You'd Contact Ozzy Now Wouldn't You?:
I don’t know if it’s still the honey-moon period, but I’m in love with this new(ish) networking tool that I like to call Faecebook. It’s weird, ever since my brother insisted that I sign up about a week ago I have found myself checking it more avidly than my e-mail. It’s strange how such a simple idea can create feelings of immediacy and intimacy that are all too lacking in emailing (in my case at least, where everyone ‘talks’ like robots and takes a month to reply).
Facebook is a MySpace for the lazy, having taken all the simplest and most effective elements from its flashier, creative cousin to create a programme suitable for even the barely-computer-literate. Whereas MySpace encourages a certain amount of ‘My Dad’s harder than your Dad’ comparative mentality amongst its users, Facebook keeps it simple whilst doing exactly what it says on the tin – network. And for my part, and without much effort, I’ve been able to do so quite nicely. It’s amazing how many former supermarket employees groups and old school friends groups are around. And after a few clicks I even found people I wanted to speak to. And with 6° of separation becoming an increasingly practicable reality I might just find that girl whose tongue I bit mid-snog aged 15.
One of the elements that works so well is the mug shots. These rogue’s galleries seem just the nudge you needed to stay in touch with your mates. And even responding to, or being befriended by, people you aren’t that close to is made swift and painless by the format, like being some police photographer obliged to make five minutes small talk with the subject of his pictures. It’s amazing the power that a picture and a few easily accessible links can have upon your previously lax efforts to stay in touch. Those featureless email addresses have become people. And somehow the world, and your mates in it, seem to have come that little bit closer. This manufactured proximity seems to work rather well: I’ve found myself responding to people more regularly and with more interest simply because of a picture. Combine the success of the manufactured proximity with an ease of use that puts the likes of hotmail in the shade and you seem to be on to a real winner. And unless other formats get in step, the future, in pictures and simplicity, will leave them behind.
And hell, if this honey-moon period does continue, cyberspace might well be hosting a message entitled ‘Sorry about the tongue’ in the not too distant future.