On Tuesday, September 1, 2015 I joined Facebook. It was something I thought I would never do, but I finally did it with the encouragement of acquaintances, and with the primary goal of directing more people to my registeredalien.weebly.com blog. We’ll see if it works. I surprised myself that I used my own real name plus true information about myself. I seriously considered a pseudonym - either an outright fabricated name (of which I have a couple that I use on the Internet), or else taking an ex-girlfriend’s name and respelling it so that it looks different while retaining the same pronunciation. To aid my blog-promotion plan I decided to go with my real name.
Setting up a page is not difficult, but it is immediately apparent how social media absorbs your time and takes you over. It’s immediately addictive. It’s computer crack cocaine. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, at least not if you’re into that sort of thing. Then once you start using it you experience a steep learning curve as you learn by doing: this icon does that; that icon does this; these functions work in such-and-such a manner, etc. There’s a childish thrill to it.
I want my blog to remain my primary manner of self-expression, so I won’t become a Facebook addict. In addition, I do not have a smart phone. I have an older style cell phone without Internet access. It’s for telephoning and texting only. So I am not currently at risk of being drawn into Facebooking during the day when I am out and about. As with all my current computer acitivty it has to wait until I get home in the evening. Checking, deleting and answering E-mail, writing Piper Paper stories, reviewing movies, updating my blog, transferring digital pictures, checking Facebook all have to wait until the end of the day. I am sure that I will get a smart phone in the future - around 2020, I think. Only when my cell phone service tells me that it will no longer service my model, thus forcing my hand. Or, maybe when the battery dies and needs replacing. Maybe I’ll use that as an excuse to replace the old flip phone with a more modern device. I have a digital camera. A more modern telephone device might relegate my camera to obsolescence.
Twenty years ago the big thing was E-mail. Everyone was telling me to get E-mail, that it is so easy, that it makes communication and staying in touch so convenient. They promised me themselves as E-mail companions. In the early 2000s I eventually did get a home computer and sign of for E-mail. First it was only a dialup connection. I did not go broadband until around 2013. I was not at all surprised to discover that all those people who praised and recommended E-mail to me proved steradfastly uncommunicative once I was online. I knew they were lying in their pitch, of course, and I seriouisly wondered if they knew they were lying. Possibly not, because people have such a propensity for obtuseness and delusion. Their lie was exposed by their failure to follow through on their promises/assurances. We always knew that as a replacement for postal mail electronic mail would be a more convenient way for people to guilt-free ignore their fellows. Like having a door on your house or aparment makes it easier to ignore Jehovah’s Witnesses on the other side. E-mail is a way of separating people with greater distance more than bringing us together into closer social life, allowing us to filter/block people. Once again, that by itself does not mean it’s bad. It’s merely another tool for shaping your life and your own identity. But my aquaintances were bad - morally bad as well as unskilled liars - in their initial E-mail pitch.
Now Facebook and other contemporary social media are the new E-mail. As soon as I began making my page I wondered what comes next? Facebook will be overtaken by the next big thing (like E-mail was although it is still used). Unless Facebook proactively evolves itself to become the next new thing. It won’t be around forever, you know. Do you remember when it used to be called “The Facebook”?
It looks like people are talking to each other more than with each other.
The philosophy of Facebook seems to be the more the merrier.
Maybe Facebook friending is a way for adults to make up for their youthful follies through bridge-building and reconciliation.
People who go all-out for social media exhibitm a triad of negatives: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy.
People become your Facebook friends less because they actually like you than because they're just nosy.
Facebook is less about communication than about self-promotion. Just look at it. People post photografrom their personal lives - pictures sometimes better kept out of the public eye - or photographs that are somewise meaningful for themseles alone, often accompanied by short comments. Maybe explanatory comments, maybe not. People respond by “liking” the post or by typing and posting a verbal comment. There’s no back-and-forth exchange of ideas, the kernel of communication, so it looks like people are talking at each other more than with each other. Also, the information posted does not rank high as quality information because it is uncontextualized. It’s also not real. The digital world is not the real world. Facebook friends are not real friends. An ebook is not a real book. You cannot possess it in the way that you possess a print book. You can be “friends” with people you’ve never met. Old aquantances from high school can “friend” you after a thirty or forty year estrangement - people you might never have liked in the first place, people who treated you like shit in the second place. Well, maybe Facebook friending is a way for adults to make up for their youthful follies through bridge-building and reconciliation. But I don’t think so because the philosophy of Facebook seems to be the more the merrier, which is largely a contradicition of friendship. People become your Facebook friends less because they actually like you than because they’re just nosy.
When people post on social media they are getting the confirmation that they need from other people, that they are awsome. It’s little wonder, then, that Facebook was born in America whose conptemporary culture is characterised by unchecked self-affirmation. To that extent Facebook reflects America. I am a little of the opinion that people who go all-out for social media are examples of a triad of negatives: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. Thank God I’m one of them! This is the dark side.