My Facebook profile says "Joseph is on Facebook against his wishes", which is really just another manifestation of my ordinary curmudgeonliness. Yesterday arvo I had a gin & tonic with one of my former housemates and it was real damn nice, probably wouldn't have happened if we hadn't run into each other online, as we both remarked out loud.
So that's one thing. Here's another thing. I am quite concerned about the walled garden. I'm also worried that in your desire to connect with friends and strangers, you may have conducted (however unwittingly, and to whatever extent) a Faustian bargain.
People talk about identity ownership, but in these backwaters of the West it seems one step removed from reality. We understand it in the sense that we don't want someone to swipe our credit card, put on a false moustache and pretend to be us — but the little details of ourselves seem too numerous and too matter-of-fact to be of much use to anyone else. Still, we all (some less than others) invest a lot of time in cultivating our friendships, our actual social network, as opposed to the ones we log into. But when more and more of this is normal human intercourse becomes facilitated, accumulated and aggregated by aggressive corporations — Facebook completed its first corporate takeover last week, by the way — who really owns your relationships, or has access to them, or the opportunity to divert or alter them? All that time and data, yes data, you're ploughing into Facebook now, that you poured into MySpace last week... what happens to it?
Hell if I know. Probably nothing. Yeah, probably nothing.
One more thing. I want to quote this with approval:
You think your brain is expanding, you think you've opened up new worlds of friends, a network, like minded people with amazing brains who write a single fucking word that has you wet and shivering in awe of a mystery who hides behind a screen, a photo, an image, and it'll suck every single fucking one of us unless we remember what's what and who is who and what the wet grass smells like without having to take a digital photo, or think of the words we'll use later to describe it to everyone here, in the Land of the Undead.
Joseph | 23 Jul 2007