Following on from my last piece, an interesting point has been made in another story I have read in the same Interzone magazine*… that being… that in the age of social networking, we are almost forced to take sides on far more issues than we would have even conceived of doing previously. As social networkers, it is our duty to form allegiances, join groups, make comprehensive lists of our likes and dislikes, and form strong opinions on topics which, outside the context of Facebook, we really couldn’t care less about. On the plus side, one could suggest that this process makes us more rounded individuals, who think more. You know… about stuff. Then again… could it also be said that it leads to inflexibility? Forming allegiances cements bonds. But cement is rigid. It allows for no freedom of movement. In life, it is (relatively) easy to say, “I’ve changed my mind about that”… but on Facebook… who can ever really be bothered to un-join a group? And how often do we update the aforementioned likes/dislikes lists? We may occasionally add or remove one or two items, but what about scrapping it all and starting again? Unheard of!
There are a lot of good things about Facebook (and MySpace and Bebo and so on)… but I would like, if I may, to offer some words of advice…
Don’t become your avatar!
Now who has just left comments on those pics I’ve uploaded…?
* Neil Williamson’s Spy Vs Spy – Interzone #220: Feb 2009