blogging vs. facebooking

for as long as i possibly could, i’ve resisted facebook.  for anyone who’s been living under a rock for the last six months or so, facebook is a very open-ended, unmoderated, highly active social networking site populated by literally millions of internet denizens, where people are free to put all of their personal baggage out on the red carpet for public consumption – sort of an inverted paparazzi for the pedestrian population.

anyone foolish enough to visit my blog knows that i don’t have a problem committing highly personal thoughts for the mass consumption of google and individual netizens (which in my case, amounts to a readership of about three).  but facebook gives an altogether different kind of exposure –innocent parties are implicated with my particular social dysfunctions by accidental association, and that is a kind of lible-by-association of a scale which i think is unprecedented in the history of communication.  put in terms that are most familiar to me, it’s like being clark kent, knowing that you’re trying to keep you life secret from the enemies of superman, and broadcasting to lex luthor, brainiac and bizarro that hey – these are all of my friends and these are the things that they like and where they hang out!

blogging is all about publishing news and thoughts that are relevant to the author – sharing those thoughts and lessons with people who are sincerely interested.  facebook gives users the ability to broadcast their personal interactions with their closest (participating) friends to the entire internet where all of the freaks, stalkers, pedophiles and mass-murderers are scoping out their next victims.

facebook is inherently voyeuristic, in that i get notified every time a friend takes a pee or tags a photo, whereas, apart from my rss feed, no one would ever be aware that i was having a thought in my head unless they had enough interest in me to actively seek out the latest posting on my blog.

i crafted  my own blog engine – i built it from the ground up (which admittedly, is not something that can be said of most bloggers).  i know every page and every function and stored procedure call, and i know what its limitations and capabilities are.  i know where the data resides, how easy it would be to break into the database and steal it, and how worthless any of it is.  facebook is probably run by the cia or the nsa or the department of homeland security.  if you think that this is far-fetched paranoia, consider this report.

but facebook is communal – i write on my friends’ walls, and they write back.  they post a picture of something that they’re proud of, and i get to know about it within seconds.  if someone i know on facebook wants me to inflate their social bubble, my cell phone tells me and i can associate myself with them right in the middle of a big corporate gathering and no one is the wiser.  if i want to send a photo of a cake or some girl i met in a bar to a facebook photo album, i can make it happen.  it is a global, extemporaneous shedding of personal boundaries and inhibitions resulting in a cacophonic eruption of ecstatic, orgiastic, self-congratulatory data, whereas blogging is a completely masturbatory experience.

i guess that if i were someone in a position of authority, where my views and beliefs and associations represented exploitable vulnerabilities – could jeopardize political or economic or social outcomes – facebook would pose a serious threat to me and to the ones i indicated as my friends.  however, now that i’m on facebook, i guess i’m simply having a fun time connecting with people far away in time and geography, or across the courtyard, and i simply have to remind myself never to run for public office. 

but after half of the shit that i’ve posted on my blog, i think that it’s safe to say that no one would trust me with their government anyway.  so join facebook – what have YOU got to lose?

– g

facebooking song of the day: "somebody's watching me" by rockwell <- you have to watch this, really!