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Thursday, March 05, 2009

On Facebook

After the initial euphoria wore off (Friends from high school! What's my status right now? Ooh, photos!) Facebook now feels like more square footage of the internet that demands attention. God forbid my status go unreported.

There have been a lot of small pleasures in this thing, though -- I like the quick public scribblings on people's walls; the status update really is kind of cool for those of us reluctant to dive into the shameless narcissism of Twitter (not like a blog is much better, though, admittedly); and it really is great to see all my high school friends again. What would Facebook be without high school friends?

There seems to be a limit, though. I was trying to think of the right simile and I can't quite reach it, but to me Facebook is like you and everyone you know, standing in their own individual glass box like a phone booth. Somebody has taken all these glass boxes and lined them up in a circle. When you log on to Facebook, the lights in the room come on, or the people who lined you up in the circle reveal new glass boxes to you, and suddenly you realize -- hey! It's your friends! You see your friends and loved ones, beloved, well-missed, and you knock on your glass and get their attention and wave and smile at them. They make eye contact and smile back. You bonk on your glass, and they do the same. So you look at each other for a little bit, and then -- hey! There's somebody else! So you turn your attention to that person, and you wave and smile and mouth the words "how are you," which fogs up your glass a little. And after a little while you realize that although you can see everyone, and from here they all look great, and they can hold up little blurbs about themselves and their lives now, you still can't quite touch them or hug them or dap it out. But you're still in your glass box, staring at everyone you grew up with, some people you thought you had lost to time and distance, and you don't dare look away.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Wow, that was actually pretty amazing. I've never attempted to metaphor-ize facebook, myself, but I think you nailed it.