Twitter - what’s the difference between this and a blog, an e-mail feed, RSS, or a website with a news feed? In other words, why? If brasses are using it for adverts well at least someone has found a valid use for it. I don’t want my 140 character ration of anything thanks.
Facetube et al, well once you meet someone who can only run their relationships via social networking sites then you’d know why I hate them. The ability to “turn off” your social life and only “log in” to your friends when you feel like it will I confidently predict produce a generation or seven of socially inept people who cannot relate to others in real life. As Mr Witt so rightly says there are many ways to keep in touch why do we need this? Give me ONE valid reason.
I was in the pub (a pre-Facetube site for social networking for you youngsters) listening to two women from the village talking. One says “we’ve just been on holiday” - “ooh was it nice, any pics?” - “yes you can log into Facebook and look at them”. Conversation over, both sat looking bored and mildly confused. They couldn’t even ruddy talk to each other any more. If they had been sat next to each other with a pair of Netbooks they would have been typing away like billy-oh. How utterly sad and depressing is that?
I like my friends to contact me whenever they like. If I only want to hear from them when I choose to visit Facetube I’m not much of a friend. Ditto I like knowing I can ring them whenever and they’ll respond if they are able. I like to print off pictures, or store them on my mobile, so I can have the “this is me in…” conversation. I like getting texts when a friend for some reason has a random thought about me. I got one the other day from a chap having a beer - with a picture of a beer. Made me chuckle, it was real, immediate, it was interaction. I like getting letters, someone sits down at a laptop or desk and takes the trouble to pen something to me, makes me feel good. And the “others”, who are not part of my life, or at the most a very peripheral part, well that’s where they’ll stay. I’m not going to invite them into my circle of “friends” on YouBook because that’s just lying to them. If I really can’t be bothered keeping in touch with someone do I really want to fool both of us into thinking we are “friends” by adding them to my B-List friend site? Are all my friends so distant, generic, impersonal, alike, that one blanket outpouring of FaceTwattery will meet all their needs?
Oh no, they cry, its sooooooooo useful You can update everyone on what’s new all at once. May as well say “I can’t be arsed interacting with my friends as individuals, I just post up this week’s interaction and they can make do”. “Your can keep in touch with others” - I can already. “You can meet people you lost touch with” - you can anyway, wouldn’t take much to find most of those we lost touch with. If we didn’t make the effort… there was probably a reason.
Is this what we are now? As a species we are supposedly social animals, we were before the telephone. before the pen. Certainly before Bimbo, Twatter, StrangersReintroduced, Youbook and Facetube. I just hope when I am finally taken from the South Shropshire Home for the Bewildered to the local tip in a black bag, we haven’t lost the skill of interaction. Because this is the real victim, and in a divided society faced with real challenges that’s the last thing we need IMVHO.
You can’t defer real life to a time when it suits you. You shouldn’t defer interaction with others when it is not convenient. The skill of interaction, of dealing with life as it happens, of coping with others’ issues in real time, treating others as valid individuals, being mindful or our peers’ needs, all these are essential parts of a human, and fundamental parts of any meaningful relationship, sexual or fraternal. Society has decided we can’t be bothered with these any more, we’ll just have a website for it. Wrap it up in adverts and graphics, compartmentalise it, make it safe and manageable. Why oh why oh why? What is so ruddy important that we haven’t time for our friends any more? If it is because we are too busy interacting with our families, lovers, real friends and the like, case proven m’lud. If it is that we don’t have the skills or the will to interact with others we just lost a few millennia of evolution.
The next time you want to “poke” someone, ring them, text them, write to them, skype them, go out for a beer with them or email them instead. What, you can’t? You aren’t close enough/have the details/have the time/want to? Gee I wonder why. What, you already do those things? Then back to the original question, why oh why oh why??? Suggestion: continue your development as an adult and learn how to deal with real people, in real time, for real reasons. Its very rewarding. Show your friends the respect they deserve by not relating to them as a herd, a block, a category and give them some quality attention. It’ll pay off big style for both of you.