Saturday, February 07, 2009

Arcadias and Guantanamos of technology...



I like the iPhone. It's user-made applications are great. Still in the cutesy phase, but I see tremendous potential. This is a piece of technology that can evolve and we can teach it to do many things. Getting back to my beef with the Facebook, this is just a dead white box that provides a rigid system of rules and cues as to how one should behave in a public space. It's so conservative!! Here's your little text box. Write something cute and clever. Ding! People like you! It has huge ramifications on our collective notion of social space. Facebook is such a small unimaginative place to gather. It reduces us to the banal details of our days, and leaves us only with our futile attempts to punch our way out of its monotony. It sets the bars low and we look out from behind them, unwilling to own up to the cage around us.

("Golden Cage" by Adrienne M Finnerty)

5 Comments:

Anonymous wendy Braitman said...

Please don’t write me off for enjoying Facebook. I also adore your site. (Passions are complex.)

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such vitriol. Are you a disenfranchised hermit? It isn't the PEOPLE that like to connect with others that is sickening. It's the website itself. It was started by another teenager that had something to prove, and also wanted to jump on the 'gold rush' bandwagon of these type of sites that pretend to be a place to connect and share, but is only really about getting ad dollars and charging for cc apps. Grow up and look around. Think before you shoot your mouth off about things you don't fully grasp.

2:58 AM  
Blogger lowflyin lolana said...

Kind of funny how some people like to use words like "vitriol" and "hate" when faced with any kind of social criticism.

Of course follows the namecalling, and the usual command to "think."

Which is exactly what you're doing. Keep up the thinking and posting. I like it.

5:54 PM  
Blogger m said...

Well, the thrill of people (as you said in your earlier post), yes. People gathering can be thrilling or pleasant or frightening or nauseating, for me. Names & faces of the present, past, further past. People evidence of whom could not before be easily found if I searched the internet using google. And now, here so many of them are, findable, viewable, messagable. I like that at first, then I dislike it. Now everyone persists. Before there was so much disappearance: acquaintances from one place or phase of life becoming only what I remember, only in my mind. Facebook confronts me with their continued reality, and presents to me --through the feed of their text box entries -- these various people mixed together: the friends from middle school when I lived on an American army base in Germany, the friends from the States who I knew before & after that, then from one high school, then from another, from one college, from another, from one city, from another. All still out there keeping on keeping on, and my access to them --at least initially ~ because we can always leave the party & go to our own place to keep talking, right?-- but on Facebook, the access to all these people is through the same interface, has the same frame of the Facebook pageview, presenting them all together, so that the associations of each to a specific place & time of my life is flattened. But, despite my discomfort, is this for the better? To confront me with more of an outer reality, to intrude upon my mental world, where these people had populated only the memories I place them in?
what do you think?

And, that little text box. Well, but you can write whatever you want, you can say whatever you like. anything you like!
and can't our use of Facebook not be about collecting friends, about being popular? can it be about saying things you want to say, seeing what other people have to say, responding to what interests you, interacting?
People gather, and many talk about mostly the banal details of their details, but in this or whatever gathering place, we *can* talk about whatever we want.
Can't we? please?

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like your blogs on Facebook. I just deactivated my account there after more than two years of frequent usage. It dawned on me how mundane and unimaginative it is, and how it trivialises communication. Another, far more scary thing about Twitter and Facebook is that they are essentially moving towards (perhaps they are already there) a real-time 24 hour news feed whereby endless applications, status updates, events and group 'activities' remove people from using their brain in a coherent, concerted way. We need to learn skills and acquire a broader understanding of the world around us - these things take patience and ability to focus. Facebook and Twitter move frantically from 'update' to 'update' and I think excessive use of these websites have a negative effect on the human brain. And it is NOT a replacement for socialising face to face. It even makes emails look old-fashioned and romantic. It is the McDonalds of human communication - cheap, effortless, dull, bland, unhealthy etc etc.

1:23 AM  

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