Friday, January 21, 2011

Sit On My Facebook, And Tell Me That You Love Me

I love when people who would think I'm an old fuddie duddie join the Order Of The Old Man That Yells At Cloud. The interesting and influential John Scalzi has seen Facebook, and he's not happy.

Facebook has made substandard versions of everything on the Web, bundled it together and somehow found itself being lauded for it, as if AOL, Friendster and MySpace had never managed the same slightly embarrassing trick. Facebook had the advantage of not being saddled with AOL’s last-gen baggage, Friendster’s too-early-for-its-moment-ness, or MySpace’s aggressive ugliness, and it had the largely accidental advantage of being upmarket first — it was originally limited to college students and gaining some cachet therein — before it let in the rabble. But the idea that it’s doing something better, new or innovative is largely PR and faffery. Zuckerberg is in fact not a genius; he’s an ambitious nerd who was in the right place at the right time, and was apparently willing to be a ruthless dick when he had to be. Now he has billions because of it. Good for him. It doesn’t make me like his monstrosity any better.
Preach it, brother. I'm constantly bombarded with advice -- and just plain demands--to get a Facebook page and Twitter presence going, and LinkedIn requests, and lots of other utilities with problems with spaces between words and capitalization, but I just can't bring myself to slice my onion any thinner. I recently read an article about an NFL player from a small town in the midwest, and ESPN needed a thumbnail sketch to illustrate how backward the place was, so they pointed out that most of the denizens of this particular benighted place in their mysterious flyover state still had phones that, get this, fold in the middle. They may be pooping indoors now, but they're not Twittering about it realtime. The horror!

[Update: A møøse once bit my sister --and then accumulated 1000 Facebook friends and lots of lungworms and died.]


Andy said...

Ahh, the techno-snoots! As I understand it, folks like this Scarzi are upset that someone has found success by doing something that doesn't require the employment of a 7,000 piece Rube Goldberg device to operate. Facebook, I guess, doesn't provide enough opportunity for bragging rights through code manipulation.


I also like that people think that it is still amusingly ironic to announce things like "I said I hate Facebook...ON FACEBOOK! L-friggin-O-L!"

Me? I don't like Facebook because if I pay any attention to it, I see all the parts of my friends and family that we are supposed to hide from each other in order to make the human experience tolerable.

Jewel said...

Well said, Andy...or well, said. I have a facebook and I get squeamish about reading my kids' stuff there, and I found that even after I reconnected with some high school friends, I don't even talk to them now any more than I did.
However, having said all that, I do like the new friends I've made there. We'll probably never meet, but it is encouraging to know how many people are with you when it gets too much.
But then, blogging has also introduced me to fine people I will likely never meet, and the joys are the same. With facebook, though, you aren't really writing good screeds and you have to put up with a lot of nonsense.
Blogging is better.

Kenneth said...

Interesting that the bulk of modern communication technology, while geometrically amplifying inane chatter and insane rhetoric, is a deterrent to actual communication or exchange of ideas. I see it as similar to the development of modern transportation methods in that while the point of the evolution of the automobile may have been getting from A to B faster and more efficiently, the consequence is a population 'milling about aimlessly', but quickly.

John Hinds said...

I used FB during this last election cycle. Made it easy to excoriate my pathetic excuses for representatives, and in public too. I had lots of company. And, when I met some of them face to face it made it easy to take them down because I'd already rehearsed. After the election I deleted all my friends and unliked all my likes and left it sitting there. Maybe something else will come up and I'll need it again.

I did identify a lot of family I'd lost contact with. Should have left THAT alone. And, made one itty bitty comment on my libtard daughter-in-law's page challenging her stance on gay marriage and we are no longer BFFs but WFFs. But that was worth it if you want to know.

SippicanCottage said...

Attention K-Mart shoppers! Please see blogpost for Best. Update. Evar.

Eric said...

Was that moose story a parody?

I can't tell anymore.

That said, I've used Facebook to actually reconnect with family and some old friends.

It has its uses. And like most things, it is what you make of it.

Andy said...

Ha! There's mooses! And Moseses! Every book I know has a face, except the ones where iPads have a You tube.


SippicanCottage said...

Hi Eric- It's legit.

I am the publisher of the Rumford Meteor.

Sam L. said...

That's one virulent sister, Sipp!