Thursday, October 13, 2011

Is it all rhetoric?

I don't know what to think of what Facebook does to people. It is really interesting to hear how affected people become over things they see on this website that... well? It's a website.

I think it's important for people to realize this. It is a tool for communicating, sure, but is it too much? At times, I think so. I think it's important to remember that when we have lists of people that range above 200, we should probably think about what we post there. This is why I use an alias, why I post almost nothing personal, and why I keep changing my birth year to reflect my desire to remain 28.

I don't believe this prevents us from being ourselves. Can't we be ourselves in real life with real people?

My close friends know my story. They hear my story while I use my real voice, usually in person. That is how it should be, as far as I'm concerned.

It does crack me up though when I'm out and about, usually at a restaurant, bar, or coffee place, trying to have a conversation with a friend about real stuff; or trying to read a book, because yes, I still do that, and I hear people bitching about this social networking site. They go off about how they see too much from some people, or not enough from others. They become butthurt when someone drops them from their friends list. They talk about people they have dropped from their own friend lists.

Is this what we have become as a society? Really? South Park was right. Facebook is like Tron. It will suck you in, and you will become trapped in the matrix. Well, if you let it.

The latest thing that I have noticed from people are all of these political/philosophical tiles that get shared, and re-shared. They are a bit like bumper sticker wisdom. At times, I think those are great. Some have really great quotes that make you think. But I also have to wonder, if this, too, isn't too much?

It sort of reminds me of that time a couple years ago when I drove down SE 20th Ave toward Hawthorne BLVD, and I saw a stop sign. Underneath the word "stop", someone had placed a sticker that read: "Now is all you have." At the time, I thought that was just fantastic! But on the same drive, I noticed more of them. And more of them. And... still more. One bike rack area had them plastered all over it.

And well... yeah. As you could imagine, I was less impressed. See where I'm going?

Are we turning great wisdom into cheap rhetoric? It is feeling like that to me, at least a bit. I get it, and it's great that the word is getting out, and possibly making people think, but... is it, or is it more of the same in a veritable sea of once-great things that are starting to matter less and less? I guess it's all been happening for a while with the ability to rip CDs and DVDs; the ability to buy cheaper art prints; the ability to basically cheapen anything that is truly great, bring it to the point of saturation.

Accessibility is a great thing, don't get me wrong. Without the benefit of these truly great things, we would live a miserable existence. But accessibility and saturation are completely different things, and I believe it's important that we are careful in that distinction.

When we allow accessibility, we are saying that we believe anyone, if they so choose, can see, learn, and experience something that may have only been accessible to a select few in the past.

Nothing wrong with that.

When we allow things to reach the point of saturation, we see people rolling their eyes because they have not only had way too much access, but may have never wanted access in the first place, and are so sick of said subject matter, that they start looking for something completely different.

This is a lot of what I see on this social networking site that, yes, OK, I still go to, because I will admit... some of it is fun. Enough of it is fun to make me want to stay. For now. But I am not really that into talking about it... on the outside. I would much rather hear about what you have been up to, and what you are doing with your life.


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