Facebook vs. Spy vs. Spy

Jul 27th, 2012 | By | Category: Nick Kemper's Blog

Changing Times Department: I was sitting at the dining room table with my wife this weekend and she asks me if I’m friends with a particular person. My answer: “No.”

Actually, I am friends with the person in question, but not on Facebook. I knew this was what my wife meant — which is why I answered the way I did — but she didn’t say “on Facebook” so I have reached the point where being friends on Facebook is the default definition of “friend.” I just want to say, for the record, that I have a lot more than 286 friends, and I’d like “friend” to again have nothing to do with Facebook. Some of my “friends” on Facebook I’ve never even met, and many of them I haven’t seen in 30 years.

What is it about Facebook that is so captivating? Are we really so starved for connection that we will scroll through all of that garbage? I think what’s unsettling is the speed of change. Change is accelerating at an exponential rate. I can imagine that back in the 19th century, people wrote about how awful it was that people were spending so much time on the telephone talking to people — sometimes separated only by a house or two — rather than actually visiting them. However, the break-in period was probably 30 or 40 years for the telephone. It took Facebook about 8-1/2 days to take over the world.

This is why I am comforted when I see my 8-year-old at the breakfast table reading an anthology of Spy vs. Spy cartoons — an old beat-up anthology checked out from the public library. Old school, baby. No PC monitor, no laptop, no Kindle, no smartphone — just a big, old book getting cinnamon sprinkled on it from his waffle. This also underscores one of the benefits of the baby boomers taking over the institutions — that a Spy vs. Spy anthology would even be in the public library.

That is change I can get behind.

Have a safe and profitable week.

Nick Kemper

www.TowPartsNow.com