Note: this is an update to my previous post explaining why I left Facebook.
Would most of the people on your Facebook friend list really go out of their way to come help decorate your birthday party? Probably not.
More than likely, they will prolly proffer elaborate excuses as to why they can’t: their cat has the flu, their back is out, they drank too much last night, they have work in the morning.
Granted, but perhaps they are on your friend list to share ideas, to discuss ways to transform your negative feelings and thoughts into productive happy ones? Again, probably not.
Which then leads me to wonder – is Facebook the ultimate pr0n for exhibitionists – because essentially, you are giving people permission to peek into your personal life, relationships, associations, news clips, or read your microblog.
Facebook preys on your need to be important – to be relevant. To be desired. To not be alone. To “figure.” It preys on your Status Anxiety.
One might argue that it’s a good way to keep in touch with people you haven’t seen in a long time. Isn’t there a reason you haven’t maintained contact with those people from long ago?
One might argue that it’s a good way to manage your contacts – business and otherwise. Nothing more.
Consider using LinkedIn for that. Or your Blackberry. Or a daytimer. Or your memory.
If you argue that it’s the new phone, a way to communicate with family who you can’t see as often as you’d like – phone’s didn’t track what you purchased today, what age group you were talking to ten minutes ago and whether or not you like broccoli. And no Nielsen polls aren’t the same thing.
One might argue that I am a Luddite, Amish, purist, fundamentalist. I prefer, as grass-farmer Joel Salatin would like to call it – “post-Big Organic.”
MySpace has become the 80’s roadside billboard: Blast the message and hope to grab some of the collateral damage. Facebook, on the other hand is an insidious, micro-targeted “resource;” every personal detail, choice, preference you submit leaves you open to highly-focused targeting. It’s quite brilliant and something that any small or large company would be naive to overlook as a tool for hawking their wares.
But what does it do for you? Does it enlighten you? Does it advise you? Does it challenge you? One might consider that exposure to these many personalities and their interests would, but in fact I find the results utterly homogenizing. Recall that you are being targetted and thus your choices thus far are merely being reinforced as they are pandered to.
If it’s 140 character Haiku you are into, consider Twitter. No – I don’t have it out for Facebook, but let’s call it like it is – an obsessive compulsion to have people whom you keep at arms’ length know about your neuroses. Come back to life. There is a lot of room and it’s yours to discover.
12 minutes and counting since I deactivated my Facebook account + 400 friends, plus PR channel for my various digital exploits. Wow, now that feels better.
I held off joining FB for a long time because I can still vaguely remember the sense of awe and dread I felt when observing my 12 years younger brother and his prissy The Hills reject girlfriend perambulate through the voyeuristic obsession of checking out what their homies were up to. Eventually, a desperately close friend of mine who is a “New Media” consultant talked me out of and into acquiescing, arguing that I should at least be savvy to what they were doing with Ajax and how Facebook trumped MySpace which at one point I recall trumping this Napster spin-off called Friendster.
So — good. I put out an indie album (a real from-the-heart effort) at the beginning of 2008, my first release in 12 years on a CD no less and spent the remainder of my year getting schooled about the way things work now, which is to say – forget print, its all about the music blogs. I now know about SEO, affiliate ads, linkbacks, watering holes, Linkshare, Clickbank, Kontera, Amazon Associates, Adsense, licensing content, ezinepublisher, bloggers paying their rent with promo CDs at Amoeba, Sonicbids, mirpod, odeo, Ning, viral videos, ROFLcon, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Furl, Mixx, Reverbnation, Trig, Twitter, Fanpop, trackbacks, NoFollow, DoFollow, LinkedIn, Wayn, Spock, Plaxo, Sharethis, and every other goddamned way of clamoring for anyone who I ever met or whomever I met has met that might exist.
Found objects in space: a user created profile image
And it’s done. The US has its first ever dark-skin colored president, the Dems control the house and senate, the DOW goes up and down faster than the mechanical bull at the Saddle Ranch and its time to move forward.
Web 2.0 is over.
In my last post I announced the death of viral videos. Now I am speaking with some certainty that Web 2.0 has to lay its head in the loam and expire its last breath. No it’s not because I “want real, meaningful relationships back.” It’s because it’s just, in toto, a glorified SPAM button that leads to nothing more (I promise you) than Google analytic and Adsense report mashing and at best the world’s biggest flash-mob-cum-grassroots-electoral-campaign. That does not discourse make. Mobilize? Perhaps. All good, but now what. You got 80 years ’til you give up the ghost – what else?
Joel Salatin is a farmer that produces beef, poultry and pork. He will not ship his non-USDA, totally natural product to you via any means because it defeats the purpose of his obsessively local-grown ethic. When pressed he will confide that he is not a beef-manufacturer or a Luddite, traditionalist, purist, or grassroots, return-to-the-way-things-were thinker, but rather a post-industrialist. He is looking at what’s here and how to expand it into new ways of approaching our well-being, continuity and enjoyment of things, dealing in complexities not often ascribed to the “humble farmer.” He will tell you that he is a grass-farmer. And that the cheeseburgers we eat are the product of what the animals over which he lords, ate.
That’s where I am headed; not a return to some puritanical time before Facebook, but rather to the next iteration. A better-sustained dialogue into the experiences possible and the evolution of what this mass-consciousness means. The Tweets are nifty, but let’s form a paragraph. Let’s not dally. Things move faster now, but that is not a strong enough argument to settle for ADDled brevity. There is something beyond that thought, and if you have the courage, you may find unclaimed territory. I want to meet you there. Press me, challenge me, let’s climb the next summit together, because we sure can’t do it flashing postcards at each other from the digested murmurs of our fragmented IDs, Twittering and FB updating away, grasping for attention, lost in the sea of unformulated meditations on the boundless ecstasy in which life itself revels.
I import the indelible experience of Web 2.0 into this uncharted space, honoring its potency, and expect something that builds upon its Mind-Meldish, Chrysalid potentiality. But enough is enough. I have no idea where that leaves me, us, yet. Isn’t that, again, exciting?
"Keram makes excursions into almost every style of music imaginable here and does it with such flair that these very pleased ears, he could have settled on any of these genres and made just as brilliant a record." - Mark Rheaume, CBC Radio