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Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in Internet Geekdom, Real Life, Technology | 0 comments

Why be Social?

Yesterday I talked about getting over some negative feelings about posting. But that doesn’t supply a “why” answer to maintaining a personal website.

I’ve been inconsistent about writing, but I’ve written more than ever in the past few years because of Facebook, which allows you to feel like you’re posting to a smaller group of people who actually know you. 

And it doesn’t take much thought to create a Facebook post, really. A short, pithy reaction to something going on around you. Which is why Facebook has a definite value, but…

I’ve been (re) reading William Gibson’s book Pattern Recognition, and it makes me strangely nostalgic for the internet before Facebook. It was written (and is more or less set in) 2003. The world is getting over September 11, 2001, and the main character is interacting (on-line and off) with some people from all over the world because of some footage that keeps getting leaked – short snippets of what seems to be a longer film.

And they use – a bulletin board. Email. Weirdly archaic-seeming tools. I said it made me strangely nostalgic – nostalgia about the recent past may be the strongest kind. But I don’t think it’s just the tools they use  – it’s the fact that strangers on the internet form connections overan esoteric thing, and they’re allowed (at least for a time) to createa small bubble on the internet to do that in.

There’s nothing preventing people from doing that now. Nothing, that is, except laziness. It’s just so much easier to “engage” on social media. Which may be why most of our interactions seem to be rote, or even machine-driven. Certainly mostly about commerce. It was predicted from the git-go that the internet might turn into a shopping mall, and I’m afraid that’s definitely occurred. It’s time to get a skateboard and play in the parking lot.