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Friday, May 27, 2011

The Facebook Frenzy: Schmoozing or Snoozing?

When I first created my Facebook account in 2009 it was mildly exciting. I searched around to find old acquaintances to see what they were up to, built my friends' list, looked at photos, uploaded some of my own pictures, and in general enjoyed an experience that felt a little bit like getting re-connected and a whole lot like virtual stalking. Just before nodding off to sleep each night, I got into the habit of taking a last look on my Blackberry to see what people were up to. I myself don't post many FB updates, but I liked (at least for awhile) reading what others had to say.

Now, two years later, I'm starting to wonder when all this Facebook chatter is going to wind down. I'm wondering this because it appears people are running out of things to say. Hottest topics seem to be health (for some reason there are Facebookers who think their 572 friends are actually interested in the fact that they've just had an in-grown toenail removed); love (love is great, love is sad, love is hard, love is joy, all of which we're told on a daily basis); the weather (it's raining! it's snowing! it stopped raining! it stopped snowing!) death notices of famous people (a great guy, only 67! RIP to a wonderful singer!); sports (and how that particular updater feels about the Yankees, Mets, Jets, Giants, or Phillies and how anybody who likes an opposing team is a fool or a traitor); and handy tips with accompanying handy links (how to wring a chicken's neck, can wild rabbit, make your own paper, catch mice in a hairnet, turn paperclips into a bracelet, hunt moose, and pretty much anything else you can think of that you probably wouldn't have thought of if someone hadn't posted it on Facebook).

Without question, Facebook is a phenomenon. But good grief, do I really need to know that friend number 127 is heading out to the store to buy milk, or that friend number 42 is going to bed now? I honestly don't care that friend number 202's car has a flat tire or that friend number 7 mowed his lawn this afternoon. These updates have become mind-numbingly dull. It's as though an entire species of small-talkers has risen from the muck in order to share drivel with everybody else. Not to mention perhaps the most important aspect of the Facebook frenzy: have we lost all sense of privacy? I can't speak for others, but I'd just as soon not announce to the general population of the internet that I've discovered a wart on my ear or that I'm going on vacation for two weeks. I might as well take a snapshot of the wart and silk screen the picture on tee-shirts or include my address and combination to the safe to make burglarizing my house as easy as possible. 

Where will we be with Facebook in five years? Will people still be telling us their turkey is fresh out of the oven, or will the pendulum swing back the other way? I don't know about the rest of you out there in this brave new world, but I'm looking forward to future Facebook pals keeping their bad round of golf not to mention their recently developed hemorrhoids to themselves.

1 comment:

edsbath said...

I'm doing a load of wash and thinking about getting a new cell phone.

About Me

Newspaper columnist; blogger; author of Delta Dead; author of 101 Tip$ From My Depression-Era Parents; author of Australian Fly; editor: ...And I Breathed (author, Jason Garner, former CEO of Global Music at Live Nation), "A History of the Lawrence S. Donaldson Residence"; "The Port Washington Yacht Club: A Centennial Perspective"; "The Northeastern Society of Periodontists: The First Fifty Years"; editor: NESP Bulletin; editor: PWYC Mainsail; past editorial director: The International Journal of Fertility & Women's Medicine; past editor of: Long Island Power & Sail, Respiratory Review; Medical Travelers' Advisory; School Nurse News; Clear Images; Periodontal Clinical Investigations; Community Nurse Forum