Arnaud’s Open blog

Opinions on open source and standards

The Facebook Oxymoron

Social networking tools a la Facebook and Twitter associated with the always connected feature of today’s hand-held devices have led to the creation of a new type of oxymoron that never ceases to amaze me.

Postings such as “enjoying a great dinner with my spouse”, “having a great time with visiting friends”, “I’ve got so much work to do!” just don’t make sense to me. I say they are a new form of oxymoron.

Here is the thing in case you didn’t get it yet: If you really were having a great time with your spouse or friends, you wouldn’t be posting about it. Especially since while social networking tools are great to connect with remote friends there is nothing more anti-social than taking time off from interacting with people around you to post on Facebook or Tweeter. In my book this is just rude.

And if you really were that busy, you wouldn’t have time to post about it, would you?

Seriously. I do use Facebook and I enjoy it. But when I’m on vacation for instance, the last thing I think about is posting about it. I’m happy to do so afterward.

This is so obvious to me that it amazes me to see how many people seem to fall into that kind of habit. I don’t understand this.

Of course I know what people are going to say: “Come on, it doesn’t even take a minute to post something like that”. I know. And I’ll accept that even though I bet in most cases people don’t just post but also check what others posted so it takes them more than just a minute.

But still, I want to ask: what’s the point of these postings?

Are we turning into an ever more egocentric society where under the pretense of caring for what’s going on in other people’s life we focus so much on our own that we feel an urge to tell people about everything we do?

I hope it isn’t so and this is merely excess usage that will somewhat fade away over time and we will eventually find a happy medium.

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April 9, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Arnaud,

    The problem is you actually have a full life family, good friends, and a healthy view of how to positively spend time on a computer or internet. You grew up with the internet like us geeks and have a healthy amount of skepticism and tinge of a “neo-luddite” attitude. I mean let’s go outside and play, not huddle in front of the screen!

    When I was younger I do remember spending hours playing Zork, Star Trek, posting and reading on Usenet and emailing. Now I am jaded to all that :), yet I am still posting here…. LOL.

    I think that for many people it’s their first exposure, and they get a bit carried away. I see people admitting their addiction to Farmville and then saying they are going cold turkey.

    On the other hand some people are just so narcissistic and consumed by themselves and think this is a way to fame. Right below your post I have an FB ” friend” who is a 30 yr old Asian woman, and has 3078 pictures, and 1319 friends! Her posts are all totally vapid, like “I hate my f–ing job” and every stupid post like that will get 20 replies. I guess this is her 15 mins of Fame-lite.

    And then there is greed. This is a strange time where people blog as a their source of income! Hits = Cash!

    Now back to my life!

    Comment by Ralf | April 9, 2010 | Reply

  2. I’ve been encouraging my fb friends to post in their status what they are planning to do instead of posting what they did. By doing so I hope to get ideas where to go by myself or with kids or spouse and see fb friends in real life, too.

    Comment by Janne | November 18, 2010 | Reply


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