365 Days of Random

Random musings about nothing at all

The Facebook Relationship

It’s amazing (and a bit frightening) how quickly facebook has become the place people turn to in order to find out what’s going on with the people in their lives. For those that are regular users (like me) you check it at least once a day to see if anyone is up to anything interesting. For those that are addicts – checking every hour or so – (well you need more diversity in your interests I think). For those that don’t use it… probably best not to start. But the one thing that gets the most ‘love’ –  no matter when it happens, who is involved or what your association to that person is – is the Relationship status.

When you meet someone new, you immediately go and find them on Facebook and to try and learn what you can about them. How many friends do they have. Who is posting on their wall most recently. Are they single, in something complicated, or taken. Are they into all those crazy Facebook games or just connecting with their ‘peeps’. It’s become the ultimate tool in navigating (literally) your social network. And when someone’s relationship status changes – for good or for bad – the immediacy with which people respond is astounding.

Take for example me. I’ve was single (and happy being so) for a very long time. I was in and out of a few bumpy courtships but nothing that was serious or warranted a comment on Facebook. I was going through some ‘life’ stuff over the last year.. some of which involved boys … and so changed my status to “It’s complicated”. What I meant was that my life was currently very complicated and relationships were a part of that. But people wanted details. They wanted to know what was going on. They kept telling me to ‘hang in there’. People that I am connected to on Facebook because we went to the same highschool. Not because we’re still close friends. In fact, many of them I haven’t seen in more than 10 years. But because my relationship status on Facebook changed everyone under the sun came out of the woodwork.

About 4 months ago I met this completely fabulous man – in the most random way at the most unexpected time in my life. We’ve been together ever since and are both blissfully happy with the arrangement. This past weekend he was playing around on the computer and I was hanging out – cooking dinner, baking a cake, etc. I turned on my own laptop and proceeded to Facebook for my daily dose. The first news item that popped up was that my BF was “in a relationship”. I laughed and told him that according to Facebook he was in a relationship and then commented on the post that I heard she was a very cool chick. Then I promptly went and changed my status and we both amused ourselves with the comments pouring in from our ‘friends’. Apparently we’re not officially official until it’s been posted on Facebook. So now that it’s out of the way we can continue with everything else that makes being in a relationship so great.

So, what amazes me about this entire thing is how much this one crazy website has infiltrated so much of our daily lives. People have ALWAYS cared when their friends have happy news (like announcing you’re dating someone) or hard news (like announcing that your suddenly single). The difference was you were talking to the select few in your inner circle that you wanted to confide in. Now, through this one site, we’ve extended our ‘circle’ to include (in some cases) everyone we’ve ever known. And even the ones that you never talk to take a sudden interest. They have a view into your life in ways they wouldn’t otherwise.

I am all for using Facebook to stay connected with people. And I am very happy to be officially official with my BF. But it seems like we (society) should be taking a step back to at least think about why it’s so important to have such insight into the lives of people that don’t matter enough to have seen them in the last 10 years.

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March 7, 2011 Posted by | Life, People Watching | , , | Leave a comment

The Social Network

I finally saw this movie (my BF & I watched it last night) and I am still kind of on the fence about what I think of it. It was good… but it was certainly not a candidate for ‘movie of the year’ in my book. And Jesse Eisenberg – he’s ok – but he seems to play the same guy in every movie he’s been in. With all the hype this movie was getting I figured he had finally added a little more depth to his abilities as an actor. I was a bit disappointed by that.

All that said though, it was very interesting to see the story of how “Facebook” came to be. I don’t want to give away much to those of you who have not yet seen it (and intend to) but the guy was kind of an ass… ok… more than kind of. Sure he invented one of the biggest and most epic social applications of the current generation… but the dude had very little class if you ask me. In the beginning of the movie his ‘attitude’ kind of endeared me. I thought he was this genius kid who projected a jackass persona to protect himself – or because he literally had no social skills at all. But it turns out, he’s just really a jackass to a lot of people.

Now for the real question you have to ask when talking about this particular movie – how addicted are YOU to Facebook?? Has it changed in recent months/years. I was a hold out for a long time. Lots of people were sending me invites when it went ‘mainstream’ but I didn’t see the value really. Then we started investigating it for work – how social spaces would impact education and all that – and I kind of had to get set up. The scariest thing about is that it’s insanely addictive in the beginning. Once you start getting ‘friends’ all you want to do is check out what’s going on in their lives. If you are connected to people you haven’t seen in years you want to look at pictures and read wall posts and try and figure out what they’ve been up to. If you meet someone new that you’re mildly interested in FB provides you with an opportunity to ‘stalk them’ to some degree. If you get sucked into the crazy games and applications that are available it can get even worse. I have some people in my friends list that seem to play with FB games all day long. It got so annoying I had to either block updates from certain applications or hide their posts. In the past few months my use of FB has diminished and I am not quite as addicted as I once was. I will admit to still checking it at least once a day though. The thing that I like best about it is being able to keep up with the comings and goings of my ‘crew’ (family and friends) back home in Canada. In a lot of ways it’s like still being in their lives without actually being there.

I guess that right there is the crux of Zuckerbergs invention. FB is a replication of the social aspects of humanity in an online environment. It lets you check people out and become part of groups and communities. It let’s you connect with people that you otherwise wouldn’t see/meet/talk to. It really is one of the biggest inventions of the 21st century – at least to date.

As for the movie, I would recommend it. But I’d go into it not expecting to be blown away. It’s good… but it wasn’t life changing.

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Movies | , , , | Leave a comment