Tonight at dinner, Erika and I had a long talk about my Facebook post from last night: how each of us use it, why I hate it, and why it is the first social network site that she has really gotten into. We talked at length about synchronous vs. asynchronous communication, public vs. private, the open web vs. the closed web (like MySpace or Facebook), preferred modes of communication, and which worked better when. It was a great conversation over excellent food at Fu Rai Bo in West LA.
All the while we were discussing Facebook and styles of communication an early 20s-something couple next to us was on a date and the whole time the girl kept taking phone calls and texting, all the while she was leaning across the table to smooch the fellow. When they left, I pointed out the extreme difference to Erika.
Not once during dinner did either Erika or I touch our mobile phones, I did not take photos or check my email, she did not take any phone calls. We talked. Then again, we weren’t on a date, just having a fun debate over issues. Yet, the youngsters were completely ok with continuous partial attention and smooching in between communicative interruptions.
One of the things that Erika pointed out to me during our discussion, of which she should know as we have been friends for over 18 years now, is that if I strongly don’t like something then it is a guarantee that 80% of the rest of the planet will strongly like it. I have a problem with intuitively not being mainstream. Thus, if I don’t like Facebook, you should probably go buy stock in it. Well, if they were public that is.
I got home tonight and found this post over at The Spittoon and have concluded that I must not be “Miss Con-GENE-iality“:
If Facebook is starting to take over your life, maybe your genes are partly to blame.
While I am good at keeping up with a wide circle of networks, I don’t enjoy nor have I gotten sucked into Facebook. As I stated to Erika tonight, it really comes down to the open web vs. the closed web and how services like Facebook & MySpace encourage folks to remain in the closed web and get dumbed down by the confined space. Erika argued that folks like the convenience of the closed web spaces like Facebook & MySpace that allows folks to do everything in one place.
I don’t want the internet to become an slightly more interactive version of the brain dead Boob Tube (TV), but a place where folks can grow and become more creative and alive.