Friday, April 13, 2012

Time for a Facebook Detox

"The problem, then, is that we invite loneliness, even though it makes us miserable. The history of our use of technology is a history of isolation desired and achieved. When the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company opened its A&P stores, giving Americans self-service access to groceries, customers stopped having relationships with their grocers. When the telephone arrived, people stopped knocking on their neighbors’ doors. Social media bring this process to a much wider set of relationships... Loneliness is certainly not something that Facebook or Twitter or any of the lesser forms of social media is doing to us. We are doing it to ourselves. Casting technology as some vague, impersonal spirit of history forcing our actions is a weak excuse. We make decisions about how we use our machines, not the other way around... "

Stephen Marche, Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?
Atlantic Magazine, May 2012

It's not often that 1) I see an Internet article longer than a page scroll, and 2) that I have the patience to read it. But this article hit a few nerves, and I think the author poses some thought-provoking questions.

I defriended 643 people on Facebook; some of whom I didn't even recognize because of a new married surname. If I had no idea someone got married, I had no business being "friends" with them. Relationships require a lot of work. I don't want Facebook to stand in place of that.

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