Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Techno-Cretan? Me?

I have joined Facebook. It was not by my own initiative. I've been accepted into an art marketing seminar series that is being conducted by NYFA. They are using a secret group* (shhh! Don't tell anyone) to communicate with/among participants between monthly sessions.

I had two prior invitations to join Facebook but not being a particularly social sort I had declined until it became a requirement for this seminar series. When I signed up the original invitations popped up again and I accepted them. Shortly thereafter more requests to be friends appeared. I'm already up to 11 'friends', some of whom I actually know (as in we've met face-to-face) while others I only know via email. If I passed some of them on the street I would not recognize them. The photos people attach often don't help in that respect. Some are full length portraits squeezed into a tiny little square, some backlit or fuzzy beyond recognition and some are drawings/photos of something the person likes or relates to rather than themselves. Being either old fashioned or egotistical (you decide which) I put up a head and shoulders shot of *me*. It is a version of the same image I have on my blog page. I just used different digital filters. It's been messed with but it still looks like me, perhaps a bit better than the real me.

I can see the value of a Facebook group for something like the NYFA seminar. I don't 'get' the attraction to Facebook as a general communication medium. There's something called "The Wall" (shades of Pink Floyd?) where I and apparently any of my Facebook friends can post anything but I also have a home page where friends post stuff too. I don't get the distinction. And then there is the question of what to post. Whenever I go to Facebook it asks what am I doing right now. Well DUH! I'm checking Facebook. I could tell it what I was doing before or what I might do after but at the moment... Frankly most of my day consists of boring or routine stuff that is of no interest to anyone else. Anything I think (in an egotistical moment) might be remotely interesting to anyone else I put here in the blog.

One part of my job in DOL was to be a network admin for field offices in three counties so I'm far from being technologically challenged. OTOH I don't see the attraction to posting random thoughts and actions on line for the world at large to read. When I was growing up the way of communicating was through letters. You had to write on paper, fold it up, put it in an envelop and mail it. I do like email because it is faster and I can reach people who may not be next to their phone (I don't like talking on the phone anyway so email is a good way to escape that) but the attraction of this constantly in touch, post the trivia of your day connection escapes me. How to use Facebook is part of what the seminar will cover. Maybe I'll learn to like it. We'll see. I hope in this seminar I learn to do a better job of marketing my photos. If so, it will be worth it. 'Right now' I have doubts.

* A "secret group" apparently is one that can only be joined by invitation and can be seen only by members.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:54 PM

    Hey, Jim! MacGyver here! I have the same feeling about Facebook. It's just more time online saying, "Hi! How ya doin'?" "Fine!" "I like your new profile pic!" "Thanks!" I'd rather write blog posts. They're about my life.

    Gonna go thru your archives to see your photos. Love the ones I've seen.