WEEKENDER Column: Facebook friends
I taught a sort of introduction to computers class at L.C.C.C. up until recently. Did it for almost 7 years. So that means the time I spent teaching people, mostly young people, about computers tracked very closely the rise of Social Media. Facebook celebrated its sixth birthday last February, MySpace (remember that?) is 7 and Twitter has been around for 4 years.
I knew enough about computers, how they worked and some history. I was fluent in sufficient software so I could impart some knowledge to some, at least for a few years. But in the later years teaching PowerPoint to kids who had used it since Kindergarten was quickly becoming like teaching how to make and use buggy-whips. They knew how and couldn’t see the point in any case.
It’s clear now that for at least the foreseeable future the amount of growth and change in the what, how and why we use computers will undergo almost constant flux. Who would have thought, seven years ago, about an I-Pad, except for future looking guys like Steve Jobs, R.I.P.? You do have to wonder who will take up the role of cosmic visionary now.
The kids I taught were, for the most part, addicted to Facebook to the point where it was a tough thing to get any attention paid to the front of the classroom. Having powerful computers with a fast internet connection in front of them they were in social media heaven.
Rather than fight I switched and joined the ranks of “friends”. And here comes the point of this rather lengthy set up. I have as of today 3,202 “friends”, most of whom I wouldn’t know it I fell over them on the sidewalk. This inordinately large number is due to me being a Facebook “whore”, befriending everybody and anybody. What’s the harm, I thought? I keep my personal data private and you can never have too many friends, right? Well…
Today is my birthday. As I write this, and it’s early in the morning, I have received over 150 birthday greetings. It’s gratifying, meaningless and puzzling all at the same time. Why would you tell someone who is for all intents and purposes a stranger, happy birthday?
And for those of you who I do know, would it kill you to send a card? With a dollar or two in it? I could use $150 about now.
Reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org Even more rants are on his blog, updated every day that ends in “y” at jamesrising.com