Day 9

Today was a seemingly normal day.  I worked out, did some work, did some laundry, and even had a guitar lesson.  Who said life in a box was so unusual?  Okay, if it wasn’t raining I might have wanted to sneak in a walk around the block. Instead, I stayed in and pondered the many things that make me wonder about how social etiquette is changing because of social networks.

Have you ever thought about how weird it is to run into someone who you are friends with on facebook, but maybe not really that good of friends with in real life and then they start talking about your birthday party or your sister’s wedding, only they weren’t there?  Sometimes when I run into someone, I’m not quite sure if it’s appropriate to bring up that I know all about their trip to Australia or the last concert they went to.  Maybe they will think I am stalking them, but wait didn’t they post those images for the entire world to see?  I was talking with a friend and he had an interesting analogy.  He describes it as if someone came over to your house, went through all of your things, and then didn’t tell you that they were there. Ironically, we are the ones that put all this stuff out there and then we are surprised when we realize who is seeing it.

This leads me to another thing.  If these people aren’t good enough friends to want to share photos and general updates with, then why are we friends with them on these social networks anyway? Sure we can hide some of the information and categorize people into different groups, but why even go through all that trouble?  Every once in a while a while, a friend of mine goes though his facebook friends and cleans house so to speak – getting rid of all those “friends” that aren’t really friends.  But many people feel a sense of guilt in doing this.  Just like when they felt guilt for not wanting to accept them as friends in the first place.  If you run into a friend you haven’t seen in years,  you don’t immediately invite them into your house to check things out so what do we feel guilty for denying them opportunity online?

9 Responses to “Day 9”

  1. Heather Grace Stewart Says:

    Hi Cristin

    What you are doing is fantastic, relevant, and timely for me. I only just heard about your project on Canada AM, but it’s perfect timing, as last week I unplugged from Facebook. I had many reasons–please read my blog about it here:

    http://heathergracestewart.com/2010/11/03/why-i-broke-up-with-facebook/

    So, I’m going through Facebook withdrawl, and you know what? I’m feeling isolated after a week. I absolutely made the right choice, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt just a little that about 90 percent of those 515 “friends” I had on FB for over three years aren’t emailing me to find out where I went/how I am. I’d say 10 percent have reached out. Some of those who’ve made an effort to stay in touch via emails and my blog I’ve never met–so I do believe you can make meaningful connections online –but the “friends” who aren’t really friends who I bump into in real life might not even know I’ve left Facebook. So, here I thought I had some social relevance built up through my Facebook account, but, is it like a tree falling in the forest? Does anybody hear? Does anybody care? I’m getting a lot of extra visits on my blog this week. I’ll have to tell you what I think in a few weeks.

    I write poems about social networking (here’s a link to some: http://heathergracestewart.com/2009/01/04/a-couple-silly-poems-about-facebook/) I wasn’t sure what I was going to write next, now that I’ve actually unplugged from Facebook, but you may just inspire me to write Lady in a Glass Box 😉

    Best of luck with this project.

    Cheers
    Heather

  2. Xander Says:

    Oh! Learning from a lefty eh? That add’s a level of difficulty… or is it just the webcam doing some weird mirroring thing?

  3. laquita Says:

    Just tuned in. Saw the news about your project. You are so right. Although everyone on my facebook page is someone I know, I heavily use my privacy settings. Only thing people see is my profile pic and a link to message me. I have cousins on my page I haven’t spoken to in over 10 years who contacted me through facebook and they could have easily got my phone number to call a long time ago.

  4. NoPreservatives Says:

    I’ve been using FB for awhile and I’d have to admit there is a different way of handling your social life virtually. For one the technology and the software being used to constantly changing/upgrading. New tools let you handle privacy easier. Second is that you always have control with what you post. I’ve only rarely regretted posting anything. Sometimes I feel I don’t post enough about myself.

    As for random friends talking about events they never attended in the first place, that seems to me like a great conversation starter. Oh you weren’t there? Well the pics I posted were great, but you should have seen this… And so on so forth.

    I’m am also one of those people who constantly prune their friends list. If they don’t make an honest effort to keep in touch (how hard is it to poke someone on FB?) then I delete them.
    No I do not accept everybody that requests to be friends with me either. Currently my list stands at around 50 friends. Working at the Happiest Place on Earth you meet a lot of people. I’ve moved to a different department since I first started and my friends list doubled when I did.

    I think online social networking is just the beginning. This wasn’t imaginable just 10 years ago and there will be something else after it that we can’t imagine now in another ten years.

    So if your trying to stop it your wasting your time. As technology in general gets more advanced so do our communication skills. Our language has changed to adapt to the limitations of txting and tweeting but to the benefit that we are now able to exchange ideas much more quickly and efficiently.

    Face to face communication is still number one yes, but only because the technology to constantly stream mobile video is at it’s infant stage. I believe that is the next step. FaceTime on my iPhone is a great feature but it still needs work.

    In the end, we are only who we pretend to be. Some people are fake on their social networks and others are more brutally transparent. It’s your choice. I try to dance somewhere in the middle. Where do you stand?

  5. Danny O'Connor Says:

    Hi! I’m your front desk agent neighbor at the Jupiter Hotel/Doug Fir just a couple blocks east of you. I was walking to the Plaid Pantry for a snack and I couldn’t help but notice this woman sitting in a living room with her internet browsing for all to display. I gotta say you are one brave person for doing something like this. On the same note I am glad you are because this city could use some genuinely thought provoking art installments. The idea of being so exposed overwhelms be but I do applaud you for doing this so we can all have a new understanding of what social media and the isolation of digital communication has taken us. If you ever need a cheap room at the Jupiter let me know! You might want a change of scenery when you get out.
    <3 -Danny

  6. JJElliott Says:

    Perhaps we should take Danny up on his offer for an after-party spot, after the Gallery Opening party on the 30th . . .

  7. ilikeyournewhaircut Says:

    @xander Just a funny webcam flipping thing. it’s fake plastic trees, for those playing along.

  8. Cristin Says:

    @ Heather & No Preservatives – I think I will be adopting your mentality when this is over.
    @ Danny – Thanks for your support. You are so right I am going to need a change of scenery very soon.

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Cristin Norine and Joshua Jay Elliott