Facebookin’ Hardcore!! To the Xtreme!!!

June 15, 2007

Hey. So my post-grad life (and to be quite honest by pre-grad life as well) has consists of incessantly cheching out facebook (with the occasional MySpace there). I’ve used other networking sites such as Friendster and Downelink but none of them held my interest quite as Facebook did.

It’s been a good way for me to keep in touch with people. That’s not entirely true. It’s been a good way for me to keep people in the forefront of my mind. I’ll see someone’s pic on Facebook and remember that maybe I should send them and e-mail or something cuz I haven’t seen them in a long time. Usually nothing comes from that impulse because a) I end up forgetting by the time I logoff and b) in general I am terrible at keeping in touch with people.

Facebook has changed incredibly since the first times I used it as a sophomore (I think it was Laurie that made me sign up for it, though I probably inevitably made an account), I can’t even remember what it was like. It must have been incredibly bare bones. Some new features were awesome, such as posting photos. Others I found annoying and unnecessary like the Newsfeed. It was way too overwhelming and made stalking an unavoidable activity. However, I am so used to it now that I don’t really mind it anymore and can’t really remember what it was like before. Now I’m trying to formulate my opinions of the application features. Some applications I am highly in favor of, such as the Graffiti one (PLEASE DRAW ON MY WALL!!!!), while others again seem dumb. I’m hesitant to download them unless I really like them because I don’t want to overload my profile, and because I am wary of downloading random things (from having an often Virus and spyware laden PC) though it’s only fake in the world of facebook downloading so it won’t really mess up my computer (or will it?). It just seems weird that these applications are being made from outside sources and are being incorporated into facebook, and also crazy that there are so many of them.  How did people start making this applications?

Oh and gifts. Paying a $1 to send a gift is silly. though I am sad that no one has sent me a gift yet. 😦

In general, I think it’s interesting to think about social networking sights like this one and MySpace. I feel like it breeds connection and distance. For me, now that I can facebook message someone, that to me is like the most casual way of just saying hi. I feel like if I want to e-mail someone or call them there needs to be a purpose of it. For me, advances in technology in terms of communication, make what already existed seem so formalized. When I was a kid, I used to call my friends all the time just to talk. We would sit and just have silence on the phone. In high school, once AIM came out I felt like AIM is where I could casually talk to my friends and that the phone was for important things. With cell phones, once I started text-messaging, again that made actually talking on the phone seem more important. Like I should save it for an particular occasion, like if I needed information right away. Now with Facebook and Myspace messages, I feel like that’s the space where I can have completely casual encounters and say hi to them out of the blue. Maybe in the back of my head e-mail seems more formal since it has been established longer. Anything that has existed longer seems more formal, and maybe it’s also because it involves less degrees of distance?

Social-network sites seem to be full of contradiction. With MySpace, for example, it allows for people to easily have a website, a space if you will, to express themselves easily. You can post a song, list your favorites, etc. Though Myspace is somewhere you can express your individuality, how you express that is formulaic. You pick a photo, a song, a background (off of websites like pimp myspace or something like that). You can list your favorites, but what kinds can you do? Maybe you’re someone where knowing your favorite foods is more relevant to getting a grasp of who you are instead of your favorite movie.

It’s also interesting to think about the timing of these websites. In the earlier part of this decade, where these sites were emerging and beginning to become popular, we dealt with the impact of 9/11 in terms of security and privacy, and we were quite publicly on the brink of being on full scale Big Brother mode with shit like the Patriot Act (not that I don’t think we are not in Big Brother mode, for all I know there’s a CIA operative in my room now. But I hope not because I was about to whip out my vibrator later tonight). Invasions of privacy and being on constant surveillance became important issues to talk about and to fight against. Yet interestingly enough, with these websites, people willingly put themselves out there to be seen, to be surveyed. On one level, you’re signing away your information to these sites when you make an account. We fear that people might pry into our info, but online we give it away! With users, we let people know what we’ve just done, with pictures we posted we allow people a window in how we are when we are drunk, what we do in our personal lives, etc. Though we may do so because we think only people within our acquaintances will ever see this, in reality unless you put up the privacy settings, you’re letting anyone see it. This issue is coming up a lot in college campuses. At RHS we talked about the ethics of Facebook as evidence of past and future transgressions. People felt like it was shady, it’s an invasion of privacy. Facebook is where people express their personal lives. I do think that OCL should use Facebook and such sites for policy enforcement. However, the idea that students have that facebook inherently is a safe, private space is not true. When you’re posting a picture online, despite your intentions of being private, unless you put up any settings, you’re putting your pics on display for everyone. at its default, sites like facebook are public spaces.

anyway, let me go back and check my profile for the gazillionth time today.


One Response to “Facebookin’ Hardcore!! To the Xtreme!!!”

  1. Francesca said

    VIBRATOR?! Hahaha. (Boo and I were going to a certain store on Arrow today for a certain something special – but also to laugh at ridiculous certain things at that certain store.) Also, I love how thoughtful and analytical you’re being even though you’re already graduated.

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