Monday, February 02, 2009

Facebook and Blogging....


Well, I have to speak my truth.

Facebook just doesn't do it for me. It's been a few months now and while it is nice to see snippet updates from people, it doesn't have the "hook" that draws me in. In general, it appears to be just another shallow social networking site with people competing in a marketplace environment to up their number of friends, parlor games and quippy comments.

Meh. Maybe I'm just too old. I miss substantial conversation over tea, metaphorically speaking, and what occurs on sites like that seems to be a passing wave at best. I want to ask "how are you doing" and get a real answer.

I'm not interested in popularity contests, tagging or quipping. I'm not good at any of that. Perhaps this is a consequence of my own introverted nature ~ or perhaps it's because it fits a trend I don't like seeing develope further; instant food, instant intimacy and disposable people.

I posed the question on Facebook ~ whether it is replacing blogging. If that is the case, I would find that most unfortunate. Blogging is a meal, not a gourmet meal.. not a perfectly healthy meal.. but a meal. Facebook is fast food. It's social McDonald's. Drive up, get it fast and gobble it down while on the way to doing something else.

I'd be curious to know your thoughts on this.


~*

36 comments:

MALCOLM said...

I too joined face book , mainly to see if I could find a few ole frinnds , but then friends of friends of friend and so on and I have never been so annoyedby a web site as I have face book , everyday you have a message fron facebook, after I contact a few of my ole friends face book is history , like you blogging is the CAT'S MEOW Malcolm

citizen of the world said...

What I like about facebook is that it reconected me iwht soem old friends. I like the email aspect of it and also seeing people's photos and updates. The rest leaves me stone cold and I just have decided not to participate in those parts of it. It will not replace bloggng for me - I love writing real posts and getting feedback, and reading other people's work.

citizen of the world said...

What I like about facebook is that it reconected me iwht soem old friends. I like the email aspect of it and also seeing people's photos and updates. The rest leaves me stone cold and I just have decided not to participate in those parts of it. It will not replace bloggng for me - I love writing real posts and getting feedback, and reading other people's work.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I ventured into Facebook recently because several people had invited me to be their "friend" and I didn't want to hurt their feelings. As soon as I did, Facebook hijacked my entire address book and sent an email to everyone in my name, inviting them to join Facebook, too.

I felt completely violated.

I really enjoy blogging because I love to write and I love to read other people's writing and exchange ideas. There is a real sense of community here while Facebook seems to be, as you say, junk food.

I think it is meant for the generation that grew up with instant everything and since I did not, I am of a different mindset. Unless I'm missing something, it's pretty empty.

wheelsonthebus said...

i've been planning on posting on this very topc. once again, we are in sync.

ThomasLB said...

I think Twitter and MySpace are geared more for people who already know each other. It's a nice way for families and friends to stay on top of what each other is doing.

But I like my blog, and through my blog I've gotten to meet and know people I would never have met otherwise. Like you. :)

slouching mom said...

I see the two as apples and oranges. I wouldn't have any idea how to compare them, because they serve such different purposes.

Frankly, I joined FB to play Scrabble. Which I enjoy. The rest? I could take or leave.

meno said...

I have avoided facebook because it just doesn't interest me. I suppose like anything, it's just a tool and it can be used for good or ill. Although heartsinsanfransico's comment scares the hell out of me.

Guess we are both too old.

Z said...

I didn't know Facebook emailed everyone in your address book. I'll continue to avoid it in that case. Quite a few business contacts have my personal email address, it'd be very embarrassing.

I haven't joined it (up until now) because all I've ever heard is that loads of people want to make contact and, er, I'm not that friendly! A blog is different, it's up to me to write or not, no pressure, and readers can comment or not, their choice, and I can reply if I like, but no one thinks anything of it if I don't. It's a slow and steady way of making friends, and a gentle way of keeping old friends in touch, if they choose to read it (and if you have chosen to tell them it exists). I like blogging more than I ever thought I would, but I haven't time to get involved with Facebook too and I'm disinclined to.

Mauigirl said...

I agree with you. I joined FB because a friend's cousin wanted me to join so I could keep up with their family's activities but then I started getting "friend" requests from other people and I started accepting them and then going to look at their pages, etc. But I never remember to keep up with checking FB, and much prefer the blog world. I enjoy the exchange of ideas, the writing, the real relationships that can develop through blogging that just won't with FB. I think your analogy is very apt - it's McDonalds.

PeterAtLarge said...

I got sucked into Facebook and have had cause to regret it. I get constant emails, requests from "friends" I've never heard of, and have people writing on my "wall." I admit it, I'm lost, I've reached a point where I no longer bother to respond.

Olivia said...

Okay, Chani, I hear where you are coming from. And some of your readers. However, I'm going to disagree for me.

I LOVE FACEBOOK! Love, love, love, love, love it!

However, with caveats:
(1) You have to totally understand Facebook and privacy or it will rip you off. It is nasty! I read quite a bit about it before I joined. If you don't have time to do this, don't bother, wait till later. Your personal information will be compromised.
(2) You should only join groups and have friends that resonate with your values. I don't do any of those "compare" things because they are silly to me. High school. You absolutely have to pick and choose what you become involved in.
I have a small manageable group of friends. Famous people who don't know me have asked to be my friend, but I'm not interested because I don't want to be marketed to and I doubt they really want to get to know me better. Well, except maybe George Clooney; I think he was actually interested ;)
(3) Facebook is a tool. In order to use it you must master it. Or it will run you. If you spend a few hours learning to master it, you may have the metaphysical experience I do, which is feeling very connected with lots and lots of people who are living their lives but intersecting and touching mine in interesting ways. These ways are not long (as in blogging, or a meal, as you put it), but can be deep.

Facebook could never replace blogging for me as they are two different things. It is another unique way of keeping in contact. Just as you understand your telephone and manage it with caller ID, voice messaging, controlling who you give your number to---Facebook has to be used in the same way.

So I'll be the dissenting opinion here :)

xxoo,

O

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I like facebook because I actually found some old friends who I really wanted to reconnect with but I'd lost their number/address/e-mail or what have you.

That being said, I agree with you that if you want a "real" visit, blogging is a better way to go.

Brandi said...

I don't see facebook as replacing blogging but then, I stay on facebook to keep in touch with my friends on there and that's it. no game playing for me.

I would never give up a blog for facebook but then again, my opinion. I agree with you that I hope it doesn't!!!

starrlife said...

apples and oranges. I don't think it will replace blogging. I like Olivia's synopsis!

Anvilcloud said...

I poke my nose into FB every now and then, but it's just to keep up on a superficial level. But I think our age group is a bit beyond it, partly because most of our contemporaries don't bother. Since I've been blogging for almost five years now, I guess you can see which I value and prefer. :)

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I'm studiously avoiding all social networking sites. They mostly seem like a time waster to me.

Deodand said...

I wrote a related post a couple of days ago:

http://deodand.typepad.com/crappy_customer_service/2009/01/im-coming-out-too-right-behind-the-first-person-to-do-it.html

The other thing I'd like to say is that there are too many people in my past I don't want to meet on Facebook.

Maithri said...

Let the church say Amen!

Much love my friend,

M

Defiantmuse said...

I think that, in both cases, they are what you make of them. Both blogging as well as Facebook have the ability to be useful, healing and a lot of fun but they can also be rife with bullshit, popularity contests and overall drama.

There are certain things about Facebook I don't enjoy - the dozens upon dozens of invites to add apps, etc. I just ignore them. But it's no more annoying than clicking on someone's blog that's choked with ads.

I use Facebook to connect with friends and family that live far away. I enjoy it (although I admit it took me a long time to get the hang of it) and I think the privacy settings are the best of any social networking site.

I think the internet in general is something to be aware of - it's too easy to slip into the online world of interaction, forsaking actual human contact. Whenever I feel myself wandering into territory where I feel a bit isolated I pick up the phone and call a friend and take a break from the computer for a while.

But again, I think it all is what you make of it. As well as the people you're interacting with. But like I said before, I could say the same thing about blogging. While there may be more depth to some blogging (such as yours) I wouldn't say that's the "norm". There is a whole lot of crap out there.

Suki said...

My thoughts on this are simple. Total agreement. When I want social interaction, it has to be in person. Blogs are better for intellectual interaction because the discussion stays on a subject I'm thinking about or can choose not to read.

As for Facebook, I use it because it helps me keep in touch with events in my(few) social circles. It's how I get the group messages sent to my entire class, for example. Admittedly, I'm mainly on there because some friends have cute pictures of their babies that I surf through whenever I'm feeling down :)

Mary G said...

There are things I like about Facebook; one is playing Scrabble with Slouchy, who routinely crushes me.
It gives me information about people that I like and want to know about. I check it once a day to see what's new.
The ads, games, trivia, leave me cold. I tried a few and was completley bored.
Blogging and the blogs I read never bore me; that's where I spend my time and energy.
Hey, I've got my broadband! Life is good. And you will probably see me here as much as you can put up with me.

Woman in a Window said...

Facebook makes me nauseous. I'm quite surprised it has taken hold of so many adults. Just a different type of person, I guess. I'm like you, introverted. It doesn't serve me at all.

painted maypole said...

i recently did my own post on facebook, about my worlds there colliding. there are things I like about it, but yes, it is not very nourishing fare for the most part, and I am trying to figure out how to utilize so it is fun and not frustrating

Laurie said...

Facebook doesn't do a lot for me either, Chani. I can't imagine that it will replace blogging, at least I hope not.

jen said...

i have a FB account but i rarely use it and to be honest, just find it kinda weird.

Leann said...

I agree. Facebook does not do a whole lot for me. It's something to waste time on. I enjoy my blogging much better because I actually get some feedback.

Border Explorer said...

It's so ironic that I give you this on this particular post. Thailand Chani, I've got something for you at my place:
come see!

Janet said...

I opened my facebook account around the time my baby sister went to Dubai. It was a fantastic way to keep up with her life over there, as the time difference made phone calls and even instant messaging difficult. So I would go through her pictures, see what she was doing and not miss her so much.

Now that she is back in Canada, I'm a very sporadic facebook user. Lost friends find me, or I them, we catch up on the last 15-20 years and then...we all just go back to living our lives that were, in truth, clicking along just fine without those friends for so long.

LittlePea said...

I finally broke down a couple weeks ago and opened a facebook account because my sister kept bothering me to do it. She had opened one and got in touch with friends she hadn't heard from in years. Even though it all sounded so high school to me, I gave it a try. Well, in a way I was right, it can be plastic if you use it that way. I still prefer reading blogs, they are more 'human' to me than little life peaking snippets from facebook profiles. Although I have enjoyed touching base with a couple of old friends, that's as far as it goes. I haven't connected with anyone on the same level that blogging allows us to do. I don't see myself replacing it blogging, that's for sure. I think for the most part, your right. Facebook is "fast food"....

LittlePea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela said...

I am fairly new to Facebook and have been enjoying it as far as it goes. I'm learning to avoid the sidetracks into marketing and silliness that I'm not interested in and using it as a way to stay connected to people I might not otherwise - all my first cousins in SC for instance.

It's a completely different deal than blogging to me.

I think our divine Miss O summed it up quite nicely.

Diane said...

I much prefer Blogging to Facebook as well. Your blog is great!

Mariposa said...

At least I'm not alone...I have triend many times to make facebook works...and I always fail. :)

Blogging is still different...and talking about "meals", you just hit me there. I have been silent because for the past weeks, maybe months, my blogging has been substituted with mostly memes...nothing is wrong with it, yet, that is not my intention when I created my blog...

I need to go back...to real blogging! Like this one...

JBelle said...

Chani, Read my post on Facebook dated two days before yours. Spooky similarities in expression.

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