End of Face book

If you have not seen this already, its’ worth a read :
By Steve Tuttle | Newsweek
I was a late convert to Facebook, the social-networking site that
turned five years old Wednesday. I joined about a year ago at age 47,
swept up in the massive wave of people turning the corner to the back
nine of life, and pitifully trying to do what comes so naturally to
our sons and daughters. My own 16-year-old, Grace, literally cried
from embarrassment when I told her I was signing up, and she begged me
through her tears not to do it. When it was clear that I was serious,
she made me promise never to “friend” her. Since I didn’t know what
that meant at the time, I agreed. Last week I redeemed myself in her
eyes, because I signed off of Facebook forever—or at least until
Tuesday.
I had one of those Hallmark movie moments. I was sitting here at work
thinking up my next pithy “status update,” which is where you
broadcast to all your online buddies in a few words what you’re up to
at that very moment—and finally came to my senses. “What the hell have
I become?” I cried.
So goodbye 157 Facebook friends, 75 of whom I wouldn’t recognize if I
saw you on the street……


..Goodbye super nifty “Pieces of Flair”
application, and the 1,332,359 members of the “I Don’t Care How
Comfortable Crocs Are, You Look Like a Dumbass” Crocs-hater group.
Goodbye, William and Mary alums I barely remember from 25 years ago.
Not you, Tom, the other Tom. Hello to actually working at my job
again. Well, a little anyway. I wouldn’t have been able to write this
story about quitting Facebook if I didn’t quit Facebook because I
wouldn’t have had the time.
When I think about all the hours I wasted this past year on Facebook,
and imagine the good I could have done instead, it depresses me.
Instead of scouring my friends’ friends’ photos for other possible
friends, I could have been raising money for Darfur relief, helping
out at the local animal shelter or delivering food to the homeless. It
depresses me even more to know that I would never have done any of
those things, even with all those extra hours.
I was so addicted to my imaginary playgroup, I put the Facebook
application on my BlackBerry. That way I could know immediately when
some kid who used to pick on me in elementary school was reaching out
across the years to remind me that I still had cooties. Once I was so
entranced reading my Facebook page on my handheld, that I lost sight
of the actual faces of the people on the street around me, and came to
only after I fell into the lap of a man in a wheelchair. I was hurt
when he rebuffed my attempt to friend him, but it turns out real life
doesn’t have that feature.
Nothing personal, former Facebook friends: I’ll miss those wall
updates about doing dishes and changing the kitty litter. I’ll miss
seeing those artsy photos of beach sunsets and city streets covered
with snow. I’ll miss posting those, I mean. I’ll miss your constant
name dropping and updates that make sure we all know you’re camping in
a hemp tent on a sustainable emu farm in Costa Rica, or that you eat
only dolphin-free tuna, and I should too. But most of all, I will miss
those hundreds upon hundreds of baby pictures that remind me daily of
how insanely happy I am that my kids aren’t babies any more.
Then there’s the whole anxiety-inducing to-friend-or-not-to-friend
minefield that I won’t miss at all. You get a request from, say,
Spiffy McGee, but the name doesn’t ring a bell. You see that you share
a friend, so maybe he found you that way. Or you note that he went to
your college, which makes sense, because there were a lot of WASPy
“Old Virginia” guys at William and Mary with names like Biff or Buff
or Ridge. So you think, what the hell, and you add him, and within
minutes your wall is peppered with posts like “Spiffy McGee feels a
deuce coming on” or “Spiffy ate the worm!” with photos to prove it.
Then you feel pressure to say what you’re doing to outwit Spiffy, so
you write: “Steve is in a Honey Smacks mood this morning.” Seriously,
I wrote that.
Facebook status updates are the literary equivalent of inane
cell-phone chatter, like when you’re on Amtrak and the man in front of
you can’t stop talking loudly on his Bluetooth for one second, so
you’re stuck sitting behind him and have to listen to stuff like: “Hi,
honey, I’m on Amtrak now. I’m sitting in my seat now. I’m taking off
my coat now.” Yes, I could always sit in the Quiet Car, but one of the
last times I did that the train attendant kept waking me up every five
minutes yelling: “This Is The Quiet Car! This Is The Quiet Car!”
Being on Facebook is like volunteering to receive spam, and the more
successful you are at finding friends, the more spam you get! In the
end, Facebook is really the emptiest, loneliest place on the whole
World Wide Web. It’s all static and white noise, and the steady
streams of status updates start to look like ASDF, ASDF, ASDF after a
while.
So I’ve decided now to do something more worthy and productive with
all of my new free time. I’m going back to the original reality-based
Facebook, the local bar where everybody knows your name, which for me
is Off The Record at the Hay-Adams Hotel here in D.C. Status updates
there are said in real time to real people, like: “That guy’s got a
problem with alcohol. I see him every time I come in here,” or “How
would the Civil War have changed if Abraham Lincoln had octopus
tentacles instead of a beard?” (Thanks, Cliff Clavin). So goodbye,
potential and former Facebook pals, all 150 million-plus of you, and
hello, John Boswell, the best bartender in America. If any of you need
to get in touch, check the third stool in, right side. If you want to
friend me, buy me a beer.

28 Responses to “End of Face book”

  1. Yea well people say that all the time about the web but I think it is just a platform just like a bar or a society group or this or that and sometimes it can be deeper on a different level if you want it to be just like socialising can be if you want it to be more than alcohol induced nothings…
    And if people communicate on it fully aware which is more likely than at a bar and they care to go deep and write more etc. You can learn quite a lot about people on a deeper level.
    Candle4tibet which I was involved in sprung out of Facebook. I have had a few live reunions with high school classmates that started off by meeting back up on Facebook.
    And it has rekindled many old friends and opened new ones…of course sometimes you meet people who don’t want to really and of course there are all types on there just like in the real world too.
    I’m a 30something and so not 16, a gen Xer not a Yer but neither a Babyboomer (if you used the American way of classing generations. So I guess the author is right at 47 perhaps he was just a generation too removed and as he says he was trying to do something that came naturally to his daughter.
    Really online or in person its what methods of connection and meeting etc. The author does have some valid points about the meaningless friendships on those social networkings sites too though…the pros and the cons always exist. But as I always like to quote the famous bard- To thine ownself be true!

  2. shakti shira says:

    Call me old fashioned to use a well known phrase..
    Yes AND I AM THAT…
    I completely agree and its so addictive it should have a ‘life warning’
    My daughter actually befriended me and told me never to write publicly whereas she could of course!
    However instead of writing status reports I thought I would symbolically write to inspire and provoke people to think..and it got boring after a while since there were only a finite number of characters.
    I then thought i would try to get to know the people and invite a few to write in response to a particular question, that too was limiting.
    I have now decided to only frequent it once a month!! and have joined the ‘facebooks anonmous’ club to get off the addiction.
    Considering that 93% of interactions is on energy of another person its not surprising I got bored.
    So am now directing my efforts on completing that book in 2009..

  3. SSQuo says:

    Haha, funny and very well written!!!
    I actually succumbed to FB less than a year ago, and I think it can be a boon or a bain. It depends on you. You can share with the world everytime you gain 2 pounds by eating Gelato in Italy, or you can keep that to yourself. I update my status off and on, nothing personal though. I do enjoy it – if you are a people lover then you accept them for what they are, hey its their way of life right?
    Here’s some things I did to make it comfortable for me:
    – My wall is MY wall, No one can see it. Everyone who wants to stay in touch with me has to write me a message which means it forces them to interact with me personally. Come on, I’m worth a message, and if you dont have the time to do it, then we dont need to be friends. I do comment on status updates from time to time, the more interesting or quirky ones, not the ones that proclaim ‘Sheena is sad’. Aww.
    – Friends clean up day: Every once in a while I reach out to people who befriended me and I accepted, albeit ‘reluctantly’. this was the early SSQuo. So I created clean up day. I write them a note, and wait. If I dont hear back within a reasonable time (very reasonable, like sometimes even a month or two!)but I still see them globetrotting or sharing other intimate details – I hit delete!! yes, Im comfortable now.
    – Friend requests: I used to accept everyone (FB novice that I was). Now, I dont. If I didnt KNOW you then, I dont know you NOW. (excluding some school friends who were friends but we just lost touch!)
    Some people that I feel I ‘must’ accept, I know I do succumb soemtimes, I accept and see if we are really going to get to know each other. If not, again, hold on for a bit, see how thigns move, and then hit delete if all this person is another number on my friend list.
    – No pictures, yet…anyways. I dont think I ever will, but again the future arrives unannounced. Still, no private pics. With friends I am comfortable with, if we are at a party, I mention that my preference to not upload my pics to FB.
    Does this sound like too many rules? Hmm, no actually I still manage to have a good time on FB without being sucked into it big time. This has been one medium through which I have been able to stay in touch with a lot of friends all over the world, a difficult task otherwise, especially since people are so spread out now.
    But to each his own, and until it proves to be a thorough pain in the butt, I think Im still going to be on it.

  4. Shakti yes I’ll call you that!:)
    I dont think you need to see someone face to face to have energy exchange!
    Think of all the meaningless smiles and shallow relationships people have in a corporate and office setting perhaps or even in a school blah blah most of us spend the majority of our time with people we dont really connect with sad but true!

  5. Well, this article actually answered my question about the mistery called facebook.
    I’ve heard about it, and was wondering whether it makes sense to join it. Some people actually say it is good online advertisement, if you have a small online business and they recommend it.
    What those people forget, I guess, it is exactly what was pointed in this article: even if you decide to have an online business, your life has to continue to be real.
    Where is the real life if you only socialize around staring at a screen? Where is the joy of actually hugging a friend that you love? Where is the fun of walking through the woods or swimming in the water, instead of seeing those woods and waters only in pictures?
    Well, I am convinced. Face book wouldn’t serve me in any way. I love my real life. And my online business has to reflect that, too.
    Thanks for sharing it Shekhar and Steve.
    Lots of joy for living to you,
    Alexandra

  6. austere says:

    Ha! Just when I’d convinced myself to stay on it.
    The net has been good, on the whole.I guess a lot depends on what you put in. And what you accept. You never quite know what’s around the next corner, or who.
    I guess FB gets a decent try. My humble opinion.

  7. harijim says:

    Funny its 2009 and I couldn’t yet start up with facebook.Never had the inclination.
    It could seem a bit funny but for the last few years my internet experience has been 90% http://www.shekharkapur.com.
    Wonder, for you its just a cuppa with the world.
    Ho..ho..ho

  8. chstrig says:

    Facebook has diluted the concept of “friend”.

  9. Anshu says:

    Will you be at Off The Record today??? 🙂

  10. Amit Kukreja says:

    Hello Sir,
    I have been an admirer of your work. I have seen your movies right from Mr. India to Elizabeth.
    I have always felt as a Sikh that we deserve a good cinematic presentation of our history. I have only read part of the Sikh history and i feel it is really grand enough to be potrayed in cinematic form. And to do that the only person that comes to my mind is YOU in terms of the capability to do it.
    In the recent years some movies have been made but the level of filmmaking in those movies have been very very poor. I do not know if i am making sense but its one of those wishes that i always hope would come true someday !!!.
    –Amit.

  11. ADDICTION – always bad.

  12. Koizen says:

    Dear Shekharji,
    Facebook has its advantages and demerits…
    I wish to give some suggestions
    1. Never give your original mail (Business email ID, or the mail you use daily because that’s what FB notifies if one has update etc)
    2. Use only as professional networking tool, so no family friends will be there in friends list and take the option of privacy to utmost level as there are options in Facebook itself
    3. Have two facebook accounts (LOL LOL LOL) one for serious people and another one for time pass
    4. For time pass one, use only in week ends where one has nothing to do but an hour or so to freak out (LOL)
    Actually how we have the attitude for Facebook or internet determines our quality time. I see many people having ‘Online deviant personality’ so they give their best personality on net or FB…there is a huge amount of reality check needed by netizens.
    In today’s time one can use net for long distance calls, keeping in touch, updates, blogs that add value to life but not getting addicted is of utmost importance.
    So what Mr.Tuttle post as I read is that he was in his late 40’s had good ‘real’ social network but he thought let me do what the generation x does so that I know what’s going on and then still it was OK but he got addicted so much that he used it on blackberry while walking…that’s too deep…
    One cannot ignore net…blogs…or facebook…how we look at this in constructive perspective and how we as businessmen, professionals make this very tool that turns into business, money is the real goal…otherwise its time waste
    Its not the end of facebook…or internet, this is just the begenning…tomorrow or in decades we will see more visuals…this is just text face book or text internet…tomorrow will come a day when everything is going to be 3d audio-visual…where you log, that place will be on map…privacy will go for a toss, where ever you are will be mapped GPRS will be visual today its text and map so for Steve and others its not a good idea to quit but keep abreast with this and know where to draw the line…actually its not for steve but for all of us…
    Good day!

  13. Koizen says:

    Hey Guys
    what about shekharkapur.com …. 🙂
    he makes you and me addicted with his thoughts 🙂
    then he says…I exist because you imagine I do:)
    then I am addicted and see what he comes up with next:)
    So Shekharji, you are one of the reason I come to net…:)
    Just joking:)

  14. Ani says:

    Dear Sekhar,
    Never knew you had such a wonderful blog. One thing intrigues me though, you claim to me a member a of Facebook last year at the age of 47, implying you are 48 now. Is this correct? Or a typo whereby you have missed a decade or more?
    Reason why I am asking this is in Ishq Ishq Ishq, your first Hindi film, you were at least 20 something. Going by basic arithmetic, I3 was made in 1973, and 36 years ago, as per your own confession in this blog, you were 13.
    Confused.

  15. Rudra says:

    Shekhar,
    Interesting – but there is a sinister side to it.
    Facebook is a creation of CIA , as part of its National Clandestine Service ( NCS) initiative.
    Facebook’s first round of venture capital funding ($US500,000) came from former Paypal CEO Peter Thiel. Author of anti-multicultural tome ‘The Diversity Myth’, he is also on the board of radical conservative group VanguardPAC.
    The second round of funding into Facebook ($US12.7 million) came from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer was formerly chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. One of the company’s key areas of expertise are in “data mining technologies”.
    Breyer also served on the board of R&D firm BBN Technologies, which was one of those companies responsible for the rise of the internet.
    Dr Anita Jones joined the firm, which included Gilman Louie. She had also served on the In-Q-Tel’s board, and had been director of Defence Research and Engineering for the US Department of Defence.
    She was also an adviser to the Secretary of Defence and overseeing the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is responsible for high-tech, high-end development.
    Parts of the Information Awareness Office (IAO) ‘s technology round-up included ‘human network analysis and behaviour model building engines’, which Facebook’s massive volume of neatly-targeted data gathering allows for.
    Facebook’s own Terms of use state: “by posting Member Content to any part of the Web site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license to use, copy, perform, display, reformat, translate, excerpt and distribute such information and content and to prepare derivative works of, or incorpoate into other works, such information and content, and to grant and authorise sublicenses of the foregoing.
    And in its equally interesting privacy policy: “Facebook may also collect information about you from other sources, such as newspapers, blogs, instant messaging services, and other users of the Facebook service through the operation of the service (eg. photo tags) in order to provide you with more useful information and a more personalised experience. By using Facebook, you are consenting to have your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States.”
    Is the CIA really providing the impetus and the funding behind the monster growth of this year’s biggest dot com success story? Maybe only the men with the nice suits and ear pieces can answer that.

  16. prerna says:

    Facebook is nothing but a networking site for people looking to get laid.
    A waste of time for those who already have sex in their life or married older people like this guy

  17. Mee says:

    Cmon Shekhar, the digital media is about the youth, a young mindset, you’d agree for sure I know that!:)
    I wonder if many who are commenting here are being judgmental about social networking! Its a way of life! It connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. Its a means to stay wired with all known people who don’t necessarily stay within same localities/geographies as us. Nor do we have the time and inclination to stay connected with this wider world of friends and colleagues and ex colleagues every day of our lives. But its always nice to exchange a few polite words randomly, check on all’s well with people you know!
    Facebook is a cool tool! Next people will be saying kill Twitter, for the same reasons they are grumbling here! Digital platforms like Fb or Twitter allow viral broadcasting,newscasting and a nice connect with a limited or limitless world depending on how one wants to use it.
    FB = inner circle; Twitter = public party
    Take you pick, people!
    Hehehehe I wonder how this lot will react to Google latitude or use this new API to post location to status. FB is now available on mobile devices like my BB and I think it is a natural extension of sms’s especially when traveling the globe! Evernote or wordpress could push entries as public notes with a linkback, etc. Cool stuff, we live in exciting times, the world is indeed shrinking@ enjoy it guys!

  18. Rudra says:

    @Ani ,
    HAHAHA – you cought Shekhar with his pants down ! I dont know if he will edit my message , but he surely is a white liar when it comes to his age !
    Shekhar , tut tut , people expect better than that from you mate ! – i myself dont care.

  19. harijim says:

    You dumbos 47 is Steve Tuttle’s age the guy who wrote this article in Newsweek.
    HaHa
    ***
    Anyhow Rudra’s got a point there in #15 if the policy says they can change what you write and use it under your name.
    Besides,people with benign intentions shouldn’t be worried much,remaining alert is not a bad idea.
    There is no policing in the net this way there will atleast be virtual policing.
    ***
    Dear Amrit Kukereja, I would invite your attention to Shekhar’s “About Myself” category.Therein you might be interested in the “Partition of India” and “A New Beginning” #13.

  20. Harb says:

    Soon we will outgrow the internet and come to what some wisebody called innernet. We may use the internet occasionally as we use cars on purpose but will not be addicted to it as we are now.

  21. Sir,
    With all respects to the author, Social networking at the time of poor costly and unaffordable bandwidth with (malicious spywares) in INDIA is the easiest and cheapest methods of staying in touch with the large group of friends globally and one’s with common interests.
    Vinod Agarwal – Happy to be addicted to FaceBook.

  22. DQ says:

    Lol Hiya Shekhar
    .
    .
    Ah! there are enuff sites out there, your time and mind can go for a marathon if you look into them…
    .
    .
    Guess I just never liked any other sites apart from Msn spaces, where you could build your own world and express exclusively for reasons which may or may not hold meaning for anyone…Who Cares..Lol
    .
    .
    I found this shekhar…have a look….on Our Gandhi, after super stars, now our leaders go on sale…
    http://news.in.msn.com/national/article.aspx?cp-documentid=1820844
    TaDdaA

  23. Ritu says:

    I think social networking and facebook rock! Gone are the days when people stayed put in the same place all their lives. Now our families and friends and scattered all over the place. Facebook is a wonderful way to keep in touch at an intimate, everyday level. It is also a wonderful way to connect with old friends. In a span of two months, thanks to facebook I connected with almost 50 people from my school. So much so that we organized a reunion!
    At a professional level also it is a good networking tool.
    And all sane people don’t sacrifice real life engagements for facebook. You usually do it in the time when you cannot be doing anything else.
    Long live facebook!

  24. prerna says:

    Rudra
    u need to pay more attention and concentrate a bit. This post is not about shekhar lying about his age-he has reproduced a peice by a guy called Steve Tutttle -its in newsweek for gods sake.Cant you read.
    Be sharp. Focus. Stay alive. Before you write any more shit.You are probably one of those guys who has exactly two friends on his face book account-one your wife and the other you with an anonymous account.get a life Rudra and open your eyes before its too late and before someone even anonymous stops reacting to your uninformed comments

  25. Rudra says:

    Prerna
    so you found time on Valentines day to comment on a shit post , shows how shitty your life is. I pity you , especially when you show your genetic quality when you say ‘facebook is nothing but a networking site for people to get laid’ f***ing hell that must be the crappiest shit i ever heard in a while..you sound like a congenital perverted lecher who thinks a social website is a place to get laid. disgusting !

  26. Tiger says:

    Social networking is useful but at a point you get led by it. So this is a normal sign. But what you say is right too that almost 50% of the firends list are not even met. Cried seemed dramatic though.

  27. Gayathri says:

    Absolutely hilarious and so TRUE. What about the ‘imaginary farming’ on farmville? wish people would really plant trees instead of doing it on FB alone.

Leave a Reply