Monday, 26 April 2010

Painter's Journey Post

As I sit here on the East Coast Train Service to Leeds relaxing and listening to some tunes by Talking Heads and drinking away on a Starbuck's finest hot chocolate I thought i'd use the time wisely. No, not completing overdue coursework but adding another completely random blog post to  

This weeks subject...Facebook and Communication.

It's rather incredible when you consider how many people use social networking website Facebook nowadays. I've always realised that it's a rapidly expanding website where more and more people are joining every minute, but not until recently has it struck me what people use it for and also the calibre of people too. Over the last few months I have consistently increased my network of contacts, people of all ages and backgrounds and I would say at least 90% access Facebook. But not only do they use it as a tool to communicate with their nearest and dearest, but many other uses come on the back of it. Five years ago would you consider creating business relationships over a social networking website? Would you ever think to advertise your services to your 'friends'? (Cue the jokes and sniggers) Would you take (on average) 2 hours out of your day to day life to communicate with friends and work colleagues? Many of which you're likely to have seen or would have been able to see that very day. I think a resounding 'No' will be the answer there to all three statements. Society has changed, is that a good thing? I don't know.

Is it really necessary to text in what you're doing every half an hour to share with your friendship circle? Joe Bloggs is "On the bus to town to meet Muriel". Do we need to know? Do you need to tell us? Is the world going to crash and burn if we don't communicate every little detail to one another? No. But yet we do it. Now don't get me wrong, I very regularly update my Facebook status, but why is this? Is it to fit in with the crowd? Is it because I really want everyone to know that i'm "on the train home from London"? I don't think it's either, personally, I feel it is becoming a necessary daily activity, purely out of habit, and the more we read about each other in this format, the more we will continue to communicate in this way.

My final point in a rather short written summary, is, when does someone become your Facebook friend? I'm sure i'm not the only person who experiences people classing me as a friend on an almost daily basis over Facebook. I really am flattered, but how do I know you? "John Smith has added you as a friend on Facebook". Well, I can see they have 40 friends in common with me, I recognise them from their picture, they're in my arts and crafts class actually! But wait, we've never actually spoken to one another despite having several opportunites, and yet you'd like to share personal information and pictures? Says it all really...

Communication is the greatest tool in life, but the way in which we use it is rapidly changing. Don't let the power of verbal conversation and face to face confrontation disappear, the world around us really will become a darker place. We've lost many things in this world, please don't let us lose another.
Anyway, that's my first "Painter's Jounrey Post". I'll be doing these on a fortnightly basis from now on, so every Monday morning, logon and read about what's on my mind that particular day. Hopefully they'll give you all food for thought.

Really must dash now, I have two status updates to read and Twitter is waiting...

1 comment:

  1. Now this is an interesting subject, and we recently had a debate on much the same thread of this one at school. In the debate, a very strong argument was made from a biological perspective that the use of facebook was not only damaging to your social skills, but your physical well-being. Recent studies have shown that face to face communication is vital to the release of certain chemicals needed to miantain your physical and mental well-being. However, Facebook is obviously, as Billy pointed out, a very useful tool of communication, and so my feelings are also somewhat mixed about the site...