Thursday, March 26, 2009

I've lost face(book)

As mentioned last week, I saw Ian Jukes give an evangelical rip-snortin' talk last week, and he fired me up. I'm bouncing around like a jackrabbit on 'roids, trying to engage my lambs, even stooping to using chartreuse font on a blazing pink background.

(I think I sprained my left eye this week.)

One of his suggestions was to try new technologies, to engage in the same world our children now live in, to tweet, to friend, and to do all sorts of abominations that require converting nouns into verbs.

So I twaddled on Twitter, giggled on Google, blabbed on blogs, and (may God save my soul) joined Facebook.

Mr. Jukes has some wonderful ideas, and jumping headfirst into the digerati may be among them, but those of us on the short end of the mortal stick spend our hours like misers. I only have so many left.

If "friending" someone sounds offensive, do not join Facebook. Unless you friend someone (and I suppose they have to friend you back) playing on Facebook is as exciting as gazing at your own navel.

Untangling yourself from the Facebook world requires several steps, including a mandatory step explaining why you are leaving. For each possible reason you might choose to leave, a Facebook popup box will give a smarmy reply as to why you should stay. I do not like talking to machines, and I especially do not like them talking back.

The final step requires copying a barely legible pair of words.

The words I was required to copy to abandon the Facebook world?

this Prison

You cannot make this stuff up.....


Unknown said...

This year when we read Brave New World, I posed this question to my students, "Would his savage solution have been as poignant if he hadn't first lived within the Brave New World."

I'm convinced that there are two opposite types of mysteries. The first is that of deliberately staying away. It's a bit ignorant, but not always foolish. Cocaine is a mystery to me, and rightfully so. The other is to go through the experience, immerse oneself in the knowledge and arrive at the mystery in a sort-of paradox.

I was born into the first generation of "digital natives" or at least I had a coming of age during the Digital Revolution. I'm still trying to figure it out and I'm slowly getting to that place of mystery and paradox, where I can step back and say with a smile,

"Yep, I am becoming a Technocratic Luddite."

So, I'm blogging right now and I'm listening to a Ray LaMontagne record album. It's rustic and low-fi and feels like hard liquor the first time I hear it. But it's not too mixed and it's just what I need as I start to cut and paste onto a bulletin board and the cutting and pasting of text is tangible, not a one and a zero and a control x / control v and the board is made of real cardboard, the kind that kills trees in a way that I actually know that I am killing a try (rather than, say, my Google search).

The scissors leave marks in my hands. My back legs fall asleep. I can feel the glue dry on my fingers and fall off in flakes.

Anonymous said...

As an older Facebook junkie, I have few friends. I don't think any of the people I used to know are into internet social sites. For some reason, I am inspired to try new technology and find blogging just as rewarding as gardening. Both have their moments of energy and relaxation.

Barry Bachenheimer said...


Good for you for taking the Soma.

I spent a month on Facebook this past summer as a social experiment. I blogged about my experience here at

doyle said...

Dear John,

I make a point of reading your words regularly there, and love your responses here--you don't write comments, you write essays.

Technocratic Luddite indeed--you might change that to technocratic poet.

Dear Betty,

I agree that playing on the computer has its moments of energy and relaxation, and I love doodling here.

The garden for me, though, does not involve moments--it's a timeless world (or rather, the time is defined by slow patterns of sunlight, not by ticking seconds). If nothing else, at the end of a season, I have food, the kind that feeds my brain and my gut and my blood and my muscles.

The computer feeds my brain in a metaphorical sense, I suppose, but if I had to give up either electronics or gardening, I'd give up electricity.

Dear Barry,

I remember reading that post in the past, and had I read it recently, I would have been spared an hour.

I love how you contrasted your life with those of yewts in the post--and you're right, I'd have been hooked back then. Today, however, I'm trying to get back to the Garden.

Betty said...

Doyle, It seems like your gardening efforts are a lot more productive than mine. Flowers grow beautifully for me, but vegetables not so much.

momomom said...

"this Prison - You cannot make this stuff up....."

LOL, it does seem the perfect combination of words for you online in the spring.

Happy gardening!

OH MY GOSH! and for word to verify my humanity in order to post this comment is "nated". LMAO

momomom said... you might like this site.

doyle said...

Dear momomom,

E2 has its clutches everywhere. I loved the site--I wish we could do that with all our food.