Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guest Column: Quit calling me a Facebook Junkie...Junkie!!!

This topic may seem to be straying from the norm of this blog, but at this stage it's my intention to have my [sporadic] entries be somewhat of a diversion from the norm stylistically and content wise, but still deal with cultural elements at the same time a la an Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes type. And for the majority of the readership, facebook is very much a part of our cultural fabric.

I’ll be the first person to admit that I spend a great deal of my day on facebook. I’d be in complete denial if I tried to say anything otherwise. But, to be fair, most people in my demographic group are on facebook quite a bit. My days are spent in front of a computer, and on my computer, I have facebook up A LOT. Being in my mid 20’s, I remember when facebook first came out, then begrudgingly joining (back when you could only join if you could verify your college-issued email account), which was followed by not checking my email without subsequently going to check my facebook account. Throughout my college career, facebook was a regular part of my day.

Then I graduated, moved into the work force, and continued the same usage pattern.* When I got to my desk in the morning, I would open up three tabs on my browser window. One was my email account. A second was to stream the Dan Patrick Radio Show (which at 11 would be turned to Minnesota Public Radio’s The Current (because Pandora wasn’t up and running at the point)). The third window was for facebook. Every person that worked in that office building (of a few hundred) had similar internet uses whether they were reading the newspaper, checking stocks, playing fantasy sports, or sitting on facebook.

*We young adults get bad raps from older members of the work force for what seems to be poor work ethics. While I won’t defend the number of people I know who are extremely unproductive, I’ll also be quick to point out that every age group has those people.

See…regardless of age, workers will be unproductive for good chunks of the work day. If I were in management (which I wasn’t), I’d rather have people sitting at their desk being unproductive than standing around away from their desk being unproductive. We all have gotten phone calls that needed tending to or emails that deserved a rapid response. I won’t go any further into that, but you [hopefully] get my point.

So, don’t give my generation a bad name just because you’re too biased to look at your own generation with the same critical eye.**

**Yes, I understand that the likelihood of someone over the age of 35 reading this is slim to none…

Now, I will turn my critical eye to those in my generation. I’m sure people I know probably toss around the term “facebook junkie” as an adjective to describe me. Some might think it’s fair, but I’d beg to differ. How would I describe my relationship with facebook you ask…well…I would consider myself a facebook contributor.

Yes, I’m on facebook a lot, and if you’re facebook friends with me you’ll see that I’m updating my status on what I believe to be a reasonable basis (sometimes a couple times a day, but only on a rare occasion and it’s usually maybe once every few days), I comment on photos, statuses, and walls. My status’ are often what I find to be funny. I’ve been friends with people [notice past tense] who were updating on a more frequent/or equally frequent basis as me, and it was always with stupid shit about their boyfriend or that they were “running to the mall” or something that no one cares about. Obviously, there are people that could care less what I say, but I probably equally care less what they have to say. When I comment on photos, it’s either complimentary or funny (usually the latter), and writing on one’s wall is just an open way of communicating.

In my opinion, a “junkie” is someone who only uses and doesn’t contribute anything of substance. I’m not that person. You “junkies” are the people who are on facebook all the time but never really do anything. You look at people’s pictures, or check in on friends’ profiles, but never actually say anything. You’re an electronic-Peeping Tom. Someday, an episode of Law & Order: SVU will have a story line involving facebook lurking, and you’ll say to yourself “that could have been me.”

Again…I’m on facebook a crap ton, but I like to think I’m giving something back to the community. I’m a contributor because I genuinely believe that there are people out there who find the videos I post equally as funny as I do, or who crack a little smile when I “like” a good picture of a friend and his/her significant other because although I’m writing a guest piece on a blog appropriately named for its creator, I’m a decently nice guy under my [described my some]rough exterior.

If you’re friends with me on facebook and get annoyed with the frequency of status updates…unfriend me…I don’t care. If something like that bothers you, I probably equally dislike you as a person, too. If you take something I said in electronic form (see: without vocal tones) as a complete joke wrong, and stop talking to me, you’re probably too serious for me to actually want to be your friend. And finally, to those of you creepers who came across this entry via the Inconsiderate Prick facebook page, actually heed my advice, and start giving back to the facebook community because I’m tired of being one of the few, the proud, facebook contributors.


KRD said...

Hey YMD: Good on ya for the first guest post. I enjoyed it. One piece of advice: be careful about reminding your potential readers about their age. I'm 35 and 10 months and a regular I.P. reader. I consider OMD someone of "my generation" (he's the same age as MY youngest brother. Also a YMD).

Too sensitive? Yes. Maybe I am. But you are going to be 35 in the blink of a eye. Go easy.

Old Man Duggan said...

Preach on Brother Man.

KRD, you don't count as being 35 because you live in one of the following cities: Portland, Austin. None of us have grown up yet, nor do we want to. We just want to be grown up enough to have cars, be able to afford to drink whenever we want, and have a sweet-ass TV.

Speaking of TV, missed the first episode of Gold Rush. Saw the second. I'm assuming your bro is still alive.

KRD said...

Neither my brother, my sister-in-law, nor their offspring were Timothy Treadwell'd whilst in the Great White North. Yes. I just used the name of a slightly crazy, very dead subject of a Herzog doc as a verb.

It is in bad taste, I grant you. But we deal with terror for our loved ones in strange ways.

By the way, I'm sorry for imposing Gold Rush, Alaska! on you. Your brother is clearly much more of a credit to your family name than mine.

(And, actually, there are other trappings of adulthood I wouldn't mind. For the record.)

Old Man Duggan said...

Oh, Timothy Treadwell is totally verb-able. I've done it. My friend Chad does it all the time. The only problem with Gold Rush is the crazy old dude who talks weird. The show is pretty entertaining, and one of my friends was actually already watching it when I remembered to TiVo it.

Young Man Duggan said...

Haha, sorry KRD. My comments about older workers were directed towards those who can see retirement on the near horizon, so I apologize for any pressing on a sore subject.

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