Wednesday, May 16, 2012

facebook and Why I Hate It and Why I am on There

I miss online community.  Having had two children in the age of the internet has been such a blessing.  There are spaces all over the internet for me to hide, find friends, make enemies, point and laugh, and curl up to cry.  I have found so many wonderful friends in these online communities - such friends that I have to really stop and think that yes, I *did* make these friendships online first and in real life later.

One of those places is Flickr.  Four years ago, I was refreshing Flickr like you may refresh facebook.  Religiously.  Who had posted what?  What happened with that tog's idea for a shoot?  How did their photography evolve over the last month?  What did people think of my latest photograph? (Well yes, that last statement caused more heartache than rapture, but anyway)

Now, though?  Now Flickr is dead.  facebook is king.  And this is a brilliant article about why -
 http://gizmodo.com/5910223/how-yahoo-killed-flickr-and-lost-the-internet . 

Why do I hate facebook so much?  Well mainly because it is supremely addictive.  I am horrified by addiction generally and am terrified of becoming addicted to something like that myself.  What's the difference between Flickr refreshing and facebook refreshing you ask?  Well Flickr was contained.  Encapsulated.  It was about photography.  Sure I could get lost browsing the incredible photos of strangers, being inspired by exquisite landscapes and ingenious set-ups, but when it came down to it, I was controlled by my own interest in photography and photography alone.

facebook is about everything.  And, here comes the cliche, precisely because of that, it is about nothing.  Nothing.  Seriously.  People write a two sentence post about their day.  About their hour.  About that minute.  When the hell are they experiencing that minute, that hour, though?  I have seen people posting all day.  All day.  When the hell is living happening there?  Sure it's lovely for the voyeuristic amongst us to peep in on people's lack of privacy and inability to draw boundaries around their own life, but when should we start getting concerned?  Not concerned that they're going to be carried off in a white jacket, but just concerned about how they are experiencing life?

I love blogs on the other hand.  They are contained, like Flickr.  I can find like minded souls and catch up on the details of their life that mean something to them (not whether they burnt toast that morning, but hey, that might be in there too). 

That's me.  I don't like facebook.  But due to every other corner of my internet life experiencing tumbleweeds as a result of facebook taking over their online interests, I have made a conscious decision to go on there and read. Maybe once a day.  Maybe twice.  And who knows, I may even post something every now and then.  I will definitely comment on topics from friends that I might have commented on in other forums or communities.  But I'll tell you something - I won't be happy about it.  facebook is to community what McDonald's is to food - sure it's everywhere, but it cannot nourish you. 

If you'd like to remember about getting out and living a little, feel free to check out life through the pockets of this ten year old:
http://ayearincharliespocket.blogspot.co.uk/

Because that's cool. 

1 comment:

Mr Shell said...

I completely agree with you....last year I took myself off FB for 6 months. I signed back up so my cousins could keep in touch (I'm so far away from family and carry a small amount of guilt for it), but some days I think about shutting shop again. It is addictive, time consuming and at times mind numbing. The second by second descriptions of peoples daily lives drives me nuts! I'm continually stunned by how inappropriate and childish some status updates are. Yes, blogland is a better place to be!