Facebook: Seductive but dangerous
I see more and more references on this site to Facebook pages, which is like seeing telephone numbers when you don’t have a telephone.
My technically adult children are on Facebook. I say “technically” because they are over 18 but, of course, males do not now reach real adulthood until their mid-thirties, about ten years after their female counterparts. My wife believes that the much delayed development on the part of all “lads” is because, nowadays, they can have unlimited sex without any consequences or committment and this makes them irresponsible. The bit I’ve seen of their Facebook pages seems to involve dozens and dozens of photos of them with their friends, drinking alcohol, and making faces at the camera, and always in groups of three. I hesitate to ask why such a ménage might assemble, given the recent newspaper reports, but no one seems in the least bit shy.
I set up a fake Facebook page for my wife some weeks ago because she had heard of a major school reunion, and the only place you could get details was on Facebook. My wife wanted access without in any way exposing herself to scrutiny. The revelatory nature of the pages of mature females who associated themselves with the reunion page was something to behold. Hundreds of photos of the ladies in question on nights out, holidays, formal occasions etc. Photos of children carrying on like Billy Barry munchkins. Photos of themselves pretending fondness for the husbands. The whole business was quite nauseating. What is worse is that for every page of those who "liked" the reunion, there were a dozen “friends” whose self-disclosures were no less revealing than the primary sources. What kind of mad self-branding is this?
During the currency of the fake page, a local guy scored an incredible goal the video of which was uploaded to YouTube, and which had about 250 “hits”. Using the fake page I “liked” the video (or approved of it in some way) and then randomly typed in a search for every major town I could think of for “AFC”, and thus got the names of a couple of hundred soccer club Facebook pages. I then sent a note of approval to the whole lot of them, with a link to the great goal. Within three days there were 12,000 hits. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Then suddenly Facebook demanded a passport, licence, or other ID for the fake page, and I let it die on the spot. But what fun one might have.
I am close to despair. I want the incredible buzz, the access, the whole social element of Facebook, but I do not want the awful responsibility of making that place the centre of my life, constantly checking to see where I stand in the digital social milieu, swapping disclosures for disclosures, putting up digitally enhanced pictures of myself. Yes…What I want is the fun, without the responsibility….............................................................