Tuesday, February 24, 2009

To facebook, Or Not to facebook? That is My Question.

I will admit it, I am not on facebook.

It’s a fact that sadly changes my “tech-savvy” web age from “Gossip Girl” to somewhere between “On Golden Pond” and “Cocoon.” I can’t say that it was a conscious choice, that I was making a quaint social statement about how the internet has influenced almost every aspect of our lives. Instead, it was merely an act of self preservation.

Facebook, with all its widgets, updates, applications and lists, is no different than the Wii, QVC, bad TV shows, computer solitaire or ABBA music it is all compulsively addicting. And I, when it comes to anything shiny and new, would become instantly obsessed just as I did a year ago when my kids got the god damn Webkinz.

It is the only place where it is not just completely normal to log your day in 15 minute increments, but almost expected by providing "status" updates - i.e., Just let the cat out; Watered my spider plant; Something in the fridge smells like ass; etc. Yet, it is everywhere: at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland; on CNN as an interactive feed for reporter/audience Q&A; on greeting cards and t-shirts. Even if you are not on facebook, you know what it is and what it is all about.

Then, just when we are sure that it has infiltrated every possible aspect of life, it will officially jump from computer screen to the minivan bumper – FCBK – glued for eternity as an oval sticker next to LAX, ACK and WOOF or perhaps just used to cover a partially removed Gore/Lieberman decal.

However, I have learned that there is an art to the facebook update. After reading Virginia Heffernan’s article “Being There” in the New York Times Magazine on the subject, it seems that managing all of your social network sites could easily become a full time job. I see this myself, as I recently joined LinkedIn (why LinkedIn and not FCBK you ask? I'll probably post on that later!). One of my connections posted an update that he was "waiting at the bus stop". That was over 2 weeks ago and every time I read it I wonder, is he still there? 

Alas, our house is not completely facebook free.  My husband joined a year ago, so he says, because he was reconnecting with old friends from high school and college prior to upcoming reunions. While I am not sure I buy that explanation, I am amused by his dedication to it. He recently shared with me that he posted his own status update just before Valentine’s Day that asked “Not sure what to get her…Do I go with Apple Bottom Jeans and boots with the fur or baggy sweatpants and Reebok’s with the straps?” He did get a flurry of varied responses offering constructive input, and sadly only a few managed to correctly gauge his sarcasm. In the end, I’m not sure if I will be able to decide to further complicate my life and go for the facebook page or just live vicariously through my husband’s postings. But just in case anyone was wondering, he played it safe and bought me flowers.

No comments: