Again With the Facebook
Truth to tell, I'm not much of a ranter. At least in public. I'm old-fashioned --- I prefer to do some of that thing we call "reporting" before I start with the blah-blah-blah blog-blog-blog. And my life? You care about my life? For instance: I have just been interrupted by the 14-year-old demanding my guidance on how he can wash his sleeping bag, which he insists is "filthy." Filthy? Honey, talk to our boys camping out in Tikrit. He wonders: What does it mean -- re-treat for water repellency periodically? Apparently, this is what they have to do to Tony Williams before his annual stunt of summer, but I have no idea how to do it to a sleeping bag. (And, I am not a DC voter, but I do think Linda Cropp should not try to shove this important responsibility onto her son, should she become mayor.) Anyway, even I hardly care about the sleeping bag, so why should you?
I am reaching out for help though, having heard that this much-vaunted social network, this perpetually buzzing, stimulated cyber-community, may provide answers/opinions/flames on pressing questions. Here's mine -- why do hundreds of millions of people want to post their particulars on Facebook and Friendster and mySpace --- their favorite Japanese anime characters, their bong shots, their insipid song lyrics, their "deep" favorite quotes, their fleshiness? My Style section colleague Paul Farhi reports today on one of the most viral rages: Everybody is kung-vid fighting.
On such sites as YouTube.com or Google Video, you'll increasingly find a treasure-trove -- or a cesspool -- of people beating on other people, caught on tape by passersby, friends and other photographers. Some of the violence is consensual. Most of it isn't.
Taken together, the fights might be America's unfunniest home videos, an archive of human aggression or a catalogue of stupidity and senselessness. They're also documents of dangerous and illegal behavior, since fighting in public is typically a felony. Although the combatants in fight clips are rarely identified, let alone arrested or punished, fight videos occasionally pop up on the police blotter.
The cautions against this pasttime get solemnly issued every day. Today, in the New York Times, it's camp directors detailing how they fired counselors for posting graphic photos detailing hazy, lazy, sleazy days of summer.
At Camp Runoia, Pam Cobb, the director, said she looked up new counselors on MySpace and Facebook and found "people who we had hired who had things on their Web site that were inappropriate."
She told counselors "they need to clean up their sites or make them private, or they can choose not to work with us."
One counselor, she said, chose the last option, apparently reluctant to remove a "beer-drinking party scene."
Earlier this week, a 14-year-old girl sued MySpace.Com for $30 million, claiming she was sexually assaulted by another site user and alleging the site fails to protect its underage users.
In a statement, MySpace said it is committed to the safety of its members.
"We take aggressive measures to protect our members," said Hemanshu Nigam, chief security officer. "Ultimately, Internet safety is a shared responsibility. We encourage everyone on the Internet to engage in smart Web practices and have open family dialogue about how to apply offline lessons in the online world."
Yes, yes and yes. Kids, try two weeks at Camp Entitlement with no device but a flashlight. Job seekers and college applicants, go ahead and reveal your total lack of maturity online. Winnows down the field. I'm not tsk-tsking about this constant personal updating of one's collections of photos, videos, shout-outs, et al, and the addiction to checking one's ranking (how many friends? how many views? Look At Me! Look At Me! More More More!).
I just don't understand it as a hobby. Please discuss.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: WB | June 22, 2006 10:53 AM
Posted by: KK | June 22, 2006 12:11 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2006 12:28 PM
Posted by: fritz | June 22, 2006 12:30 PM
Posted by: WB | June 22, 2006 12:47 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2006 12:50 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | June 22, 2006 12:57 PM
Posted by: PLEEZE!! | June 22, 2006 1:29 PM
Posted by: TC | June 22, 2006 1:36 PM
Posted by: Silver Spring | June 22, 2006 1:42 PM
Posted by: 25 and on the 'space | June 22, 2006 1:56 PM
Posted by: college student | June 22, 2006 2:01 PM
Posted by: slm | June 22, 2006 2:25 PM
Posted by: OD | June 22, 2006 2:53 PM
Posted by: AG | June 22, 2006 2:58 PM
Posted by: User Name | June 22, 2006 4:23 PM
Posted by: John | June 22, 2006 4:25 PM
Posted by: Chris | June 22, 2006 5:15 PM
Posted by: mkb | June 22, 2006 7:40 PM
Posted by: HoyaParanoia | June 26, 2006 11:45 AM
Posted by: cc | June 26, 2006 4:35 PM
Posted by: Paul | July 1, 2006 1:40 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.