No Friend of Facebookby Art Jacobson on Jan. 10, 2013, under Advertising, Arts and Entertainment, Blogs and Bloggers, Facebook, Social Media, Solipsism, Twitter
Not even a “friend” for that matter. Sorry, but I simply don’t “friend” Facebook; so this morning I disabled my account.
In no significant sense does this utterly delete it. Getting a Facebook page is like getting your ass tattooed, the best you can do is cover it up so folks can’t comment on it. But it’s still there, festering away on Facebook’s digital rump like a boil that is threatening to erupt.
Sign in with your password and out it pops in all its former glory.
I realize that fb is supposed to have a billion users, something like a seventh of the world’s population, and the traditional wisdom is that this has enabled a wonderful growth of communication and understanding. Permit me to be just a tad skeptical. Very little real communication takes place.
The folks I followed on Facebook are, in real life, pretty interesting people…actors I have worked with, grandkids, an old high-school classmate, a newspaper guy, a former academic colleague and so on.
More often than not what got posted on their Facebook pages failed to rise even to the richness of the average tweet. Somebody went for a bike ride, someone else is appearing in a show, a third is now working for a different newspaper.
Fair enough, I suppose, but what I want to know is what they saw on the bike ride, what their play is about, and what they think of the sorry state of journalism in the sorry state to which they have found themselves exiled. I miss the sense tat they are talking to me. If not, the rest is simply advertising.
The most active Facebook pages today are those that use Facebook as free commercial advertising sites…small businesses who ask you to like them on Facebook, or big businesses like newspapers or other national enterprises who want to create the illusion of active community and increase page views to their primary sites. One thing that can be said about the commercial Facebook pages is that they are reasonably attractive. Not so the average personal sites that are more often than not cluttered messes that would have made old time bloggers blush.
Facebook is one leg of what we call ‘the social media’ but the concept of social communication implies something more than my stating what I’m doing or what I like, or what I plan to do tomorrow. It implies an active connection with an “other.”
This is a large part of what I find missing in Facebook… a billion people talking about themselves and priding themselves on their “friends” doesn’t seem like true communication…It’s just so much advertising.
Thus ends the rant.