Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Facebook: Junk Food for the Internet?

Custard Squares
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
Someone asked me not too long ago about this blog—in particular, where have I been and why haven’t I posted anything lately. Indeed, I’ve been giving that question a lot of thought and though many excuses come to mind, one in particular seems to ring louder than the others.

I’m blaming Facebook. But, it’s not as simple as you might think.

Before giving into the pressure of joining Facebook just over a year ago, when I had something to say, I did so here. And for the most part, it was pretty thoughtful and deliberate (not to be confused with intelligent)—often taking days before I actually posted something. Then, along comes Facebook with its limiting-number-of-characters status updates which has provided myself (and others to be sure) the chance to comment only briefly... but often. That is to say, although I’ve had several thoughts about posting something here about the “ground-zero mosque” controversy, I’ve had my say about it on Facebook even if I wasn’t very thorough or articulate. As a result of my Facebook posts, there is no wind remaining for my blogging sails on this particular topic. I suppose what it all boils down to is this: I’m doing what everyone else is doing—catering to the short-attention span of our 21st Century world.

Further, this inclination of replacing long-winded blogs (relatively speaking) with Facebook status updates about everything that is on my mind (and I’ll refrain from any discussion about Twitter) is akin to one moving from three nutritious meals per day to nibbling on nothing but junk food throughout the day. Surely, I won’t die of starvation, but it doesn’t feel all that healthy either.

Then there is the discussion about addictive behavior as it relates to Facebook. Perhaps that should be saved for when we break up into smaller groups.

It’s hardly New Year’s, but I feel it might be a good idea to make a resolution with myself here and now—something like: less Facebook with a recommitment to more meaningful and substantial material here.

Is it possible? I’m not sure, but in the meantime feel free to friend me on Facebook if you haven’t already.