Using Facebook is like having a room full of new babies: a constant stream of different reactions making you laugh, cry, getting you anxious, cross or confused .. all within a few minutes.
But make no mistake – is it DEMANDING .. a constant draw on your attention and your time (with a sense of guilt if you don’t pay enough attention). There are many friends, relations, colleagues that I don’t get a chance to spend time with in person and that I really enjoy hearing from but the aggregated “volume” (in both senses of the word) of the Facebook stream seems overwhelming sometimes.
Nicholas Carr wrote about human beings changing and losing the ability to concentrate and read deeply (as with books) as a result of so much time spent jumping around between pages on the Web and I wonder if we are also losing the skill of deep/individual conversations to be replaced with a kind of booming internet “telepathy” where we hear brief snatches of what people are thinking but where the next thought quickly demands our attention calling us to move on before we spend any time to reflect and hear our friends individually.
Even as I am writing this post there has been a stream of new comments clamouring for my attention and yet I’ve already read about so much pride, loss, love and anger in the last hour on Facebook that it would take me all week to follow-up with those people who posted to find out more.
The Facebook solution to the pressure of handing all these thoughts is to respond by simply “liking” a post (or not) – a simple acknowledgement and move on and yet I wonder if that is really enough .. “liking” a picture of a kitten seems harmless enough but what does it mean to “like” a post about the death of a friend..? This perhaps a lazy-like where we don’t know what to write or we feel pressure to move on quickly to the next thought.
Perhaps its true that you can only handle so many connections/friends and I should simply delete some of you but I’d be interested to hear what you think (in person ideally or through a comment) but please don’t “like” this post: either decide you don’t feel strongly enough to respond (thats OK) or tell me what you are thinking..
Late new years resolution – no more lazy likes …