Proper Facebook Etiquette

#714 Reading the Facebook text… is this where reality stops?

Friday 30th January, 2009

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Today, Friday, January 30, 2009, it is easy to see how it no longer takes ‘a SNS’ to take on, or to replicate, the ‘realities’ of a personal social world.

Social crashes, crasher’s, expletives, destruction, reconstruction, fall-outs and make ups have all converged, after a fashion, of network-to-network and friend-to-friend social skills. Perhaps there should be a word to the wise; familar with with words such as ‘deterrence’ and used to being on an ‘amber alert’ we have at our fingertips, thanks to the at-once and live streaming of social information, one long series of scoops and potential social pitfalls. This is afterall the chief reason I started writing this blog.

However, is there a degree to which we have fallen victim, or become lazy to this ‘high/ly social’ stupor where we simply cannot contemplate our(social)selves without being connected with others. What are we if we do not through the course of a day mentally tick off the events, invitations, posts, comments and track-backs/forwards with the enumerating collection of our social reverses, tactical manoeuvres and – as is inevitable – mistakes… Perhaps we would account for ‘nothing’. Oh to forbear the unbearable being of a ‘nothingness’…

Writing before the weekend I am (socially) aware I’ve seen nothing yet. Come Monday morning I will be roused from sleepy nostalgia of long lie-in’s and indulgent treats immediately into the next hectic social scene afforded by the reality of all those social actions and accounts that have strayed by their course from Friday to Monday.

It may surprise you to learn that despite such Facebook dedication I tend not to pay too much attention once the working week is done. Friday PM = Phone ‘off’; Facebook ‘logged out’. Maybe this tactic is to ensure a nice arrangement of social happenings from which to browse and procrastinate a Monday morning – so suggests an ‘into therapy’ and ‘self-help’ addict friend of mine. Or a refusal to concern oneself with others troubles/ celebrations /jubilations across a weekend front (my father’s suggestion). Oh escapism are you not wonderful! It has been claimed (by some) that social networking is the new ‘anti-social’. I might merely counter that perhaps ‘they’ lack some of the social graces to understand / recognise good Facebook social progress. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with all those posse’s from school days?…

Of course the same was said of the famous ‘Gutenberg Galaxy’ (FYI: a key text on the effects of mass media with particular attention paid to the printing press) that claimed to put printed ink, and thus reading, within everyone’s line of vision and reach. Herald as the social revolution of its time. What was overlooked was how for others it merely produced a population of ‘deaf mutes’ (see Paul Virilio – French Philosopher (and thus both mad and brilliant at the same time) for more on this). But, what now brown cow? Are we today also deafened by a similar (m)ass-produced social rhetoric, or am I the only one to update my Facebook Status with words relating to my tenth tea of the day.

You reader, may have observed I’m feeling philosophical for this post. Inspired by a forced degree of self-reflexivity for ‘what lies ahead’ – this is what January and the accumulation of those ‘resolutions’ does for you. I suggest instead of solitary and silent reading of the Facebook text(s) there is opportunity for real exclamations and social involvement. Just today I laughed aloud at one of my friends, Sally, ‘from Russia with love’ attired fur hat pciture AND coordinated the meeting of three other friends not seen ‘for years’ across numerous Walls and Comment posts.

So if we were to go on listening to those who suggest a limitation of our social perceptual capacities we really would be hemmed in by the contamination of their ‘no-say’ hearsay. All in all Facebook provides numerous guilty pleasure opportunities and functions as a pretty effective social meter, where from t/here everything goes…

Have a fabulous weekend.

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