D sent me a link to this post from Good (De)fences today, the blog of an IT&Security guy. The post is about his decision to quit Facebook, and is basically a big metaphor built around The Borg and the collective.
When I first read it, I couldn’t help but be amused by his audacious remark: “to be a Facebook/Twitter/Social Networking member is to be a Borg – plugged into the collective mind and continually subjected to the stream of consciousness that represents the random thoughts of its members […]”, but right now, after I’ve had dinner and I can think of other stuff other than hunger, I must admit, it makes sense.
We’re all throwing our thoughts and emotions out there, exposing them for the world to see, on our wall.
And day after day, after numerous visits on facebook.com you end up knowing X’s state of mind on Monday afternoon, what song was stuck in Y’s head at 2:23 pm and the bra color of all the females in your friend list.
[I do hope you guys know what I’m talking about in that last part there, and don’t think that I’ve joined some kinky page on FB where they ask you to divulge random stuff about your lingerie.]
Yes, I agree with Michael (the author of said post) that we’re all too connected and share too much (mostly needless) information. I too would like to read the thoughts of all my FB contacts in the more intelligent form of a blog or an email.
But none of my friends (the ones I’ve met in person, not Internet friends) has a blog, and the time it takes to write an elaborate email, with complete sentences and such, come on…
The truth of the matter is that with all the info given to you without even bothering to ask, you don’t feel the need to catch up, open Gmail and start typing thoughts about how your week has been, or about the crazy weather. And I do it too, don’t think otherwise. When I try to think of persons with whom I exchange emails longer than 1 paragraph, just one name comes to mind.
But then again, I have a blog! You couldn’t possibly say that I’m not sharing quality information with the community (who wouldn’t want to know about the weird noises my neighbors are making?).
Apart from the fact that I have blog which makes me super cool, I tend to filter the messages that come from my contacts. Mafia Wars, Farmville, idiotic quizzes and statuses updated every 30 seconds get blocked. I haven’t unfriended* anyone yet but make no mistake, I will if it’s called for!
On a slightly different note, I reckon I’ll never use Twitter. My life is not that exciting to share with others the constant minutia of daily adventures. I will spare the world the sheer drama of walking in Alexandra’s shoes every day.
For the moment though, I’m sticking with Facebook, because when you need to keep in touch with friends spread out on different continents, you sometimes need to compromise.