Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Social Network

People often times ask me why I've been in school so long. When I talk about how I just like to learn, they never believe me. But I have to say, it's almost midnight and this is what I've been doing for the last four hours since the baby went to sleep:

1. Finished watching "The Social Network."
2. Thought about the accuracy in film and how I didn't have the benefit of one of my favorite History Channel programs that dismantles the myths in movies.
3. Went on Wikipedia to do something not called research.
4. Spent a good amount of time on there, clicking around and reading this and that. I'm still not sure what final clubs are at Harvard, by the way. And why do they have to do all that secret ish? And on another note, I spent helllllllla days researching those Harvard secret societies once. But anyway...
5. Thought the best way to "research" would be to do so I farted around Facebook for a while.

I saw an invitation for a viewing that I should attend this weekend; something else about a car accident that killed some wonderful people whom I never had the pleasure of meeting; something else about native lands being stolen...again. I saw in my list of friends a number of people who have passed recently and obviously could not take down their pages. I saw some "friends" who I haven't spoken to in so long and I frankly don't want to...And I thought, this thing is depressing! What's so good about opening the world to whatever communication deal Zuckerburg keeps saying. That mess is wack.

And then I got to thinking about how the internet has actually changed the way we communicate, what we communicate and why we communicate. Some of it is surface--our answers are quick and void of feeling. My dad, for example, would never let us as kids say "I don't know" because he felt that we weren't taking the time to know. I don't even want to tell him about the time-efficiency in IDK. And some of it goes deeper--In high school, I used to practice telling jokes. It's a true science in reading people and understanding why we laugh: did they say "that's funny" or did they actually laugh? Now, I don't even make guesses because I won't know anyone's reaction in the blogworld! To something else entirely--how and why would I perpetuate the sort of falseness of my facebook friends in real life? Would I really attend a viewing for someone I haven't seen in fifteen years if I didn't see the outpouring of support on his Facebook wall? Would I be this discouraged about my supposed lack of academic success as I transition between programs if I didn't see the progress of my colleagues in their doctoral programs? And what does it say about us, as a people, not about our communication skills, but rather our narcissism, thinking everyone everywhere wants to know what we are doing and feeling, only the good things, or only the tremendously sad?