January is coming to a close, so I decided to reflect on my New Year’s resolution. A month ago, I set the goal to try not to “bash Facebook” this year! How am I doing?
Ironically, during the first days of January, several educational groups, including a class at my university and a library honor society, requested I become a fan (or would that be a friend?). There’s no way to retreat—everyone is already on fb.
Then, I received an invitation to “like” a recycling company that has helped my school earn money (through sending in old cell phones and ink cartridges). Helping earn money for badly needed books and materials is wonderful, but is it my responsibility to advertise for the companies in which I do business?
On TV each morning as I was getting dressed, I heard news broadcasters suggesting listeners post opinions. (They really care about what the public thinks.) I am trying to remain calm and not let my blood pressure rise, as I contemplate the fact that the news is no longer the news, but a popularity contest for ratings or a friendly chat over a cup of coffee.
A young high school English teacher I know was talking about her students’ writing abilities. She proposed the idea that students may be writing more than ever with texting and fb status updates. She proposed an increase in the perception that every tidbit that comes out of one’s mouth (or fingertips) is perceived as golden. Rather than striving for high quality in writing (through painful revision), students fling personal messages and photos to an “awaiting” world. The perpetuation of self-centeredness may be growing exponentially. Which reminds me of a joke I heard from one of my favorite professors (a philosphical mathematician who made statistics fun). He liked to state repeatedly (try saying it outloud), “Enough about me. Let’s talk about you. What do you think of me?” Say it three times in a row!
Back to my monthly Web 2.0 checkup. I really did try to work on my goal of understanding the fb phenomenon. I created a custom group and posted a status update to only one person as a test for meaningful conversation. Email would have been more efficient. However, I have learned that many people check fb much more often than email. To date, I still have learned nothing on facebook. My sister reminded me that it is a “social” network and asked me why I feel it necessary to learn something. If it is only for the purpose of casual conversation, why do I feel obligated, as an information professional, to associate myself with my university’s page?
I am not giving up, I have eleven months to go! I certainly hope, dear reader, that this post is not misconstrued as bashing. I have every intention of forging on through 2011 with an open mind.
But wait, for those who are compelled to check fb first thing in the morning, before they rise from bed– here’s a site that will help you limit yourself by saying “Keep Me Out!”