Thursday 21st June, 2012
Dear Dr H. for an old friend of over forty-years standing there’s been a bit of light ruckus. You see, they said they we were friends from school, and I just added them on Facebook. Come to think of though, we never went to school together and this individuals got me down as ‘old best friends’. I would unfriend, however, their updates are witty and they look good in a bikini. Still. Should I remain enraptured or step away from our farcical-friending?…
From Nigel with spurs on.
At least 349 of my friends are completely there for entertainment reasons. And we certainly don’t claim to know one another. However, they do offer up piece-meal moments of amusement assisted by simplified mundane pictures and updates where everything is made light and digestible. Take my friend Iain Mange (Hello Iain by-the-by), completely dull and uninteresting in real life. Put him on Facebook and the inferior parts of his boring life are liable to cause distraction for the entire morning.
I say we’re dealing with newly socially deferential publics. Facebook remains a relatively ‘new’ medium – yes folk, I’m meaning Geographic contexts of time. Edison stumbled across a means to sound record during the fall of 1877 working on the telephone. Edison put together a reproduction of sound. Facebook adds a reproduction of social. And what these contexts mean is a way to reassemble existing contexts into hitherto unknown modes and meanings. And importantly for Edison and us, how information can be gather up, captured and stored for future use.
So let us go from Edison to the really remarkable lives of us (and our friends). I think you want to hold onto this ‘friend of over-forty years standing’. Since you are not really known to one another, why not make up a more exciting context for how you met and what you might post on each others Profiles. This should keep both them and you guessing. In a few years time you’ll be greyer on top and will desire to have a grander social network than you can recall. And surely that’s the very essence of Facebook; having friends you can’t remember.Tweet