My name is… Facebook and the other social networks

Books usually have a preface and an introduction. If the first post (not counting the unedited “Hi World” post by wordpress itself) was the preface, this would be the introduction presenting an overview of what the reader can expect from the book or blog he chose to pick up.

The nature or purpose of this blog is still not clear-cut, which is actually a good thing. If you aren’t going for a specific audience or want to write about a special interest/topic you’re good to go and could get away with almost anything. The term “multimedia” encompasses a wide range of things to talk or write about, after all. You find yourself writing about a movie you recently saw, a game you played, a book you read or just some real-life event which happened to you or someone else.

Now writing about those topics or media cannot be completely new as so many people have written about it before. I don’t want to repeat myself (as I already did now), but it’s maybe more interesting to get an insight into people’s head when they write about topics they find interesting. Therefore an “About me” text would be more superficial than a, say, review of a movie could be. Of course it depends on the objectivity vs. subjectivity. But I believe there is NO real objectivity whatsoever. There’s always the person behind the text who can’t hide him/herself forever. So even if you write in a very formal style, some words might give you away, and of course there’s always one point of view the writer expresses. He may try to be neutral and objective, but imho (an expression I only discovered a short while ago: in my humble opinion) there’s just no way to write without giving something of yourself away.

That’s why I get the impression a lot of social networks, like Facebook, are more make-believe in the public profile information and maybe photo albums, but the real person is hidden. I don’t mean to say they try to be different people (although there’s a lot of them, obviously), but that it feels less real or true to write about yourself than commenting on people’s status, pictures and so on.

Status is a pretty interesting thing. Always updating one’s status. The official social network’s idea behind it is to “let your friends know what you’re up to”. The question is if people really care? And why do you want to write about it? And what are you writing about? You can simply write “sitting on the sofa”. Great, as if this is any great news. But if people really know you, maybe that’s really unusual, because you don’t have a sofa, you don’t usually have the leisure time to sit on a sofa. There are so many nuances of things which ARE NOT said. Another example: You quote some line of a song like A Static Lullaby’s “tonight I sleep with a gun in my mouth”. What does it imply? Do people really get upset and hope you’re not doing it for real. Are they getting the point you just think it’s a cool line to say? So many unanswered questions, but one thing is clear: You want to communicate to the outside world. In a direct or, more often, indirect way.

It’s not to say social networks are bad or evil. You can find some interesting stuff, like links to new bands, movies and so on. You can reconnect to people you haven’t seen or heard from for a long time. Still the need to make yourself heard is there, without a question. Otherwise you wouldn’t have signed up for it. You just have to find out what people tell about themselves and what not, what is real, what is not.

So maybe this approach to writing reviews, expressing thoughts and opinions instead of “updating your status” is another way to communicate something which benefits both the writer and the reader. At least you don’t have to worry about running out of limited letter space…

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About nufafitc

Being an avid gamer, cinemaniac, and bookworm in addition to other things the internet and new media present, I'm also very much into DIY music, rock and pop in particular. Writing short or longer pieces about anything that interests me has always made me happy. As both an editor for German website "Adventure-Treff" and UK website "Future Sack", I like to write reviews and news about recent developments in the movies, games and book industry.
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