I’ve been updating my Facebook status too much lately.
I know I should be using Twitter to record my half-hourly quips, but it doesn’t fulfil the imperative to communicate that Facebook does. Perhaps this is because Twitter, for me at least, doesn’t have the sense of community that Facebook does. I also cannot abolish my need for privacy online, and my protected tweets rather contravene the whole concept of Twitter. As a result, no one reads my tweets except Kevin Rudd, and I am suspicious of his level of dedication to my disjointed observations. Still, of my five followers he is by far the most active user.
Tweeting, or creating status updates, is a difficult art. The addition of a status bar to MySpace was particularly problematic if, like me, you had an account, deleted it, then created another when it became clear that the MySpace music scene wasn’t moving to Facebook. The point is, you now have a status bar you feel compelled to utilize, but no friends to read your status as they’ve all fled to Facebook. The mood option is also to be regretted. I was astounded by the variety of moods MySpace felt it’s users required, and changed mine to ‘ninja’ in an attempt to highlight the ridiculousness of such options to the online ether. It took some weeks for me to realise that ‘ninja’ mood, with accompanying pictogram, did not display my amused disdain for the mood option and MySpace in general, but rather broadcast to my (limited) online community that I was a complete twat.
Not even Facebook is free from status anxiety. On one hand, one knows those most likely to comment are one’s housemate/boyfriend/siblings and can thus write to that audience. On the other, there is the consideration that most of one’s acquaintance, from kindergarten friends to colleagues and distant relatives, will be able to see and make note of whatever drivel was occupying your thoughts at the time. I know most will neither see nor take note; my grandfather who joined Facebook at the age of 81 and whose most recent update was 13 months ago is an example. But, especially for old school friends and those who’s last real world contact with you was before you ditched the all-pink wardrobe, your Facebook page is all that you are as a person, and your status updates must work to present that person in its wonderful, witty and fulfilled entirety.
And don’t get me started on the photos…
Of course such whinging is not at all reflective of a diminished use of or appreciation for social networking sites. Indeed, I have been on Facebook this whole time, and although nothing very interesting has happened so far I will probably be on Facebook and Twitter for the rest of the afternoon. See you there.