Facebook in the Flesh

[ image courtesy of laffy4k / Flickr ]

Forgive me for yet another post about Facebook. The rest of the media / blogosphere has not given me a respite on the ‘Book, so I must continue to comment upon it.

The media that sparks this entry was the old-school format of teh magazine. The New Yorker from September 17th, to be specific. I read it on my electronics-free commute today. [Normally, I am tethered to my iPod for the duration.]

I don’t mean to be the nay-sayer, but I think the overwhelming waves of praise of the ‘Book could use a small bit of tempering. Not because of what is can do, but rather, what it cannot. The article spoke specifically about NYU students and a seminar offered as a part of orientation titled, “Facebook in the Flesh.” Author Michael Schulman begins with the observation that many students now arrive at campus with many “friends” in place. Friends in the I-have-added-you-to-my-Facebook sense of the word. These Freshmen may have some familiarity with each other in the pixelated sense, but the face-to-face interactions and the resulting awkwardness must still be overcome. Oh, how well I remember it…

The fact that this interaction comes at a time when people are first making a go of it alone for the first time makes this seminar all the more relevant, and maybe even representative of the population at large.

Social media in its still-evolving form serves to enhance communication & relationships, not to obsolesce. It simplifies and enriches, connects and enlivens these connections to others. As with other social media, it does not fuel itself, regardless of the sophistication of the application.

Facebook and other social media bring the relationship back to the fore; now replete with widgets, tweets and sundry.

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