When The World Was a Better Place Without Facebook

When The World Was a Better Place Without Facebook

Don’t get me wrong, please don’t.
I—like most of your that might be reading, I’m sure—has been a hands-on actor on the development of today’s fastest growing social network site that is Facebook.
We’ve seen it evolve before our eyes, under our very fingertips.
We resisted on it changes, but succumbed to its vital role—be it wanted or not— in our lives.
We make groups saying ‘bring back the old Facebook’ and join them to no avail.

The f*ck to no avail.
that’s what make Zuckerberg, well, Zuckerberg. Not Abrams.
His team knows what they are doing and are not letting anyone, let alone some whiny user of his site (who pays nothing), stand between him and his idea of a social networking site.

To the various amount of groups wanting to “bring old Facebook back”, a grumpy friend of mine once said a while back (during the first Facebook major shake up) :
“Grow the fuck up. Shut it. I don’t like it either, because apparently we need time to adapt to change, but Facebook still is, such a task to make. Its scripts are beautifully and so effectively written.”

Then I did shut up. Because I realized even if I were as bright as Zuckerberg, I wouldn’t have the persistence to actually keep it up. It dawned on me, IT was a big deal.
I could feel the amount of people surging in.

This website, I felt (well perhaps rather late, around 2007) was not going to be just a fad on which only geeks or late laggards were going to stay on. (in Indonesia, big thanks to the sudden mega-explosion of a certain uber hip smartphone)
It has evolved to all the right ways. There’s been nothing gone, or should I say, developed, to waste.
In his piece on Social Dynamics of Facebook, James Grimmelman (a NYLS Professor who publishes numerous comprehensive analysis of law and policy of privacy on social network sites) even go as far as stated that Facebook has the best expressed and executed privacy management tool in any social network.

So, as I said, Don’t get me wrong. I think Facebook, or Zuckerberg and his pals, need their own shrine.
It is such a dynamic accomplishment.
but how i long to go back to a life without it.

I once enjoyed the games. Once or twice seriously look forward to getting quotes from Spongebob or some obscure rhetorician sent to me, and having a go at total strangers. I mean don’t we all love cuckoo strangers for a good beating?
Well, ok not all of us, we don’t.

But my point being, we essentially has got too accustomed to the over exposing world of Facebook.
We’re constantly drawn to it.
Unless, and only insofar as we deliberately try to abstain from it, would we able to hold a steady measurable distant to it.
Distant the likes of: I swear to god i wont log on to Facebook for 24 straight days. NOT ONE VISIT! or I’ll eat one whole onion.. Or a bagful of stale peanuts, or something.. you catch my drift.

This is too common this days to people that REALIZE the dwindling affect of Facebook.
the ones –the normal ones– that has a heightened senses that can tell, something is wrong.
I can not be this attached to something as powerful as this.
I should be able to control this, and so forth. FB has become a overwhelming power that we ourselves need to build different sorts of self-made shields, so that we could later, stay sane.

Clay Shirky, an avant garde online social media theorist, in his Web2 Expo presentation had a particularly strong point in this very subject.
“What we have been led to believe;” all these time, is that “we’re not getting anything done [in our lives] is because we suffer from information overload”
What’s now a common knowledge: The Internet grows tenfold in 5 yrs (I’m sure there’s a chart/statistic ready to be quoted if I just google it but I’m just too lazy)
The mega media that is the Internet supplies us with an abundant of information for each and every facet of our life, down to tens of thousands per minute. RSS feeds, emails, news, breaking news, gossips, this goes on endlessly.
We deem lots of things important, so supposed its just boxes of ‘interests’ we’re told to tick, it’s hard not to tick Automotive, and Music, or Literature all at the same time when you know you brush with these things once in several years. Even only once in several years. There’s this nagging feeling that you don’t want to miss anything.
Even when you’re well aware you’ll check none of these news feeds, and will just delete all mark it all as read.

So, information overload indeed?
But I’m afraid this writing of mine doesn’t stop here, I’m afraid No.

We’ve had the Internet for more than 15 years, and we’ve been introduced to the idea of information overload for just as long. So why is it such a big surprise up until this day?

Shirky takes our attention to the printing press as a comparison. From the era of Guthenberg, whose machine made mass publishing became cheap. (Information Overload v.1) But he also introduced the problem of economic risk of publishing. This is where editor comes in, as filters. Because up until the Internet era, it does cost, to get something published. You need to filter for quality.
Then, inevitably, the cost of publishing has famously fallen to the floor.
As a result, “there’s no longer economic logic that says you have to filter for quality before you publish. The filter for quality is now way down downstream of the side of production” i.e. filtering is now upon us, the audience.

Like filters on your spam folders, we have to constantly tune it.
But then how frequent can we endure doing this until eventually we grew tired and leave it as it is, rendering it obsolete?
Filter Failure in the process.
The volume of information is fairly the same. It’s just that our filter has now suddenly been obsolete.

Now I’m sure you know someone in Facebook, or even it is YOU, that has had a major privacy meltdown, sparked by some trivial/small status updates or relationship status updates slip-up. I’m not even talking about the ones that made it to the news, (I don’t think a month has passed without a national news of daft social network blunders) I’m talking about the ones that immediately affect you socially. Mind you, this doesn’t happen only to gapteks a.k.a the not-so-technology-savvy.
These “WHAT???! NOW YOU’RE SINGLE?? SINCE WHEN WERE YOU NOT? I HATE YOU FOR NOT TELLING ME I THOUGHT WE WERE best friends~~!!?!!!” mishaps happen everyday.
To a mild extent (sneers, ridicules) or even to the heaviest possible implications (divorces, losing of jobs, emotional scars, etc).
Disastrous privacy meltdown– as Shirley puts it– self-inflicted.

Should we blame Facebook?
Should we blame ourselves?
Should we blame our stupid friends with their “I’m eating, oh wait, now I’m crapping” status updates?

But Facebook, like I pointed out earlier, can’t get more fine-tuned in their privacy setting options. They are now big for a reason.
But we, as of our friends, are not stupid.
These friends of ours are just people with relatively the same experience of social networking with you and me. Some may spend a lot more with it than others, but these people aren’t less aware of the social implications of their ‘online’ activities.
(Ok. Some of them really are a tad idiotic, but we can’t blame them for that either, can we, eh?)

Oh but I’m just a user in this. Just like you. A victim, if you wish.
On the above-mentioned dilemmas of social networking, we’d imagine there’s so much we can do (for we are the social network). But in the same time there’s so little that we can do on how much we succumb to it.

Only the ones with strong minds and robust ‘real’ life would be able to steer clear from exploiting and cluttering our minds from the unfiltered realm of social network. The rest of us, like the weak-minded falling under the influence of a Jedi’s mind trick, would continue to tag embarrassing photos, broadcast subliminal and galling messages thru that little box of
“What’s on your mind?”

Or would we not?
cheers and have a nice day.

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