I have decided that i really hate Facebook.
It is brief, simple, and easy. it is communicative top ramen.
Like top ramen;
It has a familiar flavor so that if you truly know the person writing....
If you understand them in the usual and hopefully correct context, (ie. you know what flavor the package of noodles is supposed to be) then you may see the "inside jokes" and discern the seriousness or humor of the posting or comment.
Last week I saw a friend of mine giving comments that were "out of character" for him. Honestly the commentary that he had been making on his own Facebook page, and the comments he had made on others, only seemed mildly odd, when taken for each individual comment. However if you looked here and there, over a period of a week you began to see the treads of a tapestry that frankly worried me. I tried over a two day period to write a message that I could send that would voice my concern without offending him. I wrote and erased my attempts four times. At the point that I almost gave up, it happened......
In the tradition of all great revelation, it came to me in a pillar of light and a thunder-voice, that I might break all rules of genteel society, think out side the box, truly innovate and risk my sense of decorum......I called him....on a courtesy phone......in a bus station....
not really, I just called him, but I actually dialed the number......OK ,OK I used voice activation, but I did it with feeling!
I said to him that it had been a while since i had seen him and would like to take him to lunch. after the initial shock of actually speaking to a voice on the other side of the phone had subsided, he accepted with some trepidation.
It's a funny thing about talking with someone over lunch. You don't need to use an emoticon, or know how to make a particular face using punctuation marks. You don't need to be careful with every word that you write. Fearing you might be judged one way or another. Matter of fact you don't have to say much at all, you don't even have to think very much that all really. The coolest thing about human communication is; that since much of it has to do with visual cues and intonation of voice, and even nonverbal sounds that we make, a look, a sigh, really make all the difference. It doesn't take that much effort; it was, let me see....... if I can remember the old phrase, natural.
Yeah my friend had a lot of things he needed to talk about, but I feel like it was far more effective because of human interaction, I didn't have to explain how I felt or declare that I understood; he knew it, because I was there.
The world moves much faster today than it did when I was a young man, and I'm glad that so many people that I know are able to keep track of and contact each other that otherwise would not able to. There is however the danger that this sterile and substitute form communication, may become the only method by which people communicate most often in their life.
Imagine a world in which you never saw a musical performer do their thing, in fact you never heard them sing, but instead read the lyrics perhaps with emoticons showing the places in the song at which they have particular feeling.
Listening to a Ozzy Osbourne, or Laura Fabian recording is a fine experience, however to see crazy train or Caruso performed, particularly live, is an entirely different experience. Perhaps my allegory is carried a step too far, but that's how I feel. we truly are a multimedia experience communicators. We require: sound, visual input, emotion and context, else there is so much missing from the experience that we may miss the point, or perhaps misunderstand entirely.
Perhaps the role of personal communication, will become an act that demonstrates true personal endearment in the future. Reserved only for those whom it is felt the effort is necessary. philosophically speaking as an open-ended question that I have; to wonder if in the electronic age we've created a separate class of acquaintance, friend, and family; not intentionally of course, but as things we do as a culture; first become passé and then cliché, it is interesting to think where this type of communication may end up being classified.
How satisfying would it be to live on nothing but top Ramen, you could survive, of that there is no doubt, but somehow I think we each would be missing something.
I'm just saying.