armchair cultural observation since 1995

A community of the enslaved

You’re never going to get together with any of these people for coffee. They’re too busy, and you’re too busy, and the miles are too vast. You probably want to Friend them because you want to rake or shovel or eat alongside them. Instead you have to rake or shovel alongside the cantankerous guy who bought the house next door and who does not give out Halloween candy. Facebook is a great way to reconnect with old friends and family, provided you do so by sending short wisecracks to one another through a digital hole in the fence.

And not to be a downer, but with Facebook about to become our chosen portal through which the marketplace defines and communicates to us as consumers and ultimately citizens, that metaphor could only darken. We could all end up feeling like cellmates passing each other notes through a crack in the prison wall. If we keep retreating to more screen time as an answer to our disconnectedness, and if the civic glue of commerce keeps moving toward organizing us by our virtual networks, Facebook is at risk of becoming little more than a community of the enslaved. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

Paul Scott

(Hat Tip: Journey Something)

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