Sunday, January 10, 2010
Facebook is (not) like...blogging
There is something about facebook that I don't like. Or if I were to say it better: there is something that I hate to like about facebook.
Struckman spouted off during the (most incredible) snow ride yesterday that it (the fact that I am not enamored by facebook) was probably because I didn't have enough friends. Or more specifically, that I don't have enough people "friending" me and that it upsets me, and that I probably suck at making friends because of it, or something like that. Struckman has a way with words, poignant, uncompromising, direct.
I don't care that he tells it like it is. In fact I kind of appreciate it. Most people that know him also know that he would drop his last dime on you if you needed it. He is a street smart dude, not afraid to let if fly. He is a family guy, with a passion for riding and organizing bike things. I would bet that there was a punch aimed his way back in the day, but who cares? And I bet he could back it up. Yeah, I would probably be pissed off too if both my twins had snot bombs dropping for the entire week. And who cares if he tells it like it is. More people should. I will also give him the benefit of schooling me over the cross season, at 15 years younger. Nice job Struckman.
I think Matt missed the mark, even though the reality bomb was amusing (he was off the back in the 5 degree weather, btw), I am not upset that I don't have more friends on Facebook and wouldn't know what the "a lot of friend level" is. Facebook is what I call competitively indulgent and reminds me a little bit of what high school was. For me it was waiting for it to end so I could get on with life. I rolled my eyes at the "look at me" people the same today as I did then.
Disclaimer: I am not speaking of my friends from high school necessarily, but the institution of competitively indulgent people found with the highest amount of status changes on facebook. There is an institution of "look at me people" incubated in our public and private schools everywhere and you can spot them like neon.
Competing for the affection of others in the same social network seems to provide a higher status of achievement for some folks. It is a "look at me" thing and I feel awkward posting anything other than what the business is doing and what others might find interesting relating to....whatever. I find it weird that anyone would share too much information about their personal life. It is kind of like a Hallmark card to yourself, doing facebook. My intuition tells me that change will come in this arena someday. If someone wants to find things, they will make the effort.
So I have decided to go back to writing this blog. Not because it is a "look at me" thing. I can defend this if you want. And not because I want to compete for the affection of my piers, I can defend that too. Most of you knew it would come back as this place and its over 700 entries tends to provide a hint of balance, centering, levelness--a whole bunch of stuff that would be lost without self expression. Struckman mentioned midlife crisis in another rhant; the band, the blog, frankly, I can't think of too many other things.... the need to express and that having something to do with my age. I will be 48 soon. It think the difference is clear. And The Ralph Account will try and explain in ways that we can understand.
My hunch is that facebook is not as uplifting a stop for you in your daily surfing for information, that it doesn't have much to bring to the table, other than snippets of check-ins from people whom you've already made assumptions. Is it really exciting to read re-iterations?---affirmations?---pontifications? Yes, but only if you do the work.
I am thinking that the most interesting people with the most interesting things to say... say nothing on facebook.
At what point does it become political that you "like" something a friend said? Do you really want me to invite you to something that needs to be "confirmed". Do I even know what comes after not confirming? I think most folks would prefer to come, at their own leisure, to a place where they might find perspective...a place where, if you don't like it, you never have to see it again. So there you have it. The Ralph Account is back for a while and I have a new mission: I am supposed to be collecting the best of The Ralph Account for publication, so there is a good chance that you will recognize a thing or two. Check back often. Or don't.