Sunday, April 19, 2009


I was recently bidden to enter the black hole that is Facebook by my brother-in-law. I responded to him "Aren't we too old for this?" Since that initial invitation, my brother-in-law's usage of Facebook has declined precipitously. I think the reason is that he thought he could keep up with it on his BlackBerry but the initial onslaught was so intense that he decided he might actually need his thumbs for something important someday.

I still check in periodically but it continues to feel alien to me. I have asked both of my progeny to explain it to me but to no avail; I am still an outsider looking in. Then I ran across a post by Future Pundit which put it all in perspective for me (emphasis added):

"Different media (blogs, discussion forums, social networking sites, phone messaging, etc) encourage and discourage different kinds of intellectual activity. My own writing of web logs has made me do a lot more reading of material to give me more accurate and informed opinions. The web logs end up serving as an extended memory bank on many topics and I understand far more about a variety of topics as a result. But from what I've been reading in Facebook posts so far what I see is that media form seems to discourage deeper intellectual development. A larger number of less informed people speak to each other in smaller groups about trivial things.

There are probably corners of Facebook that have more substantial discussions. But the format gives you so much coming from your old childhood friends that it seems defocusing and shallow. People writing higher quality material are better off writing blogs."

No comments: