3.01.2009

Bloggers Rest Easy: Facebook is Empty

After about the millionth person prodding me to join...you know, the "book" that isn't one, I cyberstrolled through it t'other day, and found, yes, nothing.

Facebook is essentially a group of people you know well, a little or not at all, saying these riveting and edifying words: "What's Uuuup?"

It's nothingland. Done well, it's nothinglandia.

The precursor to this phenomenon was of course the blogosphere, wherein some bloggers stripped off the tatters of their remaining privacy and bared all to the cybermasses. All they bared was most often excruciatingly boring, but we're not ashamed to bore strangers.

With Facebook, we're boring our friends and family. And our "friends". There is if possible even less real content on Facebook than on the most TMI blogs, because the tools for posting are all designed down to a sentence or two.

Whenever my daughter is on the phone, and she's asked by the caller "what are you doing?" she answers, matter of factly, "I'm talking on the phone."

This brilliant response is the source of the FBer's confusion. When Facebook asks you what you're doing, the only answer is, "I'm on Facebook", which is to say, "I'm wasting time on the computer, gathering useless factlets about people I know and don't know and my relatives, instead of talking to them or seeing them in person. Instead of having real experiences or interactions. I'm "relationshipping" with my "friends" who have "friended" me."

(Shudder.)

It's all too Farhenheit 451 for comfort. That book was positively Oracle at Delphi accurate, my friends. Right down to the seashell earpods (see:ipods), right down to the replacement of real family and friends with their projected facsimiles on screens that surround us.

If you need me, I'll be camped down by the river with the other professors, books stuffed into my coat and into my mind, hiding from the vicious cyberdog that hunts us.