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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Communcation on Facebook?

So our Internet is now working. We are no longer out-of-touch. Bad router or some such. Took the techies a couple of tries to get it figured out.

So now I have no excuse for not paying bills. Or writing on my blog. No reason to go laze at the pool or on the beach when I could be surfing the only kind of waves that matter-- the Internet waves, that is.
Ok I won't belabor the play on surfing ocean waves and the Internet. It's been overdone. And by me on occasion. And you already get the drift. At least you don't hear on the news the Internet swells will be 10-20 feet and dangerous for all but the most expert surfers.

But let's do talk about surfing the Net and it's effect on our interaction in the non-virtual world. There is some correlation between having an Internet connection and lack of engagement with the real world and real people. And there is something happening when we mistake  posting on Facebook for real human contact. As an example, when I say I told my friends what I thought about something. Or shared an idea with my buddies. If all I did was post it on Facebook, or this blog, it's not the same as having lunch and talking with a friend. Or even taking on a phone.

And why is it that when I post a link on Facebook to a thoughtful article, along with my (I think they are thoughtful, but maybe not) comments, hardly anyone ever responds or even likes the post. But if I should post a photo, almost immediately a dozen friends will like it?

Is it because we are really a visual species and not all that interested in words, let alone ideas? Or maybe it's because when we are on Facebook we are not looking for substantive contact. Or the sharing of meaningful info. Other than the occasional rants. As when my husband made a comment about the need for sensible rethinking of gun control measures that resulted in an on-going tirade by a gun-owning, otherwise sensible friend. You would have thought my husband had suggested we should solve the world's hunger problem by shipping our babies overseas for slaughter. That type of overreaction would not be nearly as likely in face-to-face contact. At least I would hope not.

Leaves me wondering if Facebook posts are really communication at all. Maybe we should think of Facebook as just another alternative to one of the photo-sharing devices, like Flickr. Post your photos. We can all look at them and like the ones we enjoy. Might as well skip all the rest, the pseudo- communications as well as the rants. Maybe we then will have more time to get out in the real work and talk to real people. Maybe take some photos to post--on Facebook or wherever.

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