September 6, 2007

Changing Attitudes Toward Facebook

As the tech world continues to grow wild for Facebook, the veteran users in my midst- college students- continue to grow indifferent, even annoyed- or so their group discourse would have me believe. "The applications were pretty fun at first," said one energetic, people-loving friend, "I like throwing food at my friends and turning them into zombies... but it got old real fast." "They're stupid, they're annoying, I just really don't care at all anymore," said another friend, who'd spent his past semester abroad, "I mean, I guess it's useful for keeping in touch with people you don't care enough about to e-mail."

"Well, I care so little that I let her," Dave points a finger at his girlfriend, "go in and change my whole profile around. It's ridiculous, and I haven't even changed it back." They giggle for awhile.

"There are some useful applications," I point out.

"Well, there're so many of them, I don't feel like sifting through all of that crap. Facebook's turning into MySpace."

At the same time, I've found that my friends on Facebook continue to be highly active, having become skilled at interacting with the more useful features of the site. 25% of the most recent 50 emails in my inbox are Facebook notifications of some sort- generally, event listings, friend requests, wall messages, and pokes. These are some of the ways in which we attempt to connect to one another through forming and maintaining relationships and collective cohesion, digitally.

My conclusion? It's just not "cool" to like Facebook- one is better off being critical- but many of us depend on it in some way or another as a way of maintaining social bonds. We've grown addicted.

September 2, 2007

Log the Third

Today, after my sister expressed her love for me on my Facebook wall (as she is wont to do), I recorded my first video wall post. Unfortunately, I'm unable to "repost" the video here, but I will say it was quite simple, and rather successful! Facebook recently implemented a variety of options on what was once a user "wall" constrained to text alone. Now, one can record video, post a link, post a band (one needs to first register their band at ReverbNation and upload a few songs, which can then be posted on one's profile, or linked to on another's wall), send a randomly-generated fortune cookie, give a "zombie hug", send a cookie, give a daisy, or post a popular song (when I clicked on this, there was a search bar, as well as 3 popular songs listed: Avril Lavigne, 50 Cent, and Death Cab for Cutie).

I also spent a solid 15 minutes taking screen captures of my friend's MySpace profile. I made myself stop at 50 shots, that's how long his profile page is. Lots of links, artistic images, poetry, politically-oriented buttons and banners, the usual favorite books and movies and such, a long introduction (that is prefaced with:
your band (unless your organic/synthetic spiritual sounds and presentation could totally wow me, DON'T EVEN BOTHER)
Promoters of any kind!(go away)
spiders, crawlers, spammers, etc go away i don't like you!
people...who freak me out. (it's pretty hard to accomplish)

and now! on to the good stuff!"

His comments were nearly as fun to sift through as the profile itself. Beautiful images, replete with some animated sparkles or color shifts, adorned his walls. The requisite "Thanks for the add!" comment was also a strong presence. The majority of the content was "New Age" in nature- faeries, Alex Grey, and my favorite: