What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

04 September 2010

Conversation is so 1990.

I'm going to have to add a "Facebook" label to my list if I keep referring to it so frequently. Meh... I think everyone knows about Facebook, and has no need to look up how many times I mention it.

So, there are dozens of articles out there about how social media is driving us all further apart, destroying a sense of community, encouraging people to live as hermits, and so on. And I am not going to argue with that, because goodness knows I've seen it in my own life.

When I first joined Facebook about a year and a half ago, I was amazed, amused and otherwise pretty darn happy about how many people from South Plains were on FB. I told Chad at the time, "South Plains has 1200 members and about 700 of them are on Facebook; who needs community groups? We can all log on at once on Sunday night."

Obviously, I was joking (mostly-- that would be a good way to have multiple conversations at once without a lot of noise and people getting interrupted). But when I made the same joke at church a few weeks later, there were a lot of unamused people. I can only presume that they had already had the same idea, but didn't want anyone else to know they thought it was a good plan.

On the other hand, I have noticed that the founding idea of Facebook-- to enhance real-life relationships-- has happened for me. I went from talking to friends at church once or twice a week to "talking" to them every day. And suddenly we were talking about all sorts of stuff, well beyond the "Did you have a good week?"-type conversation one tends to have when one only has five minutes to talk to someone on a Sunday morning. Plus-- and this is the holy grail, as is were, of Facebook-- it has been much easier to keep up, and/or reconnect, with family and friends who live far away. And since moving a couple of months ago, I've been extremely grateful for Facebook.

But of course, laziness does take over; we have a "like" button. And also, if all the hype is to be believed, a "dislike" button. And because it is marginally easier to click "Like" rather than clicking in the comment box to say, "Cool!" or "Wow!" or "Yay!", that's what happens.

I'm not really bothered by this-- goodness knows I appreciate the "like" button, too-- but sometimes I wonder: Why did you like this? What were you thinking about it? Those questions are especially pressing when my first thought is: Really? You liked that?

There's no telling where social media will go next. But people who aren't willing to give up actual human contact are going to have to work pretty hard to keep the offline interaction going.


Timbra Wiist said...

"like". . . kidding, kidding, only kidding. i often "like" something if it just jumps out at me, but i'm one handed and a squirming baby is in the other, otherwise rendering helpless to do much more than read and "like". . . also, I do find that we get a lot more info about people. . . "oh, how was the eggplant casserole you made on Friday night? I'm going to need to get your recipe" instead of. . .well, having NO idea what 700 other people at for dinner on Friday night. . . :) You suddenly realize you have things in common it might take months or even years of conversations to learn about one another (especially in those 5 minute convos you were talking about)

Su said...

Yep. It's brilliant.

I hit "like" a lot, it's a handy button, but sometimes the strangest things get "liked" by people who I never realised were actually reading. It's entertaining, but I do want to ask why from time to time. (Never have, though!)