In times past, it would take me the best part of an afternoon to read through all the posts on my Livejournal friends list. In fact, it once got so bad I had to filter communities and actual people. These days it takes less than 30 minutes for me to catch up on what you lot are up to. A few polls back I asked “Where are all the kool kats hanging out these days” to which the majority of sensible replies were “Facebook”.
Ok so I’m on facebook. I’ve been on there for some years now, before it took off in the meteoric way it has in the past few months. I’ve poked, I’ve played scrabble, I’ve been a pirate, a ninja, even someones fucking pet, I’ve even interacted with people I’ve lost contact with. But it’s so bloody insular and incestuous! Now I’ve come to realise Facebook is like a big fuck off supermarket.
Long ago, the high streets (the internet) were populated with all manner of shops (social networking sites) and a rich variety of vendors. Then came the Tescos (Facebook) small at first, but gradually most people started shopping there to get the cheap deals (poking) and bargain food (vampires/Ninjas). As the Supermarkets grew, so did their product line (Blogs, walls, email, instant access to people, searchablity) and everything was available under one roof. But when it was too late people started to realise that the high streets were now empty. Devoid of choice. Lacking in culture and vibrancy. The woman at the checkout no longer cared about your bunions. Nobody listened when you said something about your community. And gradually the communities started to die. People got fat while others got richer. A few brave souls stood up and said “NO!” and continued to shop local, forging tighter bonds and desparately trying to keep their communities together. But one by one they too drifted off to pastures new. Happy with the convenience yet dissatisfied with the feeling of isolation.
I suppose such is the way it is in today’s capitalist/consumerist society. I’m sure the day will come when we all shop at ONE shop, stocked by ONE corporation, buying ONE brand of beans, herded like cattle round ONE giant global society, no longer with an identity, no longer with the ability to be truly different. I suppose we will look back and say “Hell..At least we don’t have to choose anymore”. I could go on but I’m being poked…..Scrabulous anyone?