Monday, November 14, 2011

More SN thoughts

Challenged by the book Flickering Pixels, I wrote here about some of the problems with Facebook. After being continually bombarded with confusing status updates, I think that there is even more there than I had initially thought.

Everyone knows that, to some extent, things are getting worse on Facebook. The way they "upgrade" the site could have something to do with it as it seems like Facebook has it's very own Facebook it the top right corner of the page. This is only skimming the surface of the problem. Every time I sign on to my page, which for everyone now is an everyday addiction, I cannot seem to find too many things that make any sense to me.

A big problem since the beginning is this. Everyone has problems, personal problems, and a ineffective way of dealing with those problems is to post them in a non-specific and vague way on their Facebook status. This brings momentarily but ultimately empty feelings of being loved and needed when a few friends ask for more specifics. Their questions are never answered, at least not publicly, leaving everyone else to imagine the worst possible scenario, making the situation, for the initial poster, that much more confused sympathy. And, most of the time, it is left at that.

"What am I going to do?"

"Why did this have to happen?"

"Really, God?! I cannot believe this!"

The roots of these problems range from being diagnosed with a disease to a barista getting your drink order wrong. The real problem is that no one ever knows what the problem is. Even when people ask for elaboration, they are usually left with their inquiries unanswered. Sure, maybe the victim sent private messages to a few close people, but the other 400 people are left to wonder as to what's really going on. Speculation fills the air and that leads to all kinds of unhealthy things.

I think that the problem here is that we shouldn't be telling people our deep, dark issues or concerns unless we lay it out clearly. Some people want people to pray for them, so in that way it is a good idea to clearly communicate the issue. Yet, others obviously don't want everyone to know the issue, they just want sympathy for the speculated circumstance.

"Oh, that's too bad that they got your order wrong. That happened to me last week."

"Sorry to hear that. We are praying for you."

Who knows what people are really thinking? This system that allows us to teeter on the brink of spilling all of our hurts and needs to everyone is a system that confuses us and brings about even deeper feelings of loneliness and isolation.

It's a situation of constantly 'beating around the bush'. Without any clear, direct communication, the whole situation gets frustrating and ultimately annoying. At least this is the way I see it.

I would hope that people would take advantage of this great way to communicate; use the Facebook addictions to your advantage. Personal messages can be sent to a group of people, just like how email used to work in the old days. Actually, you can even send email to someone's inbox on Facebook. Apparently, my Facebook email address is

I diverge and digress. The point is that I would hope that people would still have the desire to actually connect with their friends. I know that people are hurting and I know that people are angry that McDonalds has run out of chicken nuggets, I just can't tell the difference.

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