Sunday, August 15, 2010

Face the Music




I suppose it's no surprise that Facebook has morphed into so many networking splinters. It seems like every time I go to a new food cart, it already has a Facebook page. A disgruntled airline flight attendant has a melt down and by that afternoon he has a few hundred followers on Facebook. This can't be good. And yet, there are some unpredictable side effects of posting a Facebook profile that are at once both fascinating and frightening.
I guess we all have a few "friends" who aren't really. They have bored their way into our collection of people like small wild fish who enter any body of water that will have them. Irrigation ditches, farm ponds, isolated streams, creeks, lakes. Moved in like flood water, there they are and we really have no idea how they got there. Oh I know we could put the pieces together and probably figure it all out. Somebody's brother or sister, friend of a friend, follower of a follower, or even "accidents." People appear and disappear, don't they?
There are a couple of other phenomena, orchestrated by Facebook, however, that offer intriguing possibilities. Many people have Ex's as Facebook friends. You get to see how their life without you is turning out. This can work both ways. Enter the phrase too much information. It begs the question would I be better off just imagining how someone's life is going or actually seeing it in pictures, and status updates? We who have lived awhile get the benefit of changing hair color, waistlines, complexions and the ever popular "relationship status."
And along came politics. Like many I have a clever response to that one. I don't like political labels because they mean nothing, yet most people go with them...with pride. Here's the dilemma: people you know from one particular realm can be 180 degrees from your politics in the real world. Case in point, my thoroughbred horse friends are mostly religious and conservative. While they are extolling the virtues of home schooling or Rush Limbaugh, they can easily see that I'm considerably left of center, anti-war, pro-choice anti-death penalty, and not the least bit offended by most words or phrases with social in front of them. (hint: social justice, social security, social programs, social studies, social-ism)
So what does all this mean? You can't hide? No, maybe you refuse to hide. Maybe it all leads to tolerance. After all it's there for the world to see. For the world to confirm.

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