Facebook. Don’t ignore it. Don’t try and fight it. You can’t escape. There’s nowhere to run. It owns you. It knows where you live. It’s ferocious and intelligent and you’d better let it zombie bite you and start up a game of scrabble or you’ll be the one at home playing with your abacus while everyone’s partying like its 2008.
Most of us are in three technological camps. Those that are whole heartedly embracing this new cyber interface, those that are ignoring it like farmers who don’t trust doctors, and a more ambiguous group who are timidly setting up an account, but whose confidences have been wounded by the notion that Myspace just wasn’t enough. Just like ‘Tom’s little TAFE assignment’ took over from primitive newsgroups and blog sites, Facebook is a natural evolution, and we must accept the fact that one day it too may be surpassed by a superior form of social networking. In fact, I heard a rumour that the creators of Myspace and Facebook are working on an advanced messaging system, called something like…what was it? Oh yeah – GOING OUTSIDE!
Myspace was the virtual roman empire for Gen-Y. We all worked hard to make it the pop culture cyber banquet of good times, but somewhere along the way it got greedy. Once the novelty value of friend collecting and ‘waz up I’m bored’ messaging fun died down, it was revealed for the clunky, spam ridden, corporate sprite-vomit of fabricated-teen try hard lameness it actually is. It’s perfectly fine for artist promotion, but as a simple networking tool it suffers more unexpected errors than the Howard Government. (Ouch!) Facebook, by comparison, is a smooth corvette of clean lines, white space, group messaging facilities and a blatant user-friendliness never before seen on the Interweb. Its event invite function is an effective promotional tool, bands can start up their own groups, hell – you can even play Pacman. It appears to be the perfect prototype for a uniform, universal unilateral union of human connectivity.
Why then, does it give me the e-shits?
Three words. Sideshow freaking alley! I don’t need to return a zombie bite from a girl I sat next to in grade three. I don’t need to compare my movie quiz answers with some dude I’d have nothing to say to if I met in a pub. I don’t want a food fight, a nickname, a virtual hug, a pet fungus, a ‘places I’ve been’ map, an afro kit, a Mr T poetry generator, a Super Poke? – I’m 27 years old! Where’s the ‘email me if something’s important’ or ‘text me and we’ll meet up like adults’ applications?
Nextly, Facebook knows TOO much. Obscure girl from high school asks to be my friend, I accept, and suddenly her ‘newsfeed’ shows her my daily status updates, friends I’ve added, plus a direct copy of comments I write to my close pals. And hallelujah! – now I’m privy to such ‘breaking news’ as the fact that dude I barely know has been tagged in a photo by some git. What am I? Brain damaged and confined to a wheel chair? Link this: www.i don’t have time for this mofo’s! .com!
Solution? I’ve become a closed book. I’ve set everything to private and kept a small list of close friends. I’m keeping Myspace as my ‘popularity contest’ and playing Facebook on my own terms. Being counter culture is so in! Now where’s the pen, paper and phonebook? It’s time to start another chain letter.