Fatigue 2.0

by Joseph Matheny on December 2, 2007

Fatigue 2.0

beta

Wes Unruh

facebook.jpg
Yes, I have a myspace account.

No, I won’t friend you on facebook.

A few months ago I joined facebook long enough to figure out that it was the same damn timesink that myspace had become,
and quickly deleted my account despite the number of friends on facebook that seem content
sharing their personal data with whoever it is that
funded facebook’s startup, not to mention their surfing in real time.

Turns out my paranoid nature wasn’t unwarranted. Facebook creeped me out even
before I watched this
, and I’m curious to see what turns up in the current facebook lawsuit.

Unless the time required to sign-in, post to, and maintain profiles across each network is reduced, it will be impossible for most users to participate in multiple sites for very long.

- Steve O’Hear

I started with Tribe.net back when it was novel and seemed to promise to put me in touch with others vibing along
on the same wavelength. Now my tribe profile sucks rss feed off my personal blog, and who knows what
freaky asshole’s been following my scatterbrained musings. I rarely even sign in to my profiles online, (although I have made an exception for Whitechapel)
as I’m lucky if I find the time to respond to emails with the writing and production schedules I continue to
impose on myself. I’m in the full-blown throes of what’s being called
Social Networking Fatigue
, which any day now I’m sure will be covered on an advert for zoloft.

The general expectation is that consumers ultimately will settle down with one or two social networks and that they will become a feature incorporated in more and more sites.

- Ellen Lee

At least, that’s what the social network experts believe. Even still, I find that I simply don’t have time to keep up with one social network, let alone several. Some of my friends are still
using dial-up to get online, and find it impossible to sign into a social application that’s routing widgets, feeds, and advertisements
from the four corners of the net. Asking them to check my tribe/facebook/myspace page is cruel to begin with, and in no way convenient. cleveland-necronomicon.jpgPlus Facebook has this thing about identity issues that the blogosphere could care less about, further evidence that there’s more going on with Facebook than just a place to socially network. On the other hand, I built my blog so that I can post via phone and read it via phone, because I don’t believe I should be tied to a desktop or even a
browser in order to communicate globally. Facebook requires an account just to read other people’s posting (in geek talk, it’s a walled garden.)


Metasocial Networking (like ex.plode.us)
probably isn’t the answer even if it does sound cool. The blogosphere was a fully
functional ad hoc social network based not on pre-existing social ties but on merit and quality of information, and as such it is a
robust and highly valuable source of up-to-date information. With new users coming online daily and established bloggers
tinkering around with social network applications, there’s bound to be growth in the various novel approaches to the same
underlying question – driving traffic and click-through rates in a monetized fashion.

There’s this odd thing about the economics of “Web 2.0.” It’s very convenient for the people who own all these companies. Because basically, they set up a thoroughfare and then people pay to provide the content that they then pay to experience.

-R.U. Sirius

Thank you, but no, I don’t need a platform built for me. I’m happy with my mutans.blogspot.com,
and I’m even happier with a functioning blogosphere outside the walled garden
of Facebook, et al. With the right feeds and the right links I can easily make a single spot for anyone to access
my public thoughts, and if a person is unable to email me directly or respond with their own blogpost about my comments, writings, and ideas
then they’re probably incoherent jabbering fools who’d just be wasting my time with network marketing schemes, sketchy giftcard offers, or
the latest ringtones.

Ironically, the only piece of social software that is really scaling well is blogs. Of
course, the reason that’s true is because the blogosphere is mostly distributed and so
the political bloggers seem completely unaware of the food bloggers and the
mommy bloggers are completely disconnected from the emo kids. Only on
Technorati does it all come together and create a massive headache because how do
you really rank apples and oranges? Luckily, the vast majority of bloggers aren’t
concerned about rank; they’re just blogging to hang out with their friends.

- Danah Boyd

Although that’s not the only use for blogging. Perhaps some social networking sites are
simply underhanded ways to keep tabs on civilians, but at least one blogger is deliberately using
his blog to inform the government of what he’s doing all day long, everyday. Hasan Elahi discovered
he’d inadvertently wound up on the terrorist watch list, and was featured in a WIRED article a while back:

He realized the best way to keep the FBI off his back was to go totally transparent — so he started photoblogging everything he does, all day long, to establish a constant alibi.

-Clive Thompson

cctv-5.jpg
Ultimately, the problem is this: social networking sites are good for the companies and the advertisers (and possibly Big Brother). They used to be good for the individuals when they were first introduced, but
now it’s become little more than a new way to spam the end-user with advertisements.

I started my myspace account as a joke, a little worm eating into the heart of Murdochspace, and toyed
with ways to enable the clueless to overpopulate the servers with spambots, life coaches and MLM schemes.

Along the way I picked up an absurd number of ‘friends’ to the point that my friends list
is completely unmanageable – add to that the long load times since every page requires my browse
to load a flash advertisement for ringtones, surveys, or dating sites and myspace becomes a horrendous timesuck.

Malene Charlotte Larsen, who’s been stressing the
changing definition of ‘friend’ that has arisen
in the wake of these networks
, has recently pointed out a anti-social networking trend.

I for one couldn’t be happier.

Putting aside the need for humans to procreate, I can’t help but wonder: are we creating a social system to communicate with each other at a distance because the reality of creating and
maintaining that social networking face-to-face is, well, scary? Do we not want to pick up the phone and tell five friends we want them to come over for dinner and a movie, so we instead
throw food at them and tell them to watch something we previously watched and liked?

- Jason McCabe Calacanis

Perhaps the day will come when we realize these social network applications aren’t making our lives easier, they’re balkanizing our personal interactions for the benefit of ‘old media’ advertisers. To date the only social networking site I spend any time on whatsoever is the advertisment-free Irreality, and that is only because
I’ve met half the people on there in person via esozone (and at least people on irreality are attempting to confront this decaying definition of ‘friend.‘) As for now, if you want to get in touch with me, do it. Don’t invite me
to Bebo, send me an email.

Or just join one of these Antisocial Networks and leave me the fuck alone:


Relevant Links:


SNUBSTER

ENEMYBOOK

HATEBOOK

I FUCKING HATE YOU

{ 8 comments }

Pale Rider December 4, 2007 at 8:50 pm

Oy, I agree.

jamescurcio December 5, 2007 at 5:57 pm

me too.

i’d explain more, but i have to check my facebook to see if anyone has ‘vampire bit’ me recently.

maybe i’ll get back to it later.

Raven Reynolds December 9, 2007 at 6:41 am

Great, well thought out piece. We should meet some time and have coffee! (Even better then email.)

rr December 13, 2007 at 2:23 pm

I just have this terrible sense that Mick Jones’ little parable here (thanks to William Gibson, I guess) may well prove all too true. Just like free speech has too often become an empty promise (when people are so effectively conditioned to deny their autonomy or other’s exploitation), so too all the promise of the internet goes away, and online life just becomes one more pathetic distraction from genuinely living freely.

I remember so well all those mid-80′s cyberpunks (St. Jude, RIP) and the hope we all had for how the internet was gonna bust things wide open. Well, it kinda did for a while (and still can when used discerningly, at least for the time being). But The Man has learned how to bring His bread and circuses to the WWW at this point… so fuck the virtual… be REAL! Beware of all the distractions and escapism.

http://www.carbonsiliconinc.com/userfiles/MP3Tracks/Buckethead12.mp3

rr December 13, 2007 at 3:03 pm

If anyone knows of a more creative, hilarious or incisive take on these issues I’d love, love, love to learn about them!

BUCKETHEAD (James/Jones 2007)

Now back in the real world, life, carbon was too expensive. No one could afford to live, go out or travel, and the world was too scary.

Fifteen years ago the book “Snow Crash” predicted the underclass would have to live out their lives trapped in a tiny room with full head monitors on, leading a second life wired to a computer generated world.

We can make it safe out there in the meat space. Next stop paradise; it’s a brave new world.

Said the avatars of dredd, “you’re as good as dead, with the needle in the red,
with a bucket on your head.”

In their bucket homes, with equal opportunity, it’s a wired thing: twenty million zombies. They dream of dream estate in their utopian state. And all the hip were signed, hooked and now online.

So where is my friend, well he’s at home, with a bucket stuck on his head. So where is my friend, he’s all alone, walking with the living dead.

Amazingly, the second life world started to mirror the old world–where the quality of life and social interactions were again dictated by your wealth. Only the rich could be fully rendered in 3D colour, get into the VIP areas. The poor people realised they existed only as black and white outlines. Everyone imagined no outline was normal.

So when in 3D color, the order is restored at last, in an equal world (even for young girls), VIPs walk by and never questioned why.

So where is my friend, well he’s at home, with a bucket stuck on his head. So where is my friend, well he’s all alone, walking with the living dead.

The money wheel had turned, and harmony, peace and order was restored to the world. Everything is rendered. Everything is programmed. Everybody is happy in the perfect second life; safe and pixel-tight, right down to the byte,
in their prison cell with silicon to hell.

Where is my friend, well he’s at home, with a bucket stuck on his head. So where is my friend, he’s all alone, walking with the living dead.

In reality the government had the whole population controlled. Trapped, in their rooms. Fueled on vitamin added up pizzas. Not bothered by the real world events. Controlled not by force of law, but addiction to computer silicon and the code that they wrote.

Where is my friend, well he’s not at home, with a bucket stuck on his head.
So where is my friend, he’s all alone, walking with the living dead.

Now everyone stays in and the rich have all the space. I still have hope in
giant carbon feet. Guess who’s in control (with no place for your soul)?
Somewhere in the trash, we’ll cause the snow to crash!

Where is my friend, well he’s not at home, with a bucket stuck on his head. So where is my friend, he’s all alone, walking with the living dead.

And meanwhile the rich road about in horses and carriages through the empty streets. And the poor stayed in their towerpods in bucketworld.

So where is my friend, well he’s not at home, with a bucket stuck on his head. So where is my friend, he’s all alone, walking with the living dead.

The whole population slipped a bucket on their head. There was no more revolution– they spent the day in bed. And the whole population slipped a bucket on their head. There was no revolution– they spent the day in bed.
Welcomed hype or hope, or is this liberation, control, or in control, or isolation.

So where is my friend, well he’s at home, with a bucket stuck on his head. So where is my friend, he’s all alone, walking with the living dead.

The use of needles– walking with the living dead–plays on the addiction analogy, that the concept suggests: That the normal world population will become hooked on living in cyberworld.

So where is my friend, well he’s at home, with a bucket stuck on his head. So where is my friend, he’s all alone, walking with the living dead, here they come!

The chorus use of “my friend” part personalises the song, to counteract the rather geekiness of the verses and to keep within the rock and roll area. And so it seems mind control is the new rock and roll and it’s happening now!

Where is my friend, well he’s at home, with a bucket stuck on his head. So where is my friend, he’s all alone, walking with the living dead. Where is my friend, well he’s at home, with a bucket stuck on his head.

So where is my friend, he’s all alone, walking with the living dead.

rr December 14, 2007 at 10:48 am

Excuse me. SNOW CRASH was written by Neal Stephenson , not William Gibson.

Arturo December 17, 2007 at 10:17 pm

I totally agree. Facebook creeps me out. A total waste of time. I am deleting my account right now and reading a freakin’ book!

Oscar Gibson March 4, 2009 at 7:43 am

One more reason to use a mac ;)

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