Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Coining a word or two.

I wonder whether I'm the only one disappointed by Facebook. (Statistically I cannot be the only one, but it is more dramatic to seem to suffer alone.) Facebook was supposed to solve all our social problems, help us make new friends, and cure that embarassing rash too. Or maybe that's just me. The rash is clearing up too, I got a cream for it.

It's not that it's a let-down in any big way. Maybe I just expected it to make a bigger difference in my life than it did. Maybe it was a bit over-hyped by the people who wanted me to sign up. (Whoever that was, own up!) I guess it's just a case of "wherever you go, you take yourself along". In other words, if you're a social butterfly who knows everyone, you probably have friends in amounts described by imaginary numbers (those numbers invented to describe how much disk space Google has) and your gigantic store of photos depict you: (a) always with a group of smiling people; (b) probably holding an alcoholic beverage; and (c) in some state of undress and/or embarassment.

If, on the other hand, you were not a very social person to begin with, the picture is a little different. At least 50 percent of your contacts are either (a) people you have never met and that live in a different city; (b) even worse, people you have never met and live in the same city; or (c) people you have lost contact with and now live, you guessed it, in a different city. Also, you probably feel like you are a passive observer in the lives of the people that you actually have contact with.

Both types take refuge in Applications, connecting with their friends through "Asking Questions" and "Biting Chumps". This is a strange mode of interaction, and is often mistaken for real human interaction and communication.

I need to get a few things off my chest.

(1) A clip-art picture of a present is not a replacement for a real present.

(2) An application invitation is not a replacement for a quicl note asking after my health and wellbeing.


(4) Thou Shalt Always Tag The Redhead In Thy Photos.

(5a) I can see which applications you've added. If it looks interesting, I'll add it. Don't invite me.

(5b) MOREOVER, to the developers of said Applications: Don't force me to invite anyone else.

(6a) If you already have 100 pictures of you drinking, socialising, and smiling at the camera... THAT IS ENOUGH.

(6b) The same goes for any pet pictures. You should be allowed a maximum of three photos per pet (reclining, running, and doing something cute). More than one picture of an animal which is not your pet, is pointless.

(6c) Doubly so for lolcats.

That concludes my rant for the day.

We need new words. A word needs to serve as a reasonably universal label for a thought, activity, or concept... and I feel that there are a few things happening that are not spoken of, because we don't have words for them. I'm open to suggestions here, please feel free to comment.

Firstly, the activity of addictedly clicking through the photo albums of people you have never met. Is it the voyeur in us? Is it an urge to vicariously experience others' lives? I can't quite tell what the motivation is. Does anyone else do this? Either I'm all alone in the world and I'm a sick sick person for doing it, or it's like masturbation... Everyone does it but nobody will own up to doing it.

Secondly, the resultant recognition of people in public places, with NO idea who they are or what their names are. We need a word for that. "Face-a vu"? Trite. Help me out here.

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