Saturday, February 21, 2009

Facebook

If I drank a coffee every time I logged into Facebook I'd be six foot under with caffeine poisoning by now.
I don't think I'm an addict. I don't get withdrawal symptoms. It's just that there's so much going on there that it draws my attention on quiet days.
And I'm not alone. Most of the people at my office are on Facebook including technophobes, sensible people and people as old as me.
If Facebook had been around in the 18th century when the Scottish castaway Alexander Selkirk (the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe) was marooned on a Pacific Island, he'd probably admit he never managed to start a fire but he had poked someone on Facebook.
Yet if you suggested these eminent work colleagues 'hang out' on MySpace they'd look at you as if you suggested membership of the street gang the Bloods was possibly a jolly good idea.
Still there's a kind of law of diminishing returns going on with Facebook. I know there are people who like to lord it over others because they've got more 'friends' but I am ashamed to confess I have some 'friends' on this site who I'd walk past and in a corridor and not a - recognise b - talk to (the latter probably goes without saying because it's not very English to talk to complete strangers).
And the more friends you have on this site the greater the potential for you to be bombarded with photographs of children of relatives of 'friends' who you wouldn't recognize in the corridor closely followed by photos of those children's friend's new bicycle.
Then there are those mindless status updates, which I am as guilty of as anyone, in which you are informed the friend you wouldn't recognize in the corridor had bagels for breakfast and they tasted good.
Then a friend of that friend will tell you they had sausages but ended up throwing up.
Facebook also allows you to comment on an update from a friend who you would recognise in a corridor and to then be ritually bombarded by follow-ups from people you wouldn't know from Adam (or Eve) who are attacking you for being an unreconstructed pig.
Then there are some of the more annoying features of Facebook - the pokes, the super pokes, the nuclear pokes, the opportunities to throw oxes at people, or buttons with smiley faces or council estate memorabilia such as white dog turds, snow balls, Christmas trees, potted plants etc.
The list is endless.The weird thing about Facebook is that I have good friends from back in the day on there but they're not friends as I used to know them, Jim.
Instead of having a good chat over a beer, you make do with sending a bijou Halloween cat or super poking them from 2,000 miles away.
Facebook has brought us closer to our friends but paradoxially pushed us further apart by consigning us to a sterile parallel universe in cyberspace.

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