Current/Recent Reading List

11 December 2008

Standing Athwart Facebook Yelling "STOP!"

That's me.

I know Facebook went mainstream and ceased being only for the acne crowd lo many moons ago. I know adults my age and older are using it to keep track of old friends, classmates, etc. I know it is used for social networking in an age of dispersion and alienation.

But most of all I know that I don't care. I declare here and now that I will never, never, ever, never have a Facebook page.

This all comes up because the Wyfe is finally making noise about creating her own page so she can keep up with old high school and college buddies. She has been informed, however, that I want no part of it. A partial list of reasons includes:

1. I cannot disassociate Myspace and Facebook from the pernicious effects both have had on many a teenager I have taught.

2. I don't want to be found, or contacted by those who don't already know how to find me (for reasons only the CIA and I know about).

3. It would just be one more damn thing to keep track of.

4. Younger teachers tell me about students trying to "friend" them on their pages all the time.

5. I resent the de facto formation of verbs like "to friend" that have arisen as a result of these sites.

6. Deep down (well, Hell - not so deep down) I have always enjoyed playing the part of the crotchety old man who likes to be contrary, just because.

True, there is irony in the fact that I'm publishing this rant on a blog. But blogs are practically Victorian at this point, and could survive a Burkean analysis of established social traditions, I'm sure. (right? right?)

In any case, I'll have a Facebook page when they register me by tapping my cold, dead fingers on the keyboard.


jtf said...

Too bad, you knuckle-scraper...the gang's all here and the water's fine...Phil, Brad...anyone who is anyone has Facebook...

In all actuality, I just started a page...I still can't believe I'm on Facebook.

Merry Christmas.

School Master P said...


If I was on Facebook, I would definitely request to "friend" you - perhaps you can consider me as a virtual-virtual Facebook friend.

Merry Christmas to you also! Hopefully we'll have another gathering soon.

Belle said...

Facebook is terrifying. I've said so, and I'll continue to say so. That said, it satisfies my sad urge to stalk and be nosy, and I also have really enjoyed some of the fun reunions I've had because of it. Including a high school friend who teaches at Duke! Just down the road - so we've started hanging out when time allows.

So I don't fault you one bit - ESPECIALLY as a teacher. I have no idea how folks do it alongside their teen children (remind me to tell you about some pretty damning photos of church members' children I've seen) I will probably stop the madness before my own daughter gets her own page.

Which, I hope, will not be for many, many years.