stay far far away from this drug.


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