Monday, November 24, 2008

Facebook VS Blogspot: Voyeurism VS Writing

Most of us have very limited time to burn. Ten minutes here and there, at most. Reading blogs used to be a favorite pastime when I had five minutes before my next class. For the last few weeks, Blogspot has been replaced by, well, yes, I'll admit it: Facebook.

When I signed up for Facebook back a few years ago at my students' insistence, I checked back in after a couple of months (!) and saw that my daughter had written on my wall. "You're on Facebook?!". Most kids have the good sense to ignore their parents' requests to be 'friends'. A generational thing.

But in the last few months, more and more of my writing friends have succumbed. Some obviously are doing it in order to promote their next book. Others of us who do not have books coming out any time soon in the known timeframe of this universe, why are we suddenly using cute college-teen phrases and posing as cool people?

I will admit that I spent an hour or so adding a photo, filling out my info page, then rewriting a portion of it. The real surprise for me is how much time I have spent acquiring 'friends'---something that reminds me of cheerleader elections in high school. And then there's that other thing. Now when I log on to my computer, my first impulse of the day is to check Facebook to connect with the trivial details of people's lives, most of whom I have only met and barely know. Suddenly there is a poet in Kentucky who has become a part of a soap opera in my brain. Is she cold today? Is it 'spitting snow', as she said her grandmother called it? She had said she was sick, is she better now and back teaching? My inquiring mind wants to know.

Facebook appeals to the voyeur in me. No matter that the people undressing in front of the window are performing a careful not-very-revealing striptease, staged for all the world to see.

Ultimately, I will be back in Blogspot full time. Walking around in people's brains is more my style.

And now my ten minutes are up. Time once again for the real world (and not the one on TV).


ChinaKatSunflower said... I lack "good sense?" Maybe I don't have anything to hide from you..

ChinaKatSunflower said...

By the way, you may want to change your title to "Facebook VS Blogspot: Voyeurism VS Writing"..

Anita Miller Garner said...

yeah, I thought of that unparallelism, but I didn't like the rhythm. But now that you mention it, I'll go back and change it. And yeah, you have good sense and nothing to hide!!

Jeanie Thompson said...

Thanks for writing the commentary I have been thinking about. I love the way FACEBOOK creates an intimate community of strangers. It is a lot more interesting than I ever thought it would be, and I've had political conversations with people I don't know at all. Sort of like striking up a conversation with an interesting traveler on an international flight. You are the WOMAN. JT