Thursday, October 11, 2007

Internet Today

This week, the sister I consider the least web savvy sent me an invitation to Facebook. In itself, this seems like a normal event, but it really surprized me. Why? Because for years I have thought of myself on the cutting edge of most things internet and although I knew of Facebook, I hadn't seen the need to get my face booked. I think my grasp on new and exciting is slipping away....and I don't really care.

When it started, sampling every new toy in the internet toybox was great fun. There were ideas and visions I'd never dreamed, and the first time I wrote code and it became a visual reality was a thrilling moment. I completely embraced the vitual communities, pets and places. I managed a solid business without ever seeing most of my customers, and when I did see them, it was ok if they didn't look as I'd imagined, but when the conversations weren't as scintillating
as the email exchanges, I'd feel a little let down. They probably felt the same about me.

Now, my internet use is vastly different. I use it as an everyday item, like the cup I drink my coffee from. It's always there, does it's job as a coffee cup but if I tried to make it be a champagne flute, it might not do so well. If I want to know anything, Google is my first thought. I get annoyed when the info I want is buried by layers of thoughtless navigation. I am happy when I find my answer in seconds. And although my main contact with most of my family these days is via the internet, I don't turn to it for friendship any longer.

Which brings me back to Facebook. I went and signed up out of curosity. I can't see myself getting too excited about it. Sure it's cool in a hot sort of way, but not in the way that sitting in a bookstore cafe with a friend is. If you're lucky, you might meet that friend on Facebook, but unless you move out of that realm, that's all they are -- faces. And until more people get out from behind their screens and actually come to the MeetUps or other meet and greets , its all they can be.


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1 comment:

Shannon said...

I feel very similarly... I'm just not using the internet the same way I used to. I like to imagine it's because I've figured out how to have a more rewarding "real" life. Plus, you only need to find one husband online. ;)

Did you know that my dissertation is on social uses of the internet? I may not be doing so much of that myself, but it's a fascinating topic.