Monday, December 6, 2010

Change is gonna do you good…not!

According to recent news reports, the social media network Facebook is trying to replace LinkedIn as a professional connection service.

Okay, did you or did you not find that paragraph borrrring?

That first graph exemplifies what is happening to Facebook, a wonderful amalgamation of a ‘globalvillagecoffeeklatch- sixdegreesofkevinbacon’ experience.

As a former journalist I have nothing against the sacred five w’s and an h, but I don’t want the first thing I see on my friends’ ‘profile’ pages to be where they went to school, who they’re married to, and what their occupation is.


Instead, give me a ‘personal’ barometer about how they’re feeling, the ‘h’ being the most neglected of the journalistic canon.

Yes, it’s just trading one kind of egomaniacal labeling for another.

But it’s that connectedness of the non-professional kind that makes social networking ‘social.’

I am not an advocate against change, having gone to three high schools and two colleges and having lived in five, count ‘em, five states.

Normally I embrace big changes, though I must admit smaller ones like a new pair of shoes or spectacles throw me.

Being a child of change is the very reason I adore Facebook. Or did. On any given day Facebook ‘newsfeed’ tells me how one of my very best friends from elementary school days in a frigid Great Lakes state is faring during a cold spell in her adult home in the south or how special former students of mind are doing in the ‘real world’ of marriage, parenthood, and work. Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild (his movie pretend girlfriend was right; he is a jerk) allows a connectedness and interaction that transcends geographic and historical boundaries.

Now Facebook wants the first thing I see about my friends on their homepage to be where they went to school. I need my media scholar husband to explain the particulars to me, and I’m sure the ‘newsfeed’ will still feed me pertinent news, but in the end, I don’t want resumes.

I want the first thing I know about the boy with the curly hair and wool sweater whom I never kissed but probably should have 30 years ago, is that he’s having a good day with his son.

Professionally that knowledge is useless, but personally…it’s priceless.

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