Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Facebook Suggests That You and I Become Friends, I Suggest You Drop Dead

I remember the first day of high school, and I remember the last. Ok, the first day of high school was nerve wracking, uncomfortable, new, exciting, and in the end started four years of my life that I would really rather forget. The last day, was liberating, exciting and offered me the options of either making connections that hopefully would last, or turning around and saying a big "drop dead" to the majority of people that were wearing caps and gowns that day. I chose to say drop dead. In fact, to this day I only speak to two people from high school regularly, and maybe a grand total of 5 altogether. Here's my point ; graduation offers every kid a crossroads, at a very special time in their adult-formative years and whichever road they choose says alot about how things are going to turn out for them. It is the first real social decision you'll ever make completely on your own. Up until that point, your social path has been laid out for you by parents and the inevitability of school. Then school itself shapes you: the music you like, the kind of person you are, the clothes you wear, the things you enjoy, will more than likely determine what "clique" you fall into. Graduation is the young man or young woman's first opportunity to decide about his or her path as they move away from being a kid and take the first step on the road to adulthood. You can either stay within the safety net of your clique, that comforted you for the previous four years or you can say 'fuck you' to the clique and decide to become your own person.

I said fuck you. So did Jon. So did my friend Paul. That is why the three of us who were friends in high school, became great friends over time after high school. So when facebook asks me if I'd like to be friends with someone that I went out of my way NOT to be friends with, it pisses me off. This is yet another option facebook came up with to try to keep the user on the site for a few more minutes than they would usually stay on... for the purposes of advertising. Now I know that to make a buck and more importantly, to keep facebook free of charge, they need to make money off of advertising. Great, I got it. This is another invasion of privacy that facebook has decided will make all of our lives better. I know I forget my best friends all the time... thank you facebook for reminding me of their presence on the planet. Its blatant, and annoying. Every once in a while, someone will "friend" me and I will wonder how the hell they even remembered my name from years ago; then it will dawn on me. "Suggestions." Fuck.

In the end it is not a big deal. I just feel that we are regressing slowly. Now technologies are subtly second-guessing important social and developmental decisions that we made / make. Do you really not want to be friends with this guy or girl? Shouldn't you bury the hatchet? Don't you want to be friendly? Give me a break. I'll make these decisions for myself and accept the consequences. If I blow someone off when I am 18 and then desperately want to re-connect ten years later but can't because I buried their name in my memory... I'll have to deal with that and maybe, just maybe I'll end up learning a lesson from it. Am I overreacting? Yes, I probably am. My point stands though; make up your own minds about people, and ignore the suggestions from machines.

1 comment:

Thompson said...

Sounds like a cry for help, you have issues, brah. Great column, good points, man.