Texting, My Space, Facebook, Twitter. We are living in a one-liner world where people truly believe they are making contact with a social circle when all they are doing is losing touch with real communication skills.
I joined a friend’s “Facebook” page. At least I thought that’s what I was doing. Suddenly, my inbox was being filled with notices of messages left by friends of friends of friends.
I received one message from a woman who was a friend in college which read simply, “It’s great to make contact with you again!” That’s it. That’s all it said. How is that making “contact?”
In one instance, I found out that a person apparently was deceiving others in an atrocious way, yet I could not say a word. This is a secret I’ll have to carry to my grave. Downright spooky.
I couldn’t get off Facebook fast enough, but couldn’t figure out how to “unjoin.” I finally called a friend who logged on for me and disengaged me from the worrisome site.
Not surprisingly a New York Times headline caught my eye: “Facebook Exodus.” Writer Virginia Heffernan explores the many reasons folks are bailing out of the social networking experience of Facebook. There are many interesting direct quotes from former members.
From a sociological standpoint, this is pretty fascinating stuff.
In the end, writer Heffernan asks:
“Is Facebook doomed to someday become an online ghost town, run by zombie users who never update their pages and packs of marketers picking at the corpses of social circles they once hoped to exploit? Sad, if so. Though maybe fated, like the demise of a college clique.”
Tom Hanks in “You’ve Got Mail” talks about a $2.95 “tall, decaf cappuccino” giving “people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are … an absolutely defining sense of self.”
I think this is probably true of these online communication shortcuts as well.
“Facebook Exodus” is brief enough and a fascinating read worth your time.