Friday, August 14, 2009

Wherein I finally surrender to Facebook

Alright, alright — "Mr. Ross finally turned himself in to cyber-authorities in August, 2009, thus becoming the 487th 'Bill Ross' on Facebook." In the words of one friend — the actual, real-world kind — "Now everyone in the world is on Facebook." (Really? You mean, like, I am the last one in? I guess it wouldn't be the first time...)

It's worth noting that my old buddy, Neil, sent that message literally within three minutes of me signing up; I was still in the process, in fact, and when I first went to my inbox, I already had mail. (Better'n old aol right there, I can see that.)

But at this late date, I feel somewhat obligated to explain where the hell I've been, and what the hell took me so long?

First, it would be more factual to say that I was kidnapped into Facebookland, since my sister Cindy announced to me when I was down there last weekend that, having duly consulted with other very cyber-aware family members, she was signing me up. And it was so.

But credit's equally due my ol' buddy Val Vadeboncoeur, who's become quite the FB operative and connoisseur, and had been hectoring me all winter about getting in. He'd been a holdout for quite some time, but when he finally did sign on it was an exciting revelation for him. So I knew it was just a matter of when.

My resistance was based on a single word: Overextended. I've had a website for most of the last 12 years for my professional pursuits, which I'll sum up as technical marketing writing and Mac/Win tech support and training, which carries my writing samples, reviews, and various tech service pitches.

I started this blog commenting on technological issues in 2006, and post once or twice a month. Lately I've focused on Green tech developments in the Hudson Valley, where I've been living for the last 2 years. (Recently added a custom Google map of same: the Sustainability 'Heat' Map.) Oh, and how about Working, now most often done entirely on the computer, and the always-bigger job of finding work, ditto there.

Then, on the evening/personal pursuits side, I play once a week with a small group of musicians, record it, and post the good tracks on a page (which I keep separate from all the business linkage). As anyone who's worked with sound knows, that involves a goodly amount of ongoing time to listen through, select from and edit those recordings.

And best of all, I've got old-fashioned email and I'm always behind by a couple correspondents. And these aren't usually people that my "friends" are talking to, which could mean anything from my friend's point of view, but people I've chosen at some point to directly engage with.

Let's see, am I forgetting anything? Oh, yeah Real life! The physical world, food, the fresh air and exercise, and people with actual, fleshy faces, etc. 'Body language' is only the most obvious additional channnel available in that medium; these are devices which communicate in far more ways than we are even aware of, or, I'll bet, have yet discovered.

Ah, but that was then; I finally wised up and realized my point was simply that I can't spend any more time online than I do now. So I'm just going to have to appropriate time from something else, and that'll have to be all the news sites that I probably spend way too much time reading. There you go — another win for Reframing The Question.

The clincher was my sister putting it in a way that made sense to me, and that was that right now was a moment when, simply, everybody was on Facebook — and that may not be true a year or whenever from now.

That was the Ah-ha moment for me, having witnessed enough waves of technology wash by in 25+ years to recognize that old, familiar pattern. So I'm in there now, ready to ride.

See you on the wall, then.

Related, here (on that old paradigm):

"Slow-Blogging" 2009

"Twittering on about Facebook, etc."

"Top 10 Social Networking Annoyances"


Anonymous said...

Say, that sister of yours sounds like she's really got it all going on... bet she's cute too. And as funny as she is smart. You are one lucky brother and should now be really sorry for all the taunting and teasing and torturing you did as a kid to me.. er, uh, her.

BR said...

Cute. Yes.

Just an indication, folks, plain as day, of the kind of relentless sneak attacks and psy-ops I had to endure growing up, and which I barely survived. Exclamatorily!, I tell you.

Guess that's how I wound up such a hard-bitten military type.

Anonymous said...

very interesting, thanks