I’ve been struggling with my thoughts on our society’s techno-revolution. Anyone who knows me or who has read more than this post on here also knows that I am very pro-technology. I think it’s great that we all have cell phones that are actually little computers and that Facebook is around. A lot of people discredit Facebook and the impact it has had, narrowing it down to nothing more than another way to waste time and a terrible new aspect of the “I can be reached at all times” phenomenon.
For me it hasn’t been the same. Sure I was a latecomer of my generation into the Facebook world. I didn’t see a need for it in high school. All of my friends lived right around me, we went to the same school, I had their cell phone numbers, and I saw them every day. Most of the pictures they’d post included me or events I already knew about. It just seemed superfluous to my life at the time. Once we all graduated and began to plan our lives across the nation, I realized staying in touch might get difficult, that I might miss out on a lot. I’m not a phone person. I actually hate talking on the phone, so I knew that I’d be terrible at staying connected. Then, Facebook happened.
I’ve mentioned my feelings about Facebook recently, yet I’ve been feeling the other side a little bit more lately. Sometimes I want to escape from things, and Facebook isn’t exactly helpful in doing so. Sometimes I need some space from things, but the act of actually physically having to remove a connection to it seems too much. I don’t need that much space. I’m trying to run away to Australia or anything; I just want to go on vacation for a while. Most people will answer my complaint with the fact that I don’t actually have to go on Facebook if I don’t want to, but that brings me back to the previous point. Sometimes I’m just looking for some space, not a life adjustment. I don’t want to have to stop myself from interacting with other things. It’s a bit of an interaction corner. What’s a girl to do?
Social networking revolutionized human interactions. Forever. The ways we engage with others in the world will never be the same. This radical shift brought with it a whole new system of etiquette – netiquette, and it’s a world we have to navigate much like the day-to-day, off-line world – by trial and error. We have to figure what works for us, what seems socially acceptable to others, and what is responsible. The world of Facebook etiquette, however, is not something we can read about in picture books as we grow up, it’s not something we can pick up from watching our parents. For most of us, we are the first generation to venture into this online world of interaction. We have to pave the path.
I’m not talking so much about the annoying friend who likes all of your status updates no matter what they say or the guy who comments on your conversations with others as if he’s been invited. I’ve been wondering more about the etiquette of passive interaction. Is it healthy for us to always have a connection to every piece of our history? Do I really want a record of my every move, thought, and interaction with someone? What do we do when our morning coffee-time mindless scan of the Home Page brings us face-to-face with things we don’t want to see about people we don’t want to remove from our circle (or friends list – to be more on with the Facebook lingo)?
Where are the rules for that type of etiquette?
Our lives have taken on another dimension, but sometimes I wonder if our human minds are ready to deal with this new change.
Also, Happy Halloween.