Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Facebook! A waste of time!?

I cannot deny! I am by nature highly skeptical toward new technology benefits. So it happens that I like more to wait and not urge myself to use the newest computer, the newest operating system or the newest internet tool of communication. In part this is because I am oversensitive toward the power of advertisement and propaganda. I see how people put themselves in strain to buy the newest mobile phone, which, will be used in 90 per cent to make phone calls, but cost much more because can be used also for other second hand purposes like reading news of surfing internet, although when you have a computer, you really have not need to scramble with a mobile phone to write an email.

The technologies of timesaving have helped humanity to produce more in less time since ever. But some time it happen that technology takes more time to play with that than to use it.

Lately, my girlfriend conceded to me her secret: She had closed her facebook account because she felt that had become obsessed with following her long list of friend activities: who found a boy/girlfriend; who published a new photo; who traveled where ecc. The information there may be for some much more interesting that for example, what happened with the independence referendum in Southern Sudan or what is the new news from wikileaks. TV looks now a dinosaur used by previous generations to entertain themselves. Conventional media considered themselves in trouble when blogger first gave the possibility to transform everyone in a reporter. Then came facebook, that not only reflects what people think, but also what they are doing. Every moment, every day.

The amount of information on facebook is so large and lures so much people interested in gossips that risk being a problem. And a big problem! Perhaps the psychologists have a new job now: to help people quit facebook as they helped previous generations in quitting with drugs, alcohol, smoke and other habits.

I have a facebook account and use it because seems easier for people to get in contact. But I use it just to receive messages and, I can’t hide that, to see who is who if I become curious about someone.

This is how differently can be considered the same technology. Surprisingly, for the Prime Minister of Albania, facebook is mostly a tool of free speech. As a politician, what people say concerns him more that who changed his/her social status.

I have other habits related to the internet as well: I can’t really stop reading Wikipedia and I spent a lot of time reading Africa or Asia sections in the New York Time every day. Perhaps my habit is not so different from that of following the life of others in facebook, but I solace myself thinking that following what is going on in Somalia or Mali comes as an intellectual curiosity but perhaps this kind of curiosity is not very different from that of my girlfriend. J

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