Friday, April 13, 2007

The revolution or revulsion

April 12, 2007

Why blog when you can share pictures, intimate details of yourself and “poke
people” (ew, no thank you) from highschool? It’s instant messenger, online
dating, blogging and networking all wrapped up into one messy, self
indulgent, addictive package. And hot damn, I love it. I really love it, I
love the rush of seeing a new message in my inbox, I love the randomness,
the hurried details, the proud pics of mum and baby and the memories that
come flooding back when you connect with someone from your past.

Admittedly, facebooking from West Africa is a tad surreal. I am being asked
to divulge life details from years ago, I’m asking huge life questions that
I’d surely ask with more tact in person, and I’m summarizing life in the
north, Graeme, and life in Africa all in one or two sentences.

I think of Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Tipping Point and his profound
observation of the networkers among us. These are the people that are born
to talk, born to introduce us to each other and born perhaps someday to
become politicians. I used to think I knew a networker when I met one,
facebook has confirmed the networkers I am connected to and also opened the
door and my mind to new networkers. It’s a marketer’s dream and a
consumer’s potential nightmare.

I can’t help think of past friends and acquaintances as a bit like baseball
cards. We collect them, store their beautiful pictures and continue
scouring sites, other networks, other friend’s networks for connections that
will ground us, place us into categories. We are somebody when we can
amass 40 friends in a day. The webs we weave are deceptive indeed and I
can’t help wonder what will happen when the novelty of poking, catching up
and inviting someone to be your friend subsides. I guess we’ll just go back
to being friends with the people we really want to be friends with.

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