By: Carl Perks
This one goes out to all those kids with open Macbooks, leisurely sitting in the cafeteria eating their inaccurate rendition of Thai food as they tweet about going to the mall whilst uploading every picture they can get their cursor on, up on Facebook. Or to those other kids, who when privileged to a computer during class time, spend it online, snooping through every single one of their friend’s posted pictures of themselves in front of a mirror pursing her lips.
Frankly speaking, not only is it a waste of time but a grave reminder of our inability to understand the means to our message. Take for example the case of the young boy who attended some house party with his friends in Vancouver and used his phone to film and photograph their raping of a young drugged girl. The story continues with him posting those pictures on Facebook and ends with his friends arrested for rape and his own criminal record stamped with ‘‘possession of child pornography.’’
We could say that this boy is stupid. We could say he just doesn’t think things through. Actually, we could say that the hardest he’s probably ever worked in his life is at cell division (not to undermine the miracles of microbiology but we perform mitosis subconsciously). Despite these being plausible, the obvious issue here is his (and all of our) disconnection with the means and lack of understanding the workings of the internet.
We should cease viewing Facebook as this ubiquitous paraclete that bends the laws of physics with an iron fist and wades through lawless international waters. Facebook is a blog. That’s all it is, an omnipresent blog axed on social networking. Would you post pictures of yourself puking all over someone’s rug on a blog? Would you be self centered enough to make a blog page with over 50 pictures where you are shooting pictures of yourself in your bathroom as you’re bending over to expose an optimal amount of cleavage?
Keep in mind that in most cases, friends of friends can see those pictures and those posts. You don’t even know most of your friends yet some of the people that they barely even know themselves have access to personal information on you accompanied by a plethora of pictures. Some of these people may have malicious intents. For example in the state of New York, a man is currently being charged for impersonation of five scholars (yeah they’re just scholars, people who use too many words to talk about things they know too little about) over the internet. He was undermining their research because it clashed with the findings of his father. Our personal information is too easily used.
I’m not telling anyone that people will blackmail or impersonate you; I just want you to be aware that Facebook is just another blog, be aware of what you post. I only hope that you get more out of media culture than a particular fancy for choirs and a newfound acceptance for condescending doctors.