I first started using Facebook in 2009 when I was in college working in the Chemical Addictions program. Every class had become ever so monotonous; how many times can you listen to a professor talk about binge drinking before it makes you feel like getting drunk yourself??
A few of my fellow students were using Facebook on their smartphones and the social media network became a tool to pass the time away on break.
If we are going to be honest about it, Facebook’s appeal in many ways is to the lowest common denominator. Your mother taught you not to judge a book by its cover, but the social media giant is all about looks. Prior to Facebook you couldn’t spend a half hour of your day looking at photos of the new girl that your boyfriend left you for or that handsome hunk that your ex-wife married and is snuggling next to in bed.
Facebook appeals to our base senses; looks and sound bytes is what its all about.
People use Facebook to prove their spirituality; they post scripture verses throughout the day as though they are some kind of spiritual Jesus or Buddha espousing to us their honorable wisdom.
Others use Facebook to try and prove that their lives are full and meaningful, as though a public announcement of their tedious hour-by-hour life means something else besides the simple fact that they are annoying, “Having dinner with the R’ents”, “Drinks w/ Dana & Jen @ the bar” and other trivial nonsense.
Could you imagine in the 1990′s if one of your acquaintances called you up to say, “hey I’m just calling to let you know that I’m having dinner with my parents tonight”, “My 2 year old daughter is so very cute” and, “I just wanted to let you know that I took 47 pictures of different meals I’ve eaten this past week and your more than welcome to come over and look at those pictures”.
Prior to Facebook, people who’s lives were empty and shallow had to face the truth, now they hide in their hollow homes and spend hours of their days in front of a laptop or on their smartphone scanning photos, reading & posting meaningless updates, and waste their lives away.
Does it sound as if I don’t like Facebook? Well I definitely don’t care for Zuckerberg and his nefarious actions in starting the Website. But as a social medium I don’t have a problem with Facebook.
My problem is with what Facebook is doing to society, the way its changing people.
I enjoy blogging. In fact, I will go on to say that I believe people who blog to be on a higher intellectual plane than people who only use Facebook.
Think about it; if you blog you have to put together a whole lot more thoughts on a subject than a mere 11 second sound byte. You have to use a higher degree of energy, creativity and intellect in order to piece together an article.
Blogging can and does involve photos, it can and does involve sound bytes. At its heart though, blogging is about expressing and communicating deeper ideas.
The difference between blogging and Facebook is similar to the difference between reading a comic book and reading a book of philosophy. Sure the comic book might contain a couple simple elements of philosophy, but the comic book won’t challenge you to think more deeply or expand your intellect all that much.
On Facebook you might read a couple updates by friends who say, “McDonald’s suck, eat healthy” but in the blogosphere we have the pleasure of a more well thought out article such as “Our Love Affair With Mediocre Food“
While you can find me on Facebook if you look hard enough, if your hoping to find out what I ate for dinner last night your going to be sorrily disappointed.
Categories: Culture & Society