A love – hate relationship…REALLY???

hand on your shoulder

by Kenneth Justice

~ Yesterday, the café I hang out at was packed and a mid-40ish couple asked if they could sit at my table…..after a few minutes of sipping their coffee they struck up a conversation with me. It turns out they went to college together 20 years ago but lost touch with each other…..he spent the last two decades living in Los Angeles, and she spent the last 20 traveling around the world working in human aid and finally ending up in New York.

Thanks to Facebook…..these two people reconnected after not talking or seeing each other since they were college students, “If it wasn’t for Facebook we probably would have never reconnected….I guess we have Mark Zuckerberg to thank for finding each other again” the man said

Facebook and other types of social networking have been the subject of much conversation over the past few years and it really amazes me how entrenched social networking has become within our culture….and what is interesting to me how intense the conversation around Facebook happens to be;

—-) Some people think Social Networking is bad because it allows people to air their dirty laundry

—-) Some people think Social Networking opens up young people to becoming the prey for child molesters

—-) Some people think Social Networking leads to infidelity

—-) Some people think Social Networking produces a ‘look at me’ mentality among users.

On the other side of the coin; millions of people love social networking and depend upon it daily as an integral component of their lives.

Yesterday I shared an experience I had more than six months ago regarding a man I met at coffee who was repeatedly cheating on his girlfriend. One of the things I left out of the story is that the man was using Facebook to meet and flirt with new girls…..and eventually…when the man broke up with his girlfriend that he was living with; he instant messaged her on Facebook to let her know he was breaking up with her.

My initial reaction about someone breaking up with their significant other via Facebook was one of frustration; it seems like a tremendously insensitive way to communicate a break-up…..but on the other side of the coin; perhaps we have entered into a brave new world where Facebook communication is now considered an acceptable form of connecting and talking to others….even talking with them about serious matters.

As for myself, I deleted my personal Facebook account 3 years ago…..while I do have a Facebook page set up for my blog (and you’re more than welcome to click <Like>) I had grown weary of the ‘Facebook way of life”. I had grown weary of logging onto Facebook and seeing my friends and family post the things they would post……

Although there are many good stories about using Facebook (like the couple I met at coffee who reconnected after 20 years) there are also a lot of bad stories…..and I’m a little bit hesitant of the brave new world that Facebook wants to lead us toward.

We now know that Facebook creates an online profile of every user; Facebook’s goal is to know everything about you in order to better serve their advertisers who can directly market to you based on your likes and dislikes…are you okay with that?

Facebook realizes that if they can successfully learn everything about you, from the type of cereal that you love to what kind of socks you tend to purchase; they will better be able to make money off of you….are you okay with that?

Technology is a crazy thing; back in the 1980’s when I was a little kid, I don’t remember people getting divorced or having moral quandaries over whether or not they should use a home P.C…….yet with social networking; people are beginning to wonder if its changing their lives for the better….or for the worse.

The simple fact of the matter is that I don’t want to be disconnected from the culture; I’ve seen too many people shun technology (television, computers, etc) and seen how they have become very disjointed when it comes to trying to connect with the average person. Using the tools of our current era is an important facet of staying connected to the men and women around us…..and social networking is definitely a popular ‘tool’ that exists in our day-and-age.

But this article isn’t as much about what we should do with Facebook….but what do we do with ourselves? As we are seeing the culture shift away from deeper forms of community in exchange for deeper connection via Facebook….what should we do about it? Should we tell others that Facebook should not be such an important component of their lives? And if so, where should people connect if not via Facebook?

One of the things people keep telling me is that they don’t know where to connect with others, “Kenneth, Facebook is the best place for me to stay in touch with my friends and family….if not for Facebook I would hardly talk to anyone“.

So what do we say to people who are so dependent on Facebook? What do we say about the direction our culture is moving?

A lot of questions this morning….but I have very few answers….I guess I’ll just order another cup of coffee,






Categories: Culture & Society

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91 replies

  1. This is a brilliant stuff. I am off facebook too. It is good to see there are people who think in a manner I do.

  2. I am still on Facebook, because of the fact that I’ve traveled a lot! It gives me the chance to stay in touch with the amazing people I met on the way. I love the story about the people who reconnected after 20 years thanks to Facebook! That’s just amazing! I loved reading this post!
    Please check out my blog and let’s follow each other!

  3. facebook to me is a great way to contact friends I seem to have all over the world, but very few in my current location . . . it’s also a huge PITA to know what someone just had for dinner. . . so on a scale of 1-10 I give it a five I guess

  4. Good post. As someone who is an introvert though, I find fb really helpful. It’s much easier to keep in touch with friends than sometimes stuggling with a face to face encounter. I guess we’re all different like that.

    • a good friend of mine considers himself to be an introvert as well and he totally loves using facebook….its helped him to learn how to branch out beyond his small circle of friends and talk to people more regularly that he wouldn’t have normally stayed in contact with 🙂

  5. Facebook is good, serves many purpose in our real life.But,it can make us enemy and friend with agencies, government or nongovernment. a data is readily accessible for many unknown sources. Scary, vulnerable exposed, yet if nothing to be afraid of or no hidden past..it’s a useful platform. Use it ,never abusey:-)

  6. Social networking in general scares the hell out of me. Most people realize that Facebook’s primary goal is to make money but people don’t realize or understand how they do it. Facebook is not a product that makes money. Facebook is a data gathering service which sells its data to it’s real costumers – big business. All those new features released every month or just more ways to mine data. Facebook is not a product, users are. I dont like being a product. This is not just Facebook but Google, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, all of them. We no longer are individuals with stories, friends and families to these companies. We are dots that need to be connected together so we can be targeted directly by other big businesses. I’d like to think more of myself than being a product.

    • “Facebook is not a product that makes money. Facebook is a data gathering service which sells its data to it’s real costumers – big business”

      that’s an important point; its important people realize ‘how’ facebook makes money….

    • Yeah people think Facebook is a product but it’s not you are the product being sold. And you get nothing for it. You’re giving yourself away for free.

  7. Outstanding food for thought Kenneth! This has been a conundrum that I’ve been bantering about for quite some time now.

  8. It is as you say womethign of this day and age. But how do we want to evolve. Do we want to keep using gadgets in order to communicate or stay in touch or do we evolve our skills at communicating.
    I am pretty put of by the way things are going. in the sense of to fast..
    ANd i know i am being told of as being old. But i a least have patience and skill to talk with people instead of leaving short 140 character tweets in a box.
    Data gatthering like facebook and google will have our diversity slowly dissolving. If numbers say it does not sell it will be taken away from the shelf. those who did buy will go elsewhere and slowly we can exclude the smaller numbers to follow the bigger ones.
    So if the majority says it is cool then the rest just have to swallow. It is not the way we want to go. it like boxing people branding them. majority isn’t always right.

    • “But i a least have patience and skill to talk with people instead of leaving short 140 character tweets in a box”

      funny you say this….I was talking to a friend yesterday about Twitter…I use twitter but I find it SOOOOO difficult to deal with the limitation of 140 character tweets; its almost though twitter is changing the way we communicate.

  9. I think as always, it’s a matter of moderation. I think that ultimately our ability to connect with people all over the world through the internet is beginning of a global community rather than just the community of your neighborhood, city or state. Because ultimately the economy is global, and many of the problems we face have global impact like climate change or GMO’s. While not everybody uses the internet for understanding the world, it’s the access to information and people from different parts of the globe that will eventually lead to better understanding. Perhaps that’s a bit naïve, but I think we are still in the infancy. When you look at something like the revolution in Egypt to overthrow Mubarak, you are looking at what the power of social media can accomplish. A way to inform and organize people like never before. Of course it can also be used to misinform people, but ultimately if you have critical thinking skills you will not take information always at face value and the internet provides alternate sources of information than just what somebody says on Facebook or an article they post there. People who don’t have or refuse to think critically would have always been misinformed, with or without the internet. Now if social media occupies so much of your life that you aren’t interacting face to face with anybody then your communication skills will suffer. I see it a lot with the way my students send me e-mails and the language they use. Or the fact that they will never come and talk to me in person, but prefer to send an e-mail instead. This was certainly not an option in my day.

    For me, I do live far away from family and if not for social media I would have no way to see pictures of babies my cousins are having, but then again there is a bit of an emptiness that comes with that too. It’s sort of momentarily nice, but it’s not something you aren’t truly experiencing. But at least it mixes visual with language. I much less prefer talking on the phone. Facebook is great for advertising events, parties, get together. I remember when I had a graduation party after my undergraduate I had to call everybody up individually, if they weren’t home, I had to try again, or maybe I got a busy signal, I mean it was a chore to have a big party. You could make invitations and send them out, that took a lot of time as well! I don’t know there are positive and negative points. But again I think when a new technology is in its infancy a lot of people don’t know how to use it most effectively. Like every technology we must figure out how it can be used most effectively while remembering the other important things in life too. Like face time, like touch…remembering that 80% of communication is non-verbal. As long as we all continue to promote positive values than I think we are moving in the right direction. 🙂

    • you made a lot of good points….but one of the things you said about ‘the global economy’ has been on my mind for the past few months. back in college I took a number of different sociology classes (because they were connected to psychology) and the ‘global economy’ was a major aspect of discussion. I always find it interesting that people simply take for granted the phrase and philosophy ‘global economy’….and ya know what; I’ve never read any article that questioned whether or not the earth/world can actually sustain being a ‘global economy’….

      its not that I’m saying global economy is bad….but when I consider the way that the United States grew to be such a huge world superpower (off the backs of African slaves….off the backs of Asians working in sweat shops…etc) I wonder if ‘global economy’ is a good thing.

      I’m not trying to be a far-left extremist on this subject…but perhaps countries would perform better if they did more manufacturing within their own borders and didn’t rape their workers (like they do in china) in order to be apart of the ‘global economy’…..

      sorry….totally off topic but its been something I’ve been thinking for some time.

    • I totally agree with you. There are aspects of the global economy that are certainly not good at all. As I grow older it is more and more concerning how we exploit workers not only in other countries, or even here at home with illegal immigrant workers etc. As my finances allow I try to buy more locally when possible. Ultimately though it is corporations getting very rich, whereas I do think if they spread the wealth a bit, they could make life better for their workers while not raising costs too much for consumers, but that utopian fantasy is a totally separate discussion. 😉 I think there are advantages to being able to have access to goods you might not normally have within your own borders. but it should be done responsibly and humanely.

    • ” think there are advantages to being able to have access to goods you might not normally have within your own borders. but it should be done responsibly and humanely”

      agreed. What concerns me is that I’m struggling to find any serious essays and articles in peer-reviewed journals that are challenging the current idea of ‘the global economy’. Where are the professors and authors who are saying, ‘uh…hey guys…maybe we need to rethink this whole ‘global economy’ thing’ ?

      but rather; the global economy (and the philosophy behind it) is simply accepted by the academic community as though it is the same as the law of gravity; it cannot be questioned and is merely a matter of fact.

    • You might be right as I don’t look too much at economics journals, but I think there is at least a reasonable amount of awareness (or at least you can choose to be aware) on the irresponsibility of corporations and how they exploit employees overseas, and there is a big push certainly in the food industry to encourage people to buy locally. I don’t like saying that anything is impossible, but I would think that a lot of people sort of do accept the global economy because it’s not really realistic to suddenly get corporations back into a country hiring local workers, so people are trying to make the current situation better by exposing the conditions of workers. This is also something only possible with such easy ways to disseminate information. Thirty years ago it would be very hard to get the information out that a corporation is hiring children to make its product. There are also probably too many countries to possibly exploit if one country tries to regulate too much (after all that’s part of why they left here) and we would also have to expect consumers to be more responsible about the products they buy as well. Our consumption driven society is too apt to look the other way so that they can keep buying.

    • “You might be right as I don’t look too much at economics journals, but I think there is at least a reasonable amount of awareness (or at least you can choose to be aware) on the irresponsibility of corporations and how they exploit employees overseas”

      I’m one of those strange souls who finds a pleasant Friday evening one in which I have a cup of coffee in one hand and a copy of an academic research journal in the other 😉

      I have mixed feelings on this because I don’t see it quite as cut and dry; ‘big evil corporations etc”…I see it more as a partnership between the U.S. government (democrats & republicans) who are offering incentives to ‘big’ corporations to pursue foreign contracts and interests that lead to the exploitation of workers.

      take for instance the pharmaceutical industry (which I believe to be one of the most morally reprehensible industries that exist; many federal grants are awarded to huge multi-national pharmaceutical corporations which allow them to test drugs on unsuspecting third world countries (think Africa and the original creation of the AIDS epidemic back in the day)

      Also, many democrat and republican congressmen(women) actively petition big corporations to build plants and trade with countries overseas that end up exploiting workers; look at Apple and the deals they have with the Chinese company who’s employees commit suicide from being overworked. The contracts that Apple landed are directly connected to the congresswomen(men) who made those connections possible…..

      There is a philosophy in Washington D.C. that the Global Economy is something they are supposed to be actively perpetuating and nobody seems to be questioning whether or not the global economy is ‘good’.

      Now this does not mean that I’m somehow ethnocentric because I’m actually pro-diversity. I support opening the borders and making it easier for people to pass back and forth the United States…..so there is a level of tension within my own thoughts on the subject because I’m still trying to look at things from a different angle and figure out what my particular position will ultimately be.

  10. Personally, I think Facebook and other social network has just made being lazy even worse. People now don’t want to have to make the time to truly connect to people – why do that when they can just send a quick message via Facebook or a quick status, etc. Yes it can be nice and convenient when that’s needed – we all live busy lives and it’s nice to have a method of quickly connecting, HOWEVER, it’s become an excuse to not make time also. That’s a problem in my mind. People have slowly become more “me me me” oriented for a while but social media and technology is adding to that – the goal of these things is to connect people but I’m seeing more disconnect and a total lack of any acknowledgement of how to treat people because the ‘net is just words on a screen right? There’s not real human connection but that’s why people do breakups over Facebook. It means they don’t really have to face a person or have to suffer any consequences like seeing someone tear up or hear a voice crack due to emotion. People don’t want to have to deal with other’s emotions whatsoever. It’s disturbing. I agree there are good things about it, it’s just that people are using it as an enabler for yuck things too, which is horribly disappointing. But truth of the matter is, we are the ones to blame for that. Technology is an inanimate object – it can’t really be at fault for HOW humans choose to use it. It can’t really be at fault because humans DECIDE for themselves that they’re going to be jerks while using technology.

    • Jen, I TOTALLY agree; social networks (while in some ways they might be a good thing) in MANY ways they have made people LAZY!!!! So true……I used to get a nice little phone call from my friends and family on my birthday…but now the majority of them send a short text or when I had my personal facebook account they would send me a text via facebook….I would MUCH RATHER prefer a real live phone call!!!

  11. Another great post Kenneth, one that leaves me wanting to leave a comment the size of a post. I have been seriously considering leaving Facebook (sounds like a break-up). I have one or two really good friends that I only communicate with through there though, as they are far away. I originally got on there because of my kids. They rarely picked up the phone to call me, but I could know what was going on with them there. Sad. Now, it just feels like the “look at me” mentality, almost like people are trying to make you feel bad about your life by making theirs look so good. My only quandary about actually deleting my account is how long it would take me to download all of my photos from it. sigh

    • “I have been seriously considering leaving facebook”

      isn’t it funny how so many of us (me too) view our relationship with facebook; like we are in a relationship with it! Lol …I love your comment Kim because I relate to many elements of what you’ve said 🙂

    • LOL…It is funny, now that you pointed that out. I have a new relationship with WP…we were up all night talking.

  12. I think about this a LOT. I do have a Facebook account, and it can be nifty. I’ve been to one wedding where the people getting married met on Facebook, and I know of two other couples that were wed that initially met on Facebook. I’ve also met a couple of my Facebook friends in person, and it was pretty awesome. This is the good part about Facebook. I think it’s supposed to help people connect that may have never met otherwise.

    However, I don’t like how Facebook sometimes is the sole means of communication between people. People interaction is a good thing… physical people interaction. I don’t think that solely interacting with people over the web is a good thing. You need to sit with folk, feel their vibe, know when they’re happy or upset without even saying a word. You can’t get that kind of realness when interacting online. I think it should be a catalyst to people having real world interactions. That sort of thing is still very necessary; nothing will ever replace that. I think real world interactions also keeps you sensitive to those around you. That’s an important thing as well.

    • Missy,

      love your comment….what you’ve shared is in many ways how I view facebook; there are positives and there can be negatives…its all a matter of how we use it or abuse it….in many ways I have a love-hate relationship with it 😉

    • Thank you. There was a singer that once said “It’s a thin line between love and hate.” This is how I feel about Facebook and technology most days, lol.

  13. I treat Facebook like I treat most things…better in moderation. I also privatize as much as possible and have never listed my full name on my facebook account (or any important information) because as much as I appreciate the benefits I have never fully trusted where the info I put online will end up. I like to keep current with the ongoings of my friends but am sometimes a bit shocked at some of the things I see them post, I myself will never put anything online that I don’t want the whole world to know. I worry that the generations that come after me are much more comfortable listing everything they do on their facebook and twitter accounts and it does open them up to being taken advantage of, but that is just a new danger in a line of dangers. As we evolve as a society certain threats fall off as new ones are added on. Those that are adept will survive and those that can’t handle it will fall victim. In another 10 or 20 years there will be some new rage that has swept the world and we will all ponder the pros and cons of engaging in yet a new lifestyle option.

    • Great comment….

      I think the problem enters in that there are a lot of us out there who don’t have the balanced approach that you are able to demonstrate; moderation is totally key….but too many of us tend to go ‘all in’ or ‘all out’….I think it may be a personality thing; some people are better adept at having a moderate interaction with facebook while others are not.

    • Very true…I’m still fascinated by all the variations in human personalities.

  14. like any addiction
    whether on facebook
    or real life
    some just love
    to hate 🙂

  15. Great post and a great way to “look at the other side of the coin.” I however am in love with Facebook. I am on daily, several times a day. Mainly I think because I work from home and I work with children, I truly feel I miss adult conversation and connection. I would choose to hold conversations with real people and truly feel if I worked in the ‘real world’ with adults, Facebook wouldn’t be nearly as important to me.

    • 2cents,

      love your comment! I don’t believe Facebook is ‘bad’ so I don’t have a problem at all with someone like yourself who is ‘in love with facebook’ (I love that sentence of yours!) but for those people out there who feel like facebook is causing them frustration…those are the people that probably need to curb their use just a bit 🙂

    • I agree! :0) Thanks for the comments!

  16. being dumped by a bf on FB would be just fine with me. Why would i want to look at his face one more time if he is history?

    All sites have the potential to gather information about us, i would think…

    I like twitter and fb because it allows me to post pics of my day with my loved ones. with pictures i can share good to know ideas.

    my only personal gripe about FB is the bored women…who befriend me for the sole purpose of snooping on me. They send me an invite and then never speak to me. Maybe they are just collecting numbers…but I dont care to be a part of anyone’s collection.

    • “being dumped by a bf on FB would be just fine with me. Why would i want to look at his face one more time if he is history”

      dude I love your honesty! To be honest, I never thought about this way…and actually your right; if someone is going to break up with me; what does it really matter ‘how’ they break up? that’s a really interesting point you make.

  17. It was a beautiful evening of September, nice band, great deck of a restaurant lost through the color of the threes. I saw a couple. I was with my brother as we have a traditon on Thurs. eve to go listening a live band. I admired the pair, how nice of them, at the biginning… They didn’t wait to sit when the phones are on, navigating, texting…. They did not change more than 10 verbal words all together, they did not pay attention to the band and I don’t think they were texting to each other. Anyway, the moral is: I would stay alone than in that kind of relationship. Where are we going? We humans?

    I do have a facebook account empty with a fake name as I like my privacy so much. Everytime I logg in ..where did you live,,,where did go to study, that pis*** me off so badly and I barely go there. However in my opinion, those re/connections which Face book is making aren’t important. As if I want to keep in touch with a friend from kindergarden I will have his/her phone number, parents address, etc. I can survive without internet but not without WP, just being away 2 days and let’s see what Kenneth writes 🙂

    • Dana, I love the tradition you have with your brother! I wish I could go see a live band every Thursday!

      You make a really good point, “those re/connections which facebook is making aren’t important” …..in many ways I totally agree with you. When I used to use facebook I was able to ‘reconnect’ with friends from my childhood; but we never even got together so what was the point? So in many ways your right; some of the reconnections aren’t really that big of deal at all.

  18. I have close to 2500 ‘friends’ on FB. About 99.5% are Christian bikers who belong to various ministries, I am a member of Bikers for Christ. Much of the time people are asking for prayer for a number of things. Some just enjoy staying connected to other Christians in ministry. Since I have more followers on FB than WP, it’s a place for me to post my photos of the trails in our area along with other creative endeavors. Plus, posting news clips. I don’t get personal – I think people who bare it all on FB are only asking for trouble. Mine is pretty much FB lite.

    • It seems like a lot of people use facebook to post photos of trips and that seems like a great way to use it 🙂 and your right…getting too ‘personal’ may in deed be a way to be ‘asking for trouble’

  19. First of all nice photo for the article..:D
    Seems to me it’s about ways people connect this days.. Fb just another tool to communicate, entertain or wasting time too. All depends on how we choose to use it. This blog is amazing, it’s also sort of communicating and interesting site. Technology drove us here, we just got watch the speed and respect the signs.. Lol
    The story of your couple meeting up after so many years it’s wonderful.
    Love or Hate? Leave it to the fate 😀

    • Thank you for the kind words as usual! 🙂 I wish I could post the whole story about the couple who met after all the years because there are a number of funny things about that conversation I had with them…but…I gotta protect their privacy 😉

  20. I have never had a Facebook account.

    A few years ago we were out to dinner with a couple we meet up with every winter – and I was caught off guard when my friend rolled her eyes and was annoyed that I was still not on Facebook. I think it was because she wanted that easy way of staying connected – just popping over to see what I posted – and checking in at her convenience – and I reminded her that I had a couple of blogs…and had a a website at that time – but fb is what she wanted!

    I have to admit, I see the VALUE of Facebook for the many connection reasons – like I walked in the other day when my son had his fb page open and saw a picture from my nephew (living hours away) showing who he had dinner with last night and that was cool.

    But As a non-facebook user – I do feel like I am missing out on some things – maybe how some people felt in the 90’s who were not apart of the big AOL online network (JK).

    I thought about joining fb with a limited account (as some of your readers shared they have done) – especially so I could be a part of support groups from school or at times, help friends who are trying to get “so many likes” for a certain reason – – – – but I just canNOT get my self to join.

    And the reluctance is related to the very things you mention here- the Big Brother harvesting stuff – as well as the other things you note – like also my time and privacy. And while I know profiles are being made with email accounts and lots of other places online – like Bing is even offering premium status and giveaways while they monitor every single search one makes – but I just cannot get myself to join fb – and one way i communicate big news with a large group of folks – I send out an email – and it still works just fine! I make a pdf – which can also include some pics – and then folks cans scroll the off even with their phone. works just fine!

    • Yprior,

      I love the story about your dinner experience….its such a perfect example of how ‘odd’ (that’s the nicest word I can think of at the moment) people are; because you had a website AND you had a blog…but she was bummed out because you didn’t have a facebook account WTH?! that is so typical of so many experiences and encounters I have had too……I’m not gonna say anymore cuz I might end up dropping a naught word cuz a couple conversations I had that were similar to the one you shared really got my blood boiling lol

  21. Ah, the moral quandry that no one likes to address. Just like most things, there are huge benefits along with massive drawbacks. My answer to this has been to have (hopefully) a strong moral center, know who I am and the life I want to live, and most importantly, how I want to interact with people.

    • “a strong moral center”

      absolutely a perfect starting place 🙂 I think what I’m noticing about facebook is that a lot of the problems stem from people’s personalities; some people seem to have personalities that fit well into facebook….but other people have personalities that seem to not gel very well with it.

  22. I joined FB in order to support an organization I belong to – the hope was that we’d reach out to other deaf and hard of hearing legal professionals. I was rarely there. Then people started contacting me – my college roommate I am so close to who is now half a world away, my extended family members, and then – it exploded on me so I now have lists/groups of friends or interest groups I belong to.

    It has become my “go to” place to talk with other ASL learners, history buffs, deaf culture connections, information on hearing aids and CIs, and where I keep up on what is happening with family members, law school classmates, and more. However, I’ve organized my contacts into lists and groups – some private, some secret. At least for now – as with all things FB will eventually morph and someday end or turn into something else entirely. I’m fortunate that I can and do ignore the ads. In all honesty, I can’t tell you what ads display.

    A little heads up here, though – I used to work for a vast legal services database. If you think that all your information has not been “out there” for many years – you’re so very wrong. I remember when the database for personal information came online and I had to learn how to use it. This was before FB. I was stunned. Since then I’ve come to to the realization this is just like living in a little rural town with a party line. I say “Ahhhh” and someone else fills in the “choooo” for me. The databases are out there and have been out there for a long time. You’d have to be entirely off the grid (no car, no utilities, no home – be a Hobbit) in order to not be in the data mining databases.

    • Your totally right about all of the data that is being gathered about us by various websites and agencies…..I think the point about facebook though is that its taking data gathering to a whole new level; before facebook there wasn’t an easy way to gather information about what music you liked, movies, food, and all sorts of other little details; but because of the facebook “like” button that everyone clicks and all the information that people write out in their profile section…facebook is able to create one of the most personalized profiles for people that the world has ever seen.

    • Before FB there was Google. 🙂

  23. You might be interested in Clive Thompson’s book Smarter Than You Think http://smarterthanyouthink.net/


    I honestly think…Mark Zuckerberg never thought FB would reach where its social entity is now…which I am sure he is happy it has. Or well, I am sure his pocketbook is…

    That being said, I had a FB…it is WELL closed. I will not feed Mark Zuckerberg any more. He is welathy enough. I personally..(my opinion and mine alone) ..think FB has had more bad than good come from it. People get angry and will post aweful and ugly things out there tagging others’ names. Or they will “block” you..or hide you…and then post IT! I always hated Mondays. It was the downside of the rest of the week. People just plain hating. I choose to be positive. FB’s seem to choose to find the negatives. NO WAY I SAY!

    Another FB downfall, Google also has purchased FB’s pictures for advertising. Even with your pictures on lockdown, your pictures are FB’s property. AND NOW GOOGLES. How does everyone feel about THAT?


    I also believe that being behind “words” , the proper facial response/and tone can not be percieved and is sometimes and if not always taken wrong. There beomes a tense situation of “he/she said…”. WAY TOO MUCH…. FB overload. Next thing you know, people are ranting on FB about this one and then that one is on this persons side..and it is an all out war…RIDICULOUS. People get hurt. Some have even committed suicide over this pain. I call this UNNECCESARY and a waste of internet space. A horrid waste of sadness if you ask me. They are not just hurting ONE person…they are hurting a mass of amount of family members. ALL due to words on FB…because people can hide behind words but not have the courage to face the person and say what they want to their face. Ignorance.

    Dont get me started on the inboxes and chat rooms. I believe that is infedelity starts. Men and women alike. And that my friends is called EGO. The more EGO one can get, the more they DESIRE. Married or not.

    And you know, I really dont want to know when someone took a poop at exactly 8:20 am. because the taco salad that they ate the night before made them not sleep through the night and it came from ..well, they live in a small town with only ONE Mexican Rest establishment and they dont want to throw the name under the bus…so…..I MEAN.. Seriously?

    Social Media is just that…social. At least on Twitter you are demised to 140 characters. But still…

    Again, GREAT POST Kenneth!

    • I really like what you said about ‘facial features’ and whatnot….that’s the problem with internet communication; we lose SO much…because as we all know; 90% of all communication is non-verbal….so when we only communicate via internet we lose a tremendous amount of what we are trying to convey to others.

      I had a friend recently tell me all about this girl’s personality (a girl he had never met face-to-face…only online) and I told him, “dude, you can’t possibly know her personality yet cuz you haven’t met her!” but he disagreed because he honestly believed that he could know what her total personality was like only through online communication….. life is so crazy!

  25. Good post, Kenneth. Facebook’s capacity for connecting people who’ve lost touch for decades is nothing short of miraculous, and a blessing. However, posting on FB can at times feel like shouting across a crowded room, with everyone already absorbed in their own conversations.

    Serious issues really do need to be handled in a more sensitive way than social media can cope with. For instance, who wants to hear that their parent or child has died, on FB? There isn’t always the required care or compassion in FB posting. I would urge anyone using social media to THINK before you post about who will be on the receiving end. What do you think?

    • I love the term you use ‘miraculous’ ….because in many ways facebook and other forms of technology like it really are miraculous…..take my own website; back in the 80’s this would not be possible and its amazing what I can do with the power of the internet now….

      “I would urge anyone using social media to THINK before you post about who will be on the receiving end. ”

      I agree… the problem is that people use social networks to express their everyday speech….people use facebook ‘without thinking’ so that even though we might encourage people to ‘think’ before they post….that is easier said than done because facebook doesn’t want you to think before posting; they want you to use facebook as ‘second nature’…..

  26. I guess you’re right about that. I am a facebooker. It’s like this whole bunch of people having a press release all of the time.It’s also a way to determine what personality type one has…Great stuff

  27. When I first got Facebook in high school, it was little more than a fun place I could play games and take quizzes. I had most of my friends email addresses and mentally memorized their phone numbers

    By college, all that information changed as we spread to different areas of the world. The one thing that didn’t was faceebook. Meeting friends in college was easy enough. Facebook was mostly a way to send short messages while studying or a way to communicate with a club.

    Now that I’m out of college, the social network is little more than an inbox. I no longer have email addresses and sometimes not even phone numbers. Facebook is where I plan with friends and family. Beyond that, I don’t care. I’d be more than happy to use something else, but everyone I know is already on Facebook.

    • TK,

      love your comment; your experience with facebook is a beautiful expression of the evolution of how we all used it…..when it first came out everyone I knew was merely using it to play the facebook games (like Farmville, it was so bloody popular!..though I never played it) and then as facebook stuck around longer; the way we all used it sort of evolved……

      and I’m with you ‘everyone I know is already on facebook’ so its tough to move to a different platform……while I’ve switched to twitter; not one of my closet 100 friends or so is on it, so its tough for me to get all excited about twitter.

    • Twitter has been a fun way for me to communicate with bloggers or complain to businesses who won’t help me via phone or email. That’s about it. That’s no trivial, though. You’d be surprised how fast a company will address an issue announced on their social media pages.

    • “You’d be surprised how fast a company will address an issue announced on their social media pages”

      dude, this never even crossed my mind….next time I get the short end of the stick from some company I am going to try it…..

    • Hours on the phone become seconds. It’s amazing.

  28. Maybe we need to stop thinking good or bad and shift instead to it just is. If it isn’t Facebook then it would be another social media site. I think we still have to learn to negotiate the new world.

    • Darcy,

      I totally agree……’good’ and ‘bad’ are totally misused terms in connection with facebook; because facebook isn’t good or bad….its how we use it or misuse it that is the issue.

  29. I think social networking on the computer is the current way of life and who am I to say that I don’t like it. It’s the new face of technology & socialising. I only have Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Linkedln etc at the request of overseas friends, but have now linked to the females in my immediate family on Facebook (because they wanted to ‘befriend’ me?). I suppose one day I’ll link my PhotoBlog to other social networking sites.

    Personally, I only used my WordPress PhotoBlog regularly to share my photos & nature walks. Due to intermittent memory & cognitive dysfunction which goes hand in hand with my Chronic Health problems, I only remember the other sites when prompted by a message in my gmail inbox. I see friends and family very rarely (due to the health stuff), so at least I have a vague idea what they’re up to….. via Facebook, I suppose.

    I think young people make too much of Facebook & iPhones. They’re losing the ability to communicate on a face to face basis. Even on public transport which I catch regularly, I find the constant talking & ringing of mobile phones annoying. And for the whole bus load to listen to intense and/or loud emotional phone conversations is even more annoying.

    …….and as to the rare time I go out with a girlfriend for a meal to catch up (maybe once or twice a year if I’m lucky)……..if they spend one more meal time responding to constant calls from their adult children, I’m going to grab the b…… f……. phone, throw it on the floor, & stamp on it. It really, really, really annoys me that I can’t have a few hours talking to a friend (in a restaurant) or SIL (on the phone) without constant interruptions from their kids – adult children who can obviously wait until their parents are free (to talk).

    Obviously, I wouldn’t really do this, but I’d like to.

    What happened to good, old-fashioned conversations and laughter ‘face-to-face’. I genuinely believe technology is disturbing the social structure of our society and even…….alienating people like me (who refuse to regularly interact via technology). Now I’ve said my pet hate ONLINE, I can turn the computer off and get ready to go out & commune with Nature (Big Grin).

    • “What happened to good, old-fashioned conversations and laughter ‘face-to-face’. I genuinely believe technology is disturbing the social structure of our society and even…….alienating people like me (who refuse to regularly interact via technology). Now I’ve said my pet hate ONLINE, I can turn the computer off and get ready to go out & commune with Nature (Big Grin).”

      what happened is exactly what you’ve pointed out; young people are too often allowing technology guide us to a different way of life….but personally, I think that older people have a responsibility to learn how to connect with younger people and teach them how to have ‘face to face’ conversations….I’ve thought for some time that schools should have classes on ‘the art of conversation’ where young people are taught how to have deep and meaningful conversations 🙂 sounds pretty bizarre but I think its worth looking into

  30. if facebook shut today it wouldn’t make a difference to me whatsoever,why I still have an account with them?No idea,just one of those things I guess.

  31. Blog 2013 Award
    I will post for TOMORROW, the awards for Blog of the Year (2013)
    It is in my scheduled posts until 10 AM US-DST

    When the post opens (tomorrow), you’ll find the instructions and all in it.

    ~ Eric

  32. Is FB another younger generation thing the older generation have had to get used to? The younger generation “just do”. Like Twitter, Flickr ,,,, I see the young uns communicate more (and as well or better) than I remember in my youth. I see people communicate Well and Badly no matter the medium. I say, leave “tools” alone and look at people using the tools.

  33. Hi Kenneth,

    Brilliant post, yet again. I mainly use FB to connect with my arty friends and exchange information of what’s going on in the art world. I am constantly amazed by the photos that people post on FB, eg. what I made for dinner? who wants to know? There are also some dodgy adverts on FB, which people should avoid. Best to you for the season. Hope you get some time off writing!

    • thank you for the kind words Alison 🙂

      I don’t think I’ve ever taken time off from writing though…its in my blood 😉 …but I am hoping to get some more reading done over the holidays, Best wishes to you as well!

  34. We live in a Era of social media, you walk into a room and everyone is glued to their devices. I think it disconnects people physically, I’m guilty of it at time. Ive been hanging out with Friends and I look up and we are all on our phones. it pretty sad if you really think about it. On the other hand it does help ppl to keep connected with old friends or family members that live out of state. I think social media in moderation is the key.

  35. I deleted my Facebook account a few months ago. There are people I miss who I wish would get in touch with me on WordPress! Once you learn how to use WordPress it becomes clear that it can serve all the same functions and with much more flexibility and privacy and less advertising and without horrible moderators enabling harassment. I think the only reason people stay on Facebook is they don’t want to lose contact with people they know there.

  36. The best way to connect with others, in my opinion, is to pursue a hobby; or to volunteer with a group or organization you believe in. When you do things you enjoy, it will bring you in contact with others who enjoy doing those same things, like-minded people. That’s one of the most effective ways of connecting.

  37. I think that i as 23 year old grew up in the world 2.0 age. The internet was coming to a lot of people in the 90’s, so ik grew up with it. We are already seeing the downside effects now on the younger generation that came after me. They grew up in a world where social media and other stuff where already there. So that becamee a part of their social life and their ways of communication. As a trendwatcher i do forsee a change now and in the upcomin 5 years as we enter the world/internet 3.0 age. Everything gets connected, from mobile devices to ordinary products you us ein your household everyday, things will become so immersive that the new generation wants social interaction instead of a new app or device.Products and devices will become more a thing on the side, and people will get more social.

  38. I do like FB but try to limit my time on it, can be a big timewaster. Love to connect with friends in other countries and people I don’t see in person very often. It can be used for good or evil. If people overshare I hide their posts. Mind you, I am very careful who I friend, only people I actually know and am friends with! Would never friend a boss or someone I didn’t want to share my posts with. All settings to ‘friends only’ and I use fluff busting purity to block ads, game popups etc.

  39. Also my friend gave me some good advice ‘Anything you post online is like a press release. Think before you post anything personal.’

  40. Personally I love FB for it’s ability to reach out to people. And it really helps me to connect with my overseas friends who I would never have keep in contact if not for the ease of contact of FB. However, it is disapppointing when people allows FB to dictate their lives. When I’m on the public transport, so many people are just looking at their phones, watching movies or FB. I think it is not just the idea of FB, it is technology as a whole. it’s not good or bad, it’s just whether we decide to use it for non-essential stuffs or to enrich our lives. but yes, the internet has always been cluttered even before tsocial media.


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