4.24.2006

Some Effort Required

I recently signed off from the bizarre world of FaceBook. For those of you who don't know, Facebook is a service which allows you to broadcast to the world important things about yourself including: your favorite books, your political affiliation, and most importantly your relational status. Anyone can search for you, although you have to grant people "friend" status to view your entire profile.

For awhile I thought it was mildly amusing as I tried to acquire as many "friends" as possible. Naturally I couldn't keep up with the college crowd who boasted some two-to-three hundred friends. I was a decently popular guy in college, but even at the height of my quasi-popularity I was not filled with the delusion that I had that many friends.

Then it dawned on me. This tool, while attempting to make life easier and draw people closer, had added one more layer of superficiality to our high-tech world. It allowed people to know me without them ever talking to me. It allowed old friends to stay in touch by "writing on my wall" instead of making a phone call or writing an email (which is another subject altogether).

So I removed myself from this madness. People who know me and want to stay involved in my life will be in regular communication with me via phone, email, or physical interaction. Those who would like to get to know me should not think that finding out I like Star Wars from a website draws them closer to me. Instead they should go through normal channels of relational development to build a friendship. Even a blog should not be used as a substitute for true human interaction, although it often is!

Don't get me wrong - I see the value added in all technologies. I just like to make a strong case for the good ole days. Yes, that's right - the '80s.

17 comments:

Jeff Eager said...

"People who know me and want to stay involved in my life will be in regular communication with me via phone, email, or physical interaction"

Interesting, there are those that feel the same way about email, yet you find it an acceptable mode of interaction. I'm curios to find out if today's college students will feel the same way about some other "new" medium of interaction as you do about Face Place and Blogs.

I suppose 75 years ago people may have said, "People who know me and want to stay involved in my life will be in regular communication with me via letters or stopping by the house".

Just an observation.

Liz said...

I most certainly agree with you.
However, while being far away, I find cheap interaction better than none at all. Sadly, phone calls are quite expensive from here and stop-bys are quite impossible... so for now I must read posts and write on walls. Which would have been a misdemeanor in the 80's.

alayna said...

And sometimes... even if a person asks to be called he doesn't respond to messages... : ) But you love him anyway.

josh said...

good point Blake. I have become frustrated with facebook as well, though in a different way. It just gave me one more thing to use my time on. I would often sit and stare at and check up on my friends and write on their walls etc. and then I would look at the time and I was aghast to find that 2 hours had past and I had only gotten through half of my friends...I am sure that people now think I am rude for not getting on for several months but oh well. Like you said, they can call me or email me.

chigbee said...

it's wierd because at the end of the day it's like a measuring tool to see how popular you are. It's like cyber-junior high. It even shows you the cool friends who'd sit at your table if it were real life.

Kelly said...

Oh. I guess this would be a bad time to invite you to be my friend on facebook, then...shoganai:) Hope you're doing well.

Bonn said...

blake-a-fur,
get better please, and check your email. i'm coming home for a visit and want to do lunch one day. talk to you soon hopefully

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