The result of weak ties and the broadcast economy is that Facebook is also chipping away at the concept of effort. The energy I have to exert to like something and be in the know is at a record low. At the most I have to type a bit to learn something. Even easier sometimes I only have to click. And easier than that, sometimes I can just look because everything I could ever want to know is right in front of me, constantly updating. This all contributes to the increase in superficial satisfaction and knowledge and is altering the fundamentals of relationships.
Take the time to read Siegel’s full article as it is very astute. The problem isn’t just with Facebook, lest you assume I am just piling on to my hatred of the service, no this problem is endemic of all social networks (those that you find online at least). I often refer to Facebook as the ultimate stalking tool, not just because of the creepiness level, but because of the type of engagement.
You can learn a lot about someone from stalking them (I assume, never having done it, well, other than on Facebook), but you don’t actually end up knowing the person. So while you may be able to discern what that person likes to eat, you won’t understand why that person likes to eat those things. (Maybe they are nostalgic for someone who has passed, maybe they can’t cook.)
I see and hear this all the time from those around me on Facebook — this distance from what you see on Facebook, to the reality of that persons world. The conversation usually goes like this:
Person A: “I just got a new job, it’s great.”
Person B: “Oh yeah, I saw you post about that on Facebook.”
Usually this is where the conversation hits a snag. Person A can’t tell if Person B knows the reasoning why, but doesn’t want to assume too much. Often I see conversations fizzle out at this point, or take an interesting turn:
Person A: “Yeah, I just couldn’t stand the old job.”
Person B: “I thought you were fired?”
Person A: “No, I was harassed.”
Person B: “Woah, that wasn’t on Facebook.”
Well, no shit.
PS: Where the fuck are the RSS feeds? ↩