Monday, January 03, 2011

Facebook Reality


Yes I have a facebook account. No you don't capitalize facebook. No facebook is not Big Brother, more like a big sister who is a fifteen year old gossip, an addicted texter and isn't bright enough to be on Jersey Shore.

But there are lessons to be learned from facebook or any other social networking site. First thing everyone needs to admit is that all of these websites are businesses. They are trying to turn a profit either by selling you stuff or selling your stuff. Your stuff being your personal information and internet preferences. If you equate capitalism with evil then they are indeed the spawn of satan. If you believe otherwise then you are a fool but facebook is no more evil than Bank of America or McDonalds.

But back to those lessons to be learned. Here are several examples I have gleaned from facebook.

My nephew has finally taken heed to his father's and my comments that someday he would actually want to apply for a real job and what is out there on the internet with his name attached will be there for all of his potential employers to find and consider right along with his college transcript. My rather bright nephew has found a way to play at will on facebook without having all of those beers and babes attached to his name. I am not going to give away his secret, but I will say -- Well Done Mister!

Next, in the category of double-edged sword, you will be judged by the content you post on facebook. Be sure you are reflecting the real you. I had a couple of coffee dates with a very nice lady, life intervened and our only contact for awhile was what each of us revealed online. In my case there is this blog, in hers there was her facebook page. Bottom line, I liked the person I met face to face; I really didn't care for the facebook version and that soured any future relationship.

In a similar vein, I know of two examples of rejected lovers following their former partner on facebook and coming away with exactly the same impression: "How did I ever think it would work with him/her."

Now part of this disjuncture has to do with the superficiality that pervades facebook and all the other social networking sites. They do not exactly encourage depth or insight. But even those who attempt to deepen the context seem destined to failure. I know I have a friend, someone I thought was becoming a close friend, but after following her for several months I was simply bored by the thin content of what she reflected as her life.

Final example. If you have something important in your life, like a philosophy or a mission; be careful how you reflect that on the net. I actually was asked to engage in a "conversation of depth" with a three people I thought were substantial. But after reviewing their facebook posts over the last year it was clear that they are deeply into the most superficial new age gloss on reality.

You know you can hide someone's posts on facebook without unfriending them. It's a way to not say to their facebook face: "You're an idiot!"
--
Big Brother/Facebook poster from collegecandy.com

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