Telephones gave us a connectivity that changed the scope of humanity. Ditto fax machines, radios, computers and their ubiquitous partner, email. But none of the above has ever offered a tool with the potential to wrap it all up into a nice package and do a lot of mindless legword for us.
Until social networking sites, that is.
It seems, to me, anyways, that people rarely feel blase about social networking. I'm talking mostly about Facebook, since that is all I know. People either extoll its virtues or decry it as a terrible invention.
I'm of the rather not/mild opinion that Facebook is life altering. In a positve way. How many times in your life (this will change dependent upon age) have you wondered how someone is doing, or what they are up to, or where they ended up? How many times do you miss seeing a dear friend, and all the things that go along with a close physical connection, like children growing and home renovations and holidays? Those are the things you show your dinner guests, or you talk about on a sunny afternoon while sipping coffee and eating cookies. Not something you make into a big package and ship off to those dear but far flung.
Facebook decriers seem to all have the same three complaints. Let's examine them.
- Facebook wastes time.
Response: Facebook doesn't waste time, you waste time. Unless you have a different version than I do, it's up to you to log in and it's up to you to log off.
- Facebook connects me with people I don't like or don't want to connect with.
Response: I just bet you're the kind of person who pretends not to see others at Costco. L-ame. Unless you are a child, or you are unable to say no (which is not Facebook's problem, it's yours), you are perfectly capable of minimizing unwanted intrusions in your life.
- Facebook opens the door to targeted advertising and people will know pertinent information about me.
Response: Unless you're posting your passwords online, I'm not sure you have anything to worry about. Does it really matter if the ads that pop up are in tune with who you are? Really? If you don't want people to know what your favourite book is, I'm sure you won't put it on there.
Step into the two thousands, as Tara would say. The double 00's. Out of the 90s. I'm sure phones and electricity and typewriters were all scary objects, too, at one time. Isn't it better if we all know each other a little more, instead of cocooning in the insulated spaces of our own creation?