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Hope you enjoy this lyrical reflection on Facebook by Mark Gallagher as much as I did…
Scottish Poem Against Facebook. (a la Robert Burns)
Am a cyber-geek at Facebook High,
Maist friend requests get nae reply,
The in-crowd still ignore me noo,
Their pages ah cannae even view,
It’s so like school it’s beyond a joke,
The braw birds ah still dinnae get tae poke,
Am unpopular, never understood it fully,
Get called a twat fae the cyber-bully,
At Facebook High jist want tae fit-in,
But at virtual lunch, it’s still alone am sittin’;
Ah’d be a great friend tae the in-crowd,
Ayeways Rollin On Floor, or Laughin Out Loud,
Ah could like the same stuff that they dae,
‘Cos ah wid gie it the thumbs up tae,
Ah wis never invited fer a virtual pint,
Ah thought peer pressure wis left ahint,
Ah’ve tried fake photaes an’ lies aboot lifestyle
Tae get their respect wi ma false profile,
An’ ah’ve never been that gid at games,
So fitbaw or Farmville, ah’d still get caw’d names;
Ah wis once invited tae a secret group,
Ah clique had let me in their loop,
Here they were, the cream ay the school,
The Kings an’ Queens, the folk who’re cool,
Ah wis there wi aw the popular folk,
But it turned oot tae be a great, big joke,
The first ‘hing asked wis who ye hated
The maist at the school, an’ ah wis top-rated,
But as soon as ah gave ma input,
They deleted me an’ kicked me oot;
Ah gave up tryin’ tae be their friends,
The High School bullshit never ends,
It’s still aw aboot popularity, status,
An’ how ither folk hate us or rate us,
“Are they fatter noo? Dae they hae kids?
Happily mairried or oan the skids?
Fancy joab an’ a big flash car,
Aye, we kennt that swot wid aye go far,
Such an’ such has let theirsel’ go,
An’ thing-mi-jig is bald is he no’?”
It’s jist a massive gossip site,
Reflect oan that as ye log in the night,
Am noo an ex-pupil ay Facebook High,
Ah expelled masel’ tae gie the real world a try.
“The Internet is a shallow and unreliable electronic repository of dirty pictures, inaccurate rumors, bad spelling and worse grammar, inhabited largely by people with no demonstrable social skills. ” (Author Unknown)
Okay, so I wouldn’t go so far as to call the entire Internet “shallow.” I like the Internet. Quite an ingenious thing. I just don’t like Internet abuse. If not exactly fair to the Internet, this quote is still a nice little blast at the Internet-abusing population at large. BUT WAIT! We could make this statement much better… let’s fix it up…
“FACEBOOK is a shallow and unreliable electronic repository of dirty pictures, inaccurate rumors, bad spelling and worse grammar, inhabited largely by people with no demonstrable social skills.”
Perfect. Can I get the credit for that one now?
By the way, I am out of the country right now and do not have internet access 99% of the time. I hope that explains the quiet on this end. No fears, I will be back from my thrilling trip soon!
“I like my new telephone,
my computer works just fine,
my calculator is perfect,
but Lord, I miss my mind!”
- Author Unknown
Investigate this little four minute interview with Nicholas Carr about his new book: http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2010/06/the_shallows_on_1.php
The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains looks like a well-researched and certainly relevant read. I haven’t read it personally but I hope to soon.
And, a timely reminder that there is hope for the world while the AFLI is alive!
Please read the following fantastic article by one Travis Lambert. The cartoon he cites at the end is one that I have pointed out before, but it is still great to go back to…
What is Facebook Doing to Our Brains?
“I see that we are now able to “Like” not only Facebook statuses but also the comments on them. This begs the question, Will we soon be able to Like our friends’ Likes, who would in turn be able to Like our Liking their Likes, producing a potential infinite loop of mutual approbation? This problem can be best expressed by an infinite series of indirect statements:
I like that you like that I like that you like that I like that you like that I like….
I like your liking my liking your liking my liking your liking my liking your liking my liking your liking….
One disturbing thing about this potential public health crisis is that whatever object first started a hysteria of self-congratulation is easily lost from view. Will either party remember what it was that first evoked their hard-won esteem? Doubtful. Moreover, it is easy to imagine people posting simply for the sake of beginning such a circuit of reciprocal approval, the psychological payoff of the latter being a far more pleasing thing than posting a meaningful thought.
All this of course is partly in jest, but when you consider other factors, it is hard not to see that social media produces a general stupidity and a trivializing of our culture such as Neil Postman prophesied. There is of course no Dislike button, suggesting and in fact imposing on us a mind-rotting and vainglorious atmosphere of universal affirmation. The brevity of our comments (often only a simple “Bob likes this”) often precludes any rational support for our opinions, and the ease of commenting makes us insolent and opinionated, making us talk when we should rather listen and unable to hear something without offering a comment on it.
This is not a petition to stop using Facebook, just a warning. Let us be aware of the effects that all time-consuming occupations have on us. I think this cartoon says it best.”
<img src=”http://www.weblogcartoons.com/cartoons/google.gif” alt=”cartoon from http://www.weblogcartoons.com”; />
<p>Cartoon by <a href=”http://www.cartoonchurch.com/blog/”>Dave Walker</a>. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at <a href=”http://www.weblogcartoons.com/”>We Blog Cartoons</a>.</p>
Ha, ha! Not that I desire this to happen. I just find the thought somewhat amusing.
Today a shiny new book came in the mail, entitled The Wisdom of Mr. Chesterton: The Very Best Quotes, Quips, and Cracks from the Pen of G.K.Chesterton. I certainly qualify as an enthusiast of quote-compilations, so I practically fell in love at first sight. Undeniably at first page, at least. My mom says I have to share it with everyone in the family, but don’t you think that sounds a tad bit Communistic? I’m a fan of private property myself. Anyway, be sure to act surprised if the book and I disappear for a while.
Here are some beauties from Chesterton, on those subjects dear to AFLI’s heart:
”Civilisation is not to be judged by the rapidity of communication, but by the value of what is communicated. ” (Isn’t this what I’m always saying? Having a technology does not mean it is a good technology, nor does it oblige us to use it.)
“People talking in twos talk gently, because they feel emphatically: people talking in tens or twenties talk emphatically because they do not care a dump about anything.” (Quantity versus quality is best in friendship. Facebook does not promote this. On the contrary, it generally breeds competition and concern as to how many “friends” one has.)
“And never before, I should imagine, in the intellectual history of the world have words been used with so idiotic an indifference to their actual meaning.” (Facebook thrives on people who bang and batter the English language to bits.)
And finally: ”There are a hundred means of communication, and there is nothing to communicate.” (Tis indeed the sad state of affairs.)
Well, here is another I just found. “What I lament is the importance of head-lines and the unimportance of headwork; the eagerness to state a man’s views, compared with the carelessness about whether his views are really stated, let along whether they are really sound.” (Probably couldn’t have said it better myself. Ha, ha.)
Hope you enjoyed these Chestertonian insights! I did!