The Enemy of the Good (eideteker) wrote,
The Enemy of the Good


Times change. People change. The way we communicate changes, too. New systems arise. I understand that. It doesn't mean I have to like them. Though it may mean I have to use them.

Technology becomes, at some point, like a language itself. The mode of communication is one of the layers necessary for successful communication. If you're speaking the same language, but one person doesn't have a phone... you might as well be speaking different languages. In a sense, it's worse. I can tell a lot about what someone's saying by how they're saying it, but that much is impossible if there's no shared medium.

The communication these days is increasingly directed through facebook and twitter. I'm fine with that. I have both, and I use them to varying degrees for different things. Facebook is great for people I know in real life, to coordinate things about my life, and to disseminate information. I tend to use twitter less for information and more for entertainment. Though I know there are a number of people I'd know nothing about if not for twitter.

Which is kind of my point. If I don't use twitter, then generally I don't know a whole hell of a lot about what people who do use twitter are up to. Facebook has a similar issue, though some folks cc: many of their tweets to fb. I'm not forced to use either service, but I am forced to choose between being uninformed and using these services. Okay, so what's the big deal? It's the same for LiveJournal; if you're not a member, you need some handy way of aggregating the posts otherwise you're forced to go mining for updates manually. Like some kind of animal.

But there's a difference. And it may not be a difference for better or worse, but I definitely have a preference. The hint is in my handle/sobriquet/moniker/username. I chose "Eideteker" at some point because I wanted a nick that suggested the nature of my journal. It is a house of memory, and my brain is the index. I can't remember everything, so I write it down. Where the information is stored is an order of magnitude smaller than the information itself, so I keep that in my head instead. Together, myself and my account, are an eideteker. We have an eidetic recall of events that neither of us would have alone.

If I'm struggling to remember something, I can search my various journal archives. But in using fb and twitter, I've come to realize that the "new" systems don't have this capacity. Everything on fb and twitter has the broadcast gain turned up to 11. It's all about offloading information from the brain with no goal, intent, or hope of retaining it. My reaction upon realizing this was revulsion; it's all like so much vomit, spewing endlessly. The first thing I did was to stop reading my twitter feed. The second thing I did was dial back my tweeting dramatically. Yes, in that order. What can I say? I'm human.

I still use facebook, of course, but my purpose on fb has always been different. I had all but removed myself from the site several years ago when I got an angry phone call from my mother asking why I hadn't approved her friend request on facebook. The answer is clear: since leaving college (again) I'd been using the site less and less (only signed up to make new friends after a 4 year absence). I hadn't logged in in three months, and I no longer had access to the e-mail address that the account was affiliated with (hence no requests/notifications... what sweet bliss that was). So I signed back up to appease my mom (I'm such a good Catholic boy!) and have been intentionally spamming my account with garbage updates for years now. I'm quite sure half my "friends" (folks I went to high school with, especially) have me on /ignore (and if they don't, they should). The rationale, of course, is that anything meaningful I might happen to post is buried under a mountain of garbage. Suck it, stalkers/family members!

So I guess you could say I was ahead of the curve (or at least, less behind) with facebook. But imagine waking up in a land where everyone communicated by vomiting. All the time. Everywhere. No thanks. So I'll stay here, tending my garden, planting and saving little seeds that may flower later. Sure, I'm mostly alone, but I'm content. I realize where I am and what that means. And I know what my options are. I might go back to hosting my own "blog" site, which no one will read either, but will be open to all, including family and professional contacts (which this journal certainly is not, even if the posts aren't explicitly friendslocked). I know it certainly won't be a tumblr-type mini-blog, because I want to allow my occasional visitor to comment and share their thoughts, rather than just giving me a shallow "like" or the like. But I need a sense of history. I'm just not important enough that folks need to know my moment to moment thoughts like that. I'd rather have something that doesn't have a ridiculously low character limit (lj has one, but it's pretty ginormous), where my thoughts can breathe and grow. Because it's not about some company analyzing my posts for brand names so they can optimize their marketing strategy and exploit my social network for profit. And it's not about you. It's about me, and my thoughts, and my ideas. It's about giving them the space they deserve, when necessary. I'll still use facebook and twitter, but only for ephemera. Things I want to keep, things that are important to me... they will stay here.

Until the Russians flush the site down the toilet, at least.

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