Monday, 18 June 2007

Back to basics

My problem with when we started this blog a month back is that I was overthinking things, trying to write things that I was sure other people would want to read. That's a mistake I think, so I've decided to just try and write something that is on my mind, or about something that I have seen that I want to comment on.

Time to step it up a gear. Too many weeks without writing - well, I was away for one of them, but I don't know what noisms excuse is - and now I sit here having made an agreement with him that I will write something every weekday for the next few months, so that we build up a great swathe of interesting things.

He is supposed to do the same, so we'll see what happens.

We both became Facebook members in the last week or so. What a curious thing social networking via the internet is... That probably makes me sound slightly strange when I say that, but looking back when I started using the internet seven or eight years ago there really wasn't anything like Facebook or myspace out there. The internet (back then) was all about basically showcasing content of one form or another (and porn, let's not forget that) in some way.

Sure, you had your dating sites, and you had your forums that you were a member of, but there was nothing quite like the idea of what Facebook is. I'm still trying to decide if it is a good thing or not. For example, someone that I know, let's for politeness sake call them an acquaintance, added me as a friend. They don't have my phone number, they have my email but never write to me and I never write to them, they're just somebody that I have met. Whenever I see them we say hello and are polite, but they are by no means what I would think of as a friend.

In real life if you don't talk to someone for a while then you just naturally drift apart, but on Facebook it feels rude not to accept adds even if have no intention of talking to someone. Another site that I am a member of, but which is not social networking just a forum, has this concept of friends/contacts, and you have to accept people trying to add you as a friend. The difference there is that random people just try to add you as a result of a post you might make, without ever talking to you. In that situation I don't feel bad at all about not accepting a friend request.

With Facebook being what it is though - since these are people who in some sense know you - I don't know... Is it rude to decline someone wanting to add me if we are barely acquainted? In "real life" we are not friends. Why should I add them?

And yet I did.

1 comment:

mattiecore said...

Porn was one of the main reasons I started using the Internet, which makes me sound like a perverse human being, but I was about 12-13 when the huge Internet boom was sounding off around 1998-ish...It became immediately accessible. (My parents are, putting it nicely, less than computer-savvy; they'd have no clue how to restrict content online.)

I first started using Facebook in May of 2005. Back then, (a whooole two years ago) Facebook was just a communication site; it offered college students a way to keep in touch with friends from high school. Representatives from a given school would have to petition (though not desperately) to get their school added to Facebook's "list." My school was added a little later in the game, and I was really psyched about it when my school's time came. But within a year, it was opened to high school students, too, which peeved me a bit. And then, like, 6 months after that, it was completely open for anyone with a verifiable e-mail address. This really peeved me. Now factor in all these new-fangled apps: Mini-Feed, iLike, Games, Movies, etc, and we have the newest Myspace.

The thing that I think bothers me is something Mark Zuckerberg failed to realize: Facebook gave us a way to manipulate and manage relationships with people, both those we know well and those we don't; and people love to manage relationships without having to put forth much effort. The problem is that with all these thingy-deals that have been added, we now continually get information about people doing things we don't really care about. We can no longer add a friend and forget them, which is what typically happened with those acquiantance friends. Now we find out what they did when and with whom, and it generally makes it much harder to manage our relationships.

That's my take, at least...