July 2, 2008


Faceoff

At the risk of sounding either older than I am or even worse, dreadfully uncool, I found this article about Facebook really, really entertaining. It articulates everything I dread about this entity. Read the first lines:

"You last saw Colin when you were twelve years old. From what you can remember, he was once sent home from school early after stabbing you in the leg with a compass. Now, fifteen years on, Colin seems ready to make amends. What a happy coincidence; he still lives nearby, and suggests meeting up for a drink.

Why does Facebook always succeed in resurrecting those old faces that one has worked so hard to leave behind? The classroom nerds, the former colleagues, the drunken lapses in judgement. "Pokes" from strange women who are invariably either ropey-looking, selling something, or men in real life. In all likelihood, you are the first person Colin has contacted since his escape from Belmarsh prison."


I will admit up front most of what I know about Facebook is what my sons have grudgingly let me in on. But I stand by my premise that it is best suited for the kids - there comes a time when, while you may be the right height for a certain ride, you are definitely too old. And yeah, I know I'm insulting a bunch of you right now - but you're entitled to love it, and I to hate it. Keeps things interesting. It just feels like the world's biggest revolving yearbook - everyone wants the most signatures, and will ask anyone at all to sign in their quest for that honour.

Facebook also reminds me of a neverending high school reunion. I attended one, for about ten minutes, and it was pretty horrible. Why - I mean it WHY - do we think anything will change with time? I watched all these women (in my head, still girls, in spite of a little extra girth and a little too much mirth) as they went running headlong into each other's arms, squealing loudly enough so eventually only dogs could hear them. The only thing I could think, over and over, was 'if you liked each other so damned much, why didn't you keep in touch?'

Facebook lets anyone into your arms, to squeal in any pitch they please. I sometimes get invites from 'friends' to join, but, as I'm not a Facebook member, I figure I'm outside the loop and therefore don't have to respond. Let's be honest; anyone who wants to contact me is able to, and they don't need to write on my 'wall' to do so. I've heard from lots of old friends and acquaintances since I began writing, and I've often thought it would be nice if there were a directory people could sign up in with contact info if they so desired. Facebook just seems like overkill - way too much information for anyone to access. I know, I know, you can put limits on it. But for some people, they learn too late that less is more, especially teenagers.

Anyway, that's cranky enough for one entry. It was just nice to see somebody else put into words exactly what I feel....

6 Comments:

Anonymous buzzwhack said...

I liked the reader comments the best about Facebook. I make fun of all the net interactive playthings and create new ones like "YouFace, FaceTube." The cool thing to do is get a facebook acount and refuse to post a picture or anything useful.Every picture I post is a dog or lizard.

July 02, 2008 8:50 PM  
Blogger dtaylor said...

Of course, Lorraine, you are entitled to your opinion. That's the democratic way, after all.

However any individual on Facebook is in control of what they show or not. OK, so I'm supposedly an adult and have been around the block a few times so I should know better; for the most part, I do. Your observation, based, it would appear on a strictly anecdotal basis about teens on Facebook may well be the case in many instances. However, know this for example; if a "friend" request is received, you have a choice to accept - or not. If in a moment of "weakness" (not wanting to offend anyone) you accept such a request from someone you may not have given the time of day to 20 years ago, delete them. They do not know; they are not informed.

The amount of information out there is again, entirely up to you.

Facebook, like any other social networking environment puts you in control. Kinda like watching television in some ways. You have the remote. You don't have to watch. It's up to you. Just the same way as some of us out there use an RSS feed for your blog - it's a decision we made and can change at any time.

And yes, I am a user, casual at best. Much as I read Playboy religiously for the articles, I use facebook to play Scramble, Text Twirl and Scrabulous!

And, by way of casual observation, through your blog and web site, you likely have way more personal information out there in the ether than the vast majority of Facebook users - of any age.

Do I hear the sound of glass breaking?

July 03, 2008 8:38 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Hardly. As you note, I write about myself for a living, but I fully control everything I put out there.

Because of what I do, I'm hyperaware of dispensing information to the public - precisely my point. Most people don't stop to consider just who can find things - and yes, especially the kids who believe they're only posting stuff for their friends to see. They're also the one's who are the most likely to exercise the least amount of control over who they let in. They like to keep the restrictions down, so they don't miss out on any of the fun.

I still love the linked piece. Anyone who spends hours a day on this thing contacting Jeanie Swenson from third grade is nuts....

July 03, 2008 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh,Oh!!! The fight is on. Lorraine: I knew the boxing would pay off. AS for Facebook, use it or don't use it. No one is holding a gun to your head, so go about your business with a little diligence. I see both of your points. Too much info anywhere can be hazardous to your health.

R...

July 03, 2008 10:32 AM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

You know Jeanie, too? Wow, small world... ;->

July 03, 2008 3:04 PM  
Blogger OmemeeOzzie said...

BTW, R... my intent is not to incur the wrath of Lorraine - far from it, merely to offer another POV on occasion, is all!

And that was one of my alter egos that made that post, too -- the oft sensible one!

I've noticed that the "other" Twisted Sister does not appear to have been heard from in a while... hope that we have not driven her away!

July 05, 2008 8:26 AM  

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