Thursday, September 23, 2010

LAFB #4: Finding a Substitute

Ever since I started this blog, I've been typing "Life After FaceBook" into Google to see if my blog's famous yet.  Not yet.  Dangit.

But it has yielded some interesting search results.  Here's the most interesting article I've found:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/05/12/is-there-life-after-facebook/

Until some viable alternate reaches critical mass, though, it is hard for many people to imagine a life after Facebook.

“It would be really weird. It would be me taking off and leaving a lot of friends. It’s like moving out of town to live by yourself in some small isolated town,” said Mr. Levy. “It would not be so lonely if some of my friends came with me.”

 So what happened in the last few years?  Did we lose everyone's phone numbers?  Emails?  Physical addresses?  No, but we just quit saving people's numbers unless we knew we needed to call them more than once -- and by "needed to call them" i mean "couldn't FaceBook them for everything."  Some SmartPhones have the capability of syncing to FB and instantly downloading all of the phone numbers and emails people have associated with their profiles, along with a neat profile picture that will show up every time they call. 

I realized how behind the curve I've been when I tried to send out an email to friends I knew from my LSU days.  Officially, I stopped going to LSU after the spring of 2006, but I still had friends there.  I went to send out a mass email and found that most of my friends' addresses saved in my Yahoo! account were still LSU addresses.  Chances are, some of them would bounce and others would get lost in a mailbox that never gets checked anymore.  Being that this is a message of some urgency (specifically a prayer request, see below), I'd rather them get the message today if at all possible. 

I'm sure this kind of thing happened in the last century when people got telephones in every house (and not just one for the entire town like when Papa was growing up) where they feared people would just stay home and talk on the phone instead of going out and visiting other people.  Well, we're still going to see people, right?  Some people may validate staying home by being able to connect to people via social network, but even that has its limits and feels hollow.  It's like pornography - it fails to satisfy more than one part of you, and ultimately leaves you empty inside.

The problem now is that we can't un-ring the bell.  FaceBook has been created, and, short of a nation-wide permanent internet implosion, the world will never be the same.  FB continues to limp along for some people who are of the purist type and don't like what it has become, but lack any better alternative.  FB's quality was the reason people switched away from sites like Friendster and MySpace, only to reach the top of the mountain and find there's no higher to climb without finding another mountain somewhere else.

What I hope people will realize is that you already have something better: connect with people on your own.  Yes, it'll take more effort, but it'll create a deeper relationship and will really be worth it.  Trust me.

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BTW, I got a call from James Campbell two days ago that they were admitting his dad (David Campbell) to ICU, and then yesterday James confirmed that he suffered a massive stroke, and isn't able to do very much.  Be praying for James too, he's hurting now more than I've ever seen out of him.

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