As some of you may have noticed, on all six of my “blogs” (the completely ubiquitous shortening of “web log,” which itself is latter-day code for “online journal”), I have installed plug-ins so that whenever I write something and publish it on one of my blogs, it also publishes to my Facebook wall. At first I thought this was going to work out great, since it would widen the scope of my readership. I liked this idea not just because it would be fun to share, but also because I thought it would help remind my possible photography clients and students to check the appropriate blog periodically for relevant posts.
Sadly, it was not to be, and here’s why: Facebook bears the wrong name. The truth is, Facebook isn’t a place to share and have fun. It’s a place to shout and shout over and over again, “LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!”, and should thereby be more aptly named Egobook. As you read your friends walls you will see that they don’t usually contain conversations, dialogs, Socratic forum sessions, or cogent opinions, but short, shallow jabs meant to garner a tiny fraction of their 15 minutes of fame.
And yes, I am aware of the irony that this post and many others like it at richardbarron.net fall to some degree in the category of “look at me.” In my own defense, however, I would add that I have always made an effort, and not a small one mind you, to populate my journal entries with more substance than typical Facebook wall posts. After all, a blog entry like this almost certainly has more to offer than a Facebook status update simply because the status update is limited to 420 characters.
Substance. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I want to give more to my readers than just “at sea world lol,” or that I clicked on the “Like” button somewhere. In fact, I’ll say right now that I don’t give crap one what you like, and I seriously doubt that you care what I like. To that end, of course, I don’t click the “Like” button.
Some people tell me they don’t have time to read my blogs, or any blogs, but then I see them on Facebook, spending literally hours doing nothing more than looking to see if anyone is paying attention to their posts, which are almost always bullspit, something so vague and incoherent that they think it will provoke you to respond so they are at the center of it all just for a few seconds.
Some of my friends who were excellent bloggers, who had something to say, who I read and encouraged others to read, have stopped posting altogether, under the assumption that they can say what they want to their friends through Facebook, when in fact their voices are lost in this constant stream of noisy, irrelevant egochatter. I wish they would come back. I know at least I would very much enjoy hearing their real voices again. In fact, I challenge all my friends to renew their blogs, or even start blogs, and make them full of insight and valuable messages that bring us all closer to understanding the world around us. Do it now. I’m not too busy to read them.