FBers and their FBing ways
I’ve been on Facebook for a while now and it seems just about every other person I come across has an account there. Yes, I do enjoy getting on and peeking into the lives of others but after the initial I-gotta-check-every-moment phase passed I’ve limited my FBing to certain periods of the day. Mainly because I have stuff to get done in my real life. (Yeah, really.)
I originally joined facebook as a way to keep in touch with my friends/family spread out worldwide. At the time I vowed that my “friend” list be limited to… well, friends and family I am connected to in real life. It seemed like a great way to keep in touch (almost in real time) without actually writing a “here is what I’m doing… how are you?” letter or e-mail. Plus, I do enjoy recent photos and news on what is happening in their lives.
As time went on, it struck me that FB was a great promotional tool as well. Being that on occasion I have a (theatre) project going… it is a great way to get the word out. So, I lifted the self-imposed restrictions on who I “friended” or who “friended” me. ( Over 1000, yo!) As a result my “friends” are somewhat diverse and my “news feed” a source of interesting postings.
The playwright portion of me can’t help but make character observations as I scan through various postings on the site. Seriously, just pick 5 FB “friends” and you could write a bang-up movie or a play around them. Here are some character “types” I have observed… just based on their (regular) postings. Look, we’ve all posted some of the examples below from time to time… in this case, qualifying as “regular” means the nature of the postings constitute at least 50 percent of that person’s activity on Facebook. (You can breathe a sigh of relief now.)
THE “EVERYTHING I’M DOING & PLACES I’M GOING” POSTER
This usually occurs when folk have synced their cell phones to FB and are using some kind of app like foursquare… coupled with the obsessive need to tell the world every few minutes what they are doing to the minutest detail. (e.g. “Looking out the window at insert location here and eating a bagel… man is riding a yellow bike across the street.” Followed by… “In the car and headed to insert location here for a great weekend with insert name of significant other here.” ) Firstly, can we say addict who gloats?
For most folk there is a genuine need to share this kind of information but for some the gloat factor can hardly be disguised.
If these folk feel compelled to share every little detail with their heads bowed down to their mobile devices… I have to wonder how much actual interaction is going on in the real world.
Secondly, if I had any intent on a sideline in burglery, FB, Twitter and the like would be killer apps to have in order to “case out” potential joints to hit from an unsuspicious distance. Especially if a few days before that person posted ” Loving my new 55 inch, 3D, web ready flat screen.”
THE ARMCHAIR ACTIVIST
Look, I’m all for a worthy cause and appreciate information shared on how I can actively get involved and help. I am also all for news from around the globe that may not appear in local or national newsfeeds. (Yes, I do appreciate listening/reading different perspectives.) Those are not the posters I’m talking about in this catagory.
There are 2 subsets involved here:
THE ” i hate the other side” POSTER
Usually political and sometimes of a religious bent.
(BTW… one of the few things I am intolerant about is disrespecting someone else’s belief system… I have no qualms “unfriending” those folk. BTW2… I consider non-belief as in aethist, etc… as a belief system.)
I don’t know about you but I have friends of diverse (political & religious) beliefs… even if I disagree, calling them idiots in a public forum does not engender goodwill nor provides an atmosphere for solution-seeking discourse. I sincerely do believe the secret to loosening the gridlock in government begins with a major shift in attitude with problem solving… begins with us on the ground.
THE “oh, the humanity” POSTER
This is the poster who post after post highlights “injustice, inequalities, etc…”. Nothing in itself is wrong with that but one should be aware there is the “law of diminishing returns”. (Akin to eating the same thing 3 times a day, 7 times a week.) If that is all you are posting pretty soon our (those of us with different interests) eyes are going to glaze over and we will be prone to pay more attention to the bazillion pictures of kittens posted.
Two… I am glad you are passionate about an issue/cause but if you are spending all of your time posting these on FB… what are you yourself activlely doing to improving these situations yourself… other than posting? (Personally, I would rather read about what you are doing about the sucky situation.) Just a suggestion… start an FB group of like-minded folk and post there all you want… and maybe even organize in a real way to change the situation.
Well, there you have it… for now.