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brian-hansen
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:25 pm    Post subject: "Join Already" Reply with quote

I'm holding a postcard, circa 2004, which shows on it's front, in large letters "Join Already.". There's a logo in the lower left, the registered trademark "Social Circles", and the web address www.socialcircles.com.

It's not much use as a postcard, because the entire section on the back (the left side) where I might write a message, is filled with details about the activities I might do, and the kinds of people I might meet if I signed up, or rather "joined".

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The website is no more, and it appears that what is left is a group on Facebook. It doesn't seem very lively there.

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A recent article in the NYT invites me to look back with nostalgia at the BBSes, list-serves and blogs of those far past days of the 80's, 90's and 00's; to think freshly about the facebook/linkedein/twitter age we've entered, and to shudder with a twinge of revulsion at the vapidity of the coming ages. All very comforting things to do, of course, and many commentators have taken the bait.

I find myself on the codger side of the spectrum, sadly. So much of what I see when I look at facebook and twitter is mindless drivel that can't make its way fast enough to the trashheap for my tastes. I'm like the small-town guy who opens his front door onto a graffiti-strewn inner-city. If he takes one wrong step, single women from Senegal will suddenly want to exchange photos, or he might be transported to a dark mugging alley, still in his bathrobe. Meanwhile someone from up the street wants to tell him all about what she had for lunch, and how many friends she has, and someone else is taking notes. Sure, the transit is great, and there's museums in the nicer part of town, but the postman coming 6 days a week was just about good enough, back home.

I get drawn further and further in, as I need authentication on new websites, or I want to play online poker. Am I inadvertently offending people I've never met because I don't want to date them? the name "Facebook" is right, because it makes me feel just like when I was in high school or college, learning that I was the butt of a joke in the women's restroom. The bad photograph in the bound paper facebook back then couldn't have helped.

I thought I'd escaped from all this. Maybe I'f I'd gotten that postcard earlier, I would've avoided it all.
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