Friday, March 30, 2007

Social Networking Sites

There seems to have been a rash of Facebook adaptation in my group of friends. Admittedly, a handful had been there for some time before I openned up for business, but I've been really surprised in these past 3 weeks how many of my very close friends were also in their infancy of use in this or other social network sites.

The interest of the first order is that the virtual world intersects neatly with the real world when a group of people who are physically close (as well as emotionally and temporally "close" - i.e. do/feel things together, often within relatively close periods of time) would all adapt a new mode of expression at precisely the same time. It's akin to a new movie openning up in a small town; the small town being my group, the film, in this case, being facebook. It's not all that surprising (it's how networks grow, and ergo exist), and I won't dwell on the pondering of the interplay between the virtual and real any further here as it is certainly better considered by others with much more intricate worldviews than my own.

Suffice it to say, that it's been pretty cool to see it pulse through our group with a sense of urgency rarely seen outside of half-way houses. My status: kicking ass in a seriously funny way. Who are you friends with? Check me out, I'm Charles Bronson today! What's your favorite book? Here's a shot of me when I used to wax my chest! Joy!

Another friend, openly skeptical of the whole phenomenon, has told me directly that we are too old for this space; that we missed out on being "myspace fuckheads". Catching up now, he suggested gently, could serve only to compound our folly and publicly display us as fools. It should be noted that this friend is exceptionally grumpy, most of the time, especially as relates to aging. Unless he has a short path to vodka-tonix, in which case he is the greatest, youngest guy alive.

And now, having concentration span of nearly unparalleled brevity, I grow bored with facebook. I set into it in order to share some laughs in a new way with the six people that I communicate with on a daily basis. I have done so, to some degree, but mostly I have reconnected in the most minute and distant way with people that I have not thought about nor cared about for years. So that's interesting. And, sure, it's a little unique, but ultimately, not all that much fun. Plus, now I know much more than I need to about some kid three years back from me in high-school who apparently remembers my name. We barely spoke when I used to kick his bag away from my locker, but now we are facebook "friends". Great.

I am not looking for love, nor sex, nor events. I am not looking for a job. But there I am: out there, looking.

I know things about people that I don't need to know and never would have asked. In fact, I probably wouldn't speak to a good many of my facebook "friends" if I saw them in the street, let alone ask them who they were dating and whether the sex was any good.

My brother "retired" from facebook very shortly after I joined, for reasons unrelated to my arrival. He had his reasons, and they were good ones. He told me that after he hit the retire button, he was surprised not to find to much protest from the facebook server; he had expected at least some modicum of effort on their behalf to retain his patronage. But all it did was supply him with a very short multiple choice question: "Why are you leaving facebook?". The first option in the list was "facebook is causing me social problems."

He didn't need read the other choices.

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