The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Facebook is not your social life

I went down to my computers to start the day, opened up a tab on Facebook and Twitter, and was faced with pages and pages of wallowing in the horrors of current politics.

All of a sudden I was tremendously conscious of how I had been turning to Twitter and Facebook increasingly for these little bursts of validation, of interaction with other people, and how as social media has evolved to be passing around the same overly amplified horrible news stories, we've lost a lot of the personal connection that led to the friendships and amazing relationships that I have with people I've met online, from the BBS days, to Usenet, to early bloggers back in the late '90s. Friendships and relationships that continue today. My favorite social media these days is email and private slack channels and other side channels that involve those same people.

But as I gazed through Twitter and Facebook on Monday morning, what I saw was the same story repeated hundreds of time, the same people linking to different version of the stories, each of which was designed to create more and more anxiety in the reader, more and more clicks, more and more "oh my god, I have to read more".

Flutterby™! : Thoughts on social media and politics 2017-01-31 17:43:23.491303+00

I feel like the rise of FaceGoogleMyBookPlusSpace is one of the reasons I no longer blog as much as I used to. So much is now locked up in the GoogleMyFacePlusSpaceBook silo, so many people think of MyFaceGoogleSpaceBookPlus as the Internet, that it just seems … pointless … to blog on my own little insignificant corner of it. Nearly everybody reads everything on FaceGoogleMyPlusSpaceBook.

I have to shake that out of my system.

It's been in the last year or so that I've realized that some of my friends use FaceGoogleMyBookPlusSpace to rant; to get it all out of their system; to shout at the tide to stop coming in. I just wish others would realize the same thing—that a lot of the craziness and anxiety and “news” being posted is just letting off steam and it doesn't require a reply (not that I'm perfect in this—I too succumb to the occasional craziness on FaceGoogleMyPlusSpaceBook much to my dismay).

Bunny was right—she had a MyFaceGoogleBookPlusSpace account for all of six hours before she realized the horror to come. And I keep having to remind myself—the map is not the territory.

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