Thursday, February 21, 2008

Keeping in Touch, Facebook style

I do not have a Facebook account. I'm about a half a generation late for these social networking sites--it wouldn't be unseemly to join and I'm sure my friends have it (answer the anonymous poll to the right and I'll find out), but I'm not that interested. I have a LinkedIn account to maintain professional relationships and that's enough for now.

But Facebook, and MySpace, is the way people between 13 and 30 keep in touch. I was at lunch with two slightly younger colleagues and they lurk on their friend's pages to see what is going on in their lives. They don't necessarily leave comments, they just check in on them from time to time.

Before the Facebook age, there was a girl named Jenny who had a site where she streamed video of herself in her dorm room at all times, and I mean all, nothing censored. A quote from an interview from This American Life (start at minute 16 for whole interview):
Whenever I go home for breaks, for spring break, something like that, I'm always sad to be away from the camera. It's really a different feeling whenever I'm in the room and the camera is broken for some reason, my room feels totally different, it's like I'm completely alone. So I usually prefer the camera be there and I'm sad when it's off as opposed to wishing it weren't there.ll Even though theres no one actually there with me, even though I'm still alone, even if there's no body watching the camera from the other end, it's just comforting to know that there is somebody, metaphorically, out there.
I'm not the exhibitionist Jenny was, but I guess I know what she means. People start blogs for different reasons. I just wanted to write. But occasionally I'll get comments, or I'll notice I'm getting more page views, or people who know me and know my blog will write me and say, hey, I saw your blog, so I kind of like the idea of being looked in on. That maybe someone would notice if I missed posting for a few days. . .

Gee, I sound like a shut-in getting Meals on Wheels.

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