Monday, October 29, 2007

Is Resistance Futile?

I've noticed, over the last few months, maybe a year or so, that many of the blogs I used to read regularly are being updated less frequently. I had assumed that this was because of the writers being busy with other things, moving onto different stages in life and just not having the time to blog.

Then there's this Facebook thing that may just catch on. Now every fucker under the sun is on Facebook. I go to a band practice with Mimosa and the guys chat about the latest happenings on their "walls" on Facebook, they talk about the new things that can be done, of how many "friends" each of them has got, something I'm not comfortable with.

I had thought that Facebook was something just for the younger crowd, but no, there are plenty of, shall we say more mature, people on it too. I was sitting in Colombo the other day chatting with one of the city's sexiest women and she told me that she was on Facebook, to keep in contact with members of her family around the world. This rather stunned me and since then I have continually been surprised by its apparent level of growth.

My latest thinking on the subject has led me to the conclusion that one of the biggest reasons many bloggers are posting less is because they're posting, or whatever the equivalent is, on Facebook. So many of these blogs have ceased to be the thing that gets updated on a regualar basis while Facebook gets all the attention.

The internal jury, the one that operates in my head and occasionally comes up with a verdict, is firmly out on the question of whether FB is a good thing or a bad thing. One of the biggest and most cunning reasons that it's out is because of the fact that FB can't be investigated without signing up, or becoming a member or a wall or whatever I would become. And then I'd be caught in the trap, I'd be one of them, or one of you, which I currently don't want to be. As Cerno would say, vut to dooo?

The biggest question mark over the goodness, or badness, of Facebook is the "friends" issue. The line, that thick black one that used to exist, between a real friend and a virtual friend, is not just becoming grey but is now the lightest shade of grey possible and shaped far more like a big fluffy cloud than a straight line. I bet we've all witnessed FB people chatting casually with each other and desperately trying to find out how many "friends" they've got to see who's the most popular.

I used to think that they couldn't be real friends if you haven't met them and don't know them personally, now I'm just not sure. I've met so many people through the blogging thing, many of whom started as email, blogging and comment relationships and they've turned into genuine and true friends. So I think making friends is wholly plausible via the virtual world, but fundamentally disagree with the "I'm better than you because I've got more Facebook friends than you" thing that is all the rage.

Currently I'm resisting the urge, I'm fighting for the resistance and may be the last man standing. Watch this space though, it may not last long before I jump over to the other side, before I leap over the wall.

I'll turn the lights off before I leave though.


Indyana said...

Oh oh! Another blog bites the dust??

cerno said...

:) Face book vs Blogging seems to me a matter of how much you can slice the time/task pie.

At a sane level face book CAN BE handy if you got a family/friends (who have the time) scattered about the globe for whom email/skype is not enough.

Though like being stat/link obsessed I can see how "friend" counting can get nutty.

Been under "pressure" to get on facebook (as if I have the time) to keep in touch with people. I prefer a good old skype call as the best way for that. Feels like less hassle though co-ordinating skype time is not easy.

The one thing that makes me suspicious about Face book is that you can't even see a demo version online. Maybe "they" will put one up. But I don't have the time to bother with it ;)

Time factor aside, I think FB and blogging are not mutually exclusive. But time is a BIG factor - specially for online socialising. Yet blogging is about writing - social networks that form as a result is not the main thing. For those who blog to socialise , moving to face book makes sense.

Blogs will be around I think and perhaps with better quality.

Psy said...

If once you start down the FB path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will.

ravana said...

Facebook's fundamental appeal is that it is an unbeatable tool for keeping in touch. Never again will you be forced to lose touch when you move to a new address, lose your phone numbers, migrate to a different country. Apart from that there are lots of other fun features.

It is not a strict substitute for blogging in the demand sense i.e. the end purposes are different. Like omelettes and egg shampoo. BUT it is a subsitute for blogging in the supply sense i.e. they compete for the same resource: your limited time on the net. So, if you break an egg to make shampoo, you can't make an omelette with it, if you get my drift.

Anonymous said...

oh oh .they got you too. So you will also step in to the darkside. Bewarned there is no return


cerno said...

Ravana's is spot in - the time factor is that thing that can kill a blog. What's keeping me from FB is the thought of yet another thing to do on the computer....

S said...

Very few bloggers I know have started blogging on facebook; not everyone wants their 'friendslist' to know the ins/outs of their world.

I tend to use it to swap photos/contact details.

The big dilemma on there is this adding business; I add everyone I wouldn't mind meeting again. Some people prefer to use it as a scrapbook instead. Other people don't want me in their scrapbook - that hurts :(

L said...

The best way to collect a large number of friends on a social networking site is to impersonate a 16 year old girl.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Indyana - I'm not going anywhere!

From what I've seen Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with friends and to let them know what's going on in your life. But I've also seen many who keep in touch with people who aren't "real" friends. That's the bit I'm uncomfortable with.

I think it's not that people are using FB as a means of blogging instead of having a blog, more that they're putting time into FB rather than a blog.

SpectralCentroid said...

Hmmm. I don't think FB is anywhere close to being a substitute for blogging. That is of course unless one blogs just to kill time or to keep in touch with friends.

I also strongly disagree with the seemingly common notion that "FB will take over your life". Only if you let it.

I personally use it to keep in touch with friends who have ended up all over the globe. For that, FB is fantastic. I've got back in touch with people I haven't seen or heard from for over a decade. I think I've said this on Indiyana's blog as well but if one wants to use it for the same purpose as mine;

- Keep it simple. Don't add all the apps in the world like the warewolves, zombies, funwalls and what not.
- Don't try to impress anyone with the friend count. Don't try too hard. Believe me, they'll find you.
- Don't put down all your personal details on public display. Just as with any other online thingamagix.

Again, this is just to use it as a friend network.

Darwin said...

My own personal mantra for FB is as follows;

Use the bare minimum of the epilepsy-inducing applications such as werewolves/zombies/morons etc.

Have ultra-paranoid privacy settings that prevent anyone who is not your friend from searching for you in a search/oogling your photos/reading wall-to-wall posts.

Use it for what it is - a simple communication tool which is easier than email for getting/keeping in touch with people. It's in no way a substitute for blogging and/or having a real life :)

Parthi said...

I have nothing against FB but if you want to have a facebook account then make sure you are in control of your self from being getting easily addicted to can drive you nuts! I was in that stage and its painful...and now im cutting down on it as much as I can and use it for easy communication purposes only... i sometimes think facebook was gone!