Sunday, August 8, 2010

RE: Facebook Addicts

All around us people have tethered themselves to their cell phones. Cells have gotten so popular, we've named them and given them personalities... like Droid, Blackberry  and Palm.
On street corners, people don't look at their surroundings, it's their phones.
In restaurants, even where signs are present to please turn yourself phone off during meals, the cell chatter continues.
You shop and you hear one person an aisle over.
You drink coffee and someones drinking in their end of a dialogue or monologue.
You're in the bathroom when a cell phone rings.
You drive down the road and even though it's now illegal, some one's got a cell phone to their ears.

I won't even get into texting beyond this -- some people are so addicted to it, you can't complete conversation with them,  without being interrupted by an incoming or outgoing text that can't be ignored.  While some people won't stop texting while driving. (These are usually the young ones, they believe themselves the world's best drivers and invincible.)

And then, one day, along comes Facebook.

From our inner/outer place we now call cyberspace, there emerged a window we older users never had a clue existed.
Meanwhile our kids, the younger generation were on it like white on rice since its inception.
Once we invaded their sacred domain, (originally designed for students, not their parents) they felt less free to be themselves.
While we felt set free.
Once we discovered a way to reconnect the missing pieces of our past, the older Faceboook users and the younger ones awkwardly learned how to hold separate dances on the same stomping grounds.

As a P.I., it is fascinating to observe social media and the truths that emerge there.
That said, the subject of today's blog is  Facebook addiction.

I was away from my blog and Facebook for about a week, with one minor picture posted from the road inbetween.
I usually check Facebook in the morning and once at night.
It allows me to quietly check in on family and friends I care about, before bed.

Sometimes I am on during the day, investigating someone's background...
which these days includes Facebook posts and photos.
Sometimes, people will IM me and sometimes, I IM back.
Yet mostly, I work, I am out investigating or in writing up cases or running backgrounds or building my business. In between, there's eat, sleep and hopefully, some relaxation.

It is only in those rare times, when I am  still.... l reach instinctively, for the laptop and go to Facebook, among other sites, to escape or probe reality.

Does this mean I am addicted to Facebook?
Don't think so.
I think Facebook is a cool and cheap thrill in an age where money must be conserved, preserved and put in reserves...
because I am of the opinion,  the real hard days haven't even hit our economy yet.
Meantime, for hundreds of millions, Facebook is just one more escape pod in a very challenging and impersonal world.
People use to meet in cafes.
Now it's all about the wifi.

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