Monday, December 07, 2009

Shot in the Dark

"Facing up to the darker side of Facebook" in the Los Angeles Times makes a moronic argument that what we have to fear is the fear of being asinine, when it comes to networked communication.

Today my friends trumpet the more unpleasant aspects of their personalities via Facebook status updates. No longer hidden or disavowed, they're thrown in my face like infomercials on late-night TV -- unavoidable and endless advertisements for the worst aspects of their personalities.

If the writer honestly thinks this is the biggest risk of a social network site that capitalizes on information gathering about human connection and private wish fulfillment is seeing his friends warts and all, that doesn't say much for the level of cultural analysis that the newspaper is capable of. And the writer's notion that people give up image management when they go online is patently absurd.

In real life, I don't see these sides of people. Face to face, my friends edit themselves, showing me their best. They're nice, smart people, and there's a give-and-take to normal conversations. They don't talk incessantly about their work. They don't point fingers with Glenn Beck bluster or sound like crazy callers on talk radio. But face to Facebook, my friends are like a blind date gone horribly wrong, one in which you sit there listening while the person on the other side of the table blathers on, pretty much forgetting you exist and not always making the best impression.



Blogger Jardinero1 said...

I was loathe to join Facebook until a cousin talked me into it as a means and a method to keep up with some other cousins and do some geneology work together. It was the narcissism which repelled me. I have found that my best facebook friends are also the most reticent.

I think it would be an interesting experiment if you were required to pick your Facebook friends by reading the profile and the wall first and then learn the name only after you agreed to friend that person.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Pietro de Simone said...

The LATImes may very well be coyly doing its part to remind us to "watch what we say" cuz on some other level we sense FB actually hides something even far worse which I cant quite put my finger on. But it is nothing like "status updates," ranting to the choir, and smileys with grandma...

10:07 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home