Jan 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm #1284587
Anonymous: Facebook is next, on January 28. Read more about it here.
I have a Facebook account but rarely venture there. How about you guys?Jan 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm #1828780
I don't know what Facebook is, nor do I have any idea what the site you linked to is even talking about. Can you explain?Jan 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm #1828783
More power to 'em. I have a Facebook page, but I couldn't really care less if Anonymous took it down.Jan 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm #1828784
+1 with Travis
It's of little real use.Jan 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm #1828786
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Nick: Annonymous is a ad-hoc group of hackers who colaborate on bringing down websites of firms they disagree with. Banks that charge excessive fees, companies that promote non-neutrality on the web, firms that co-operate with governments against Wikileaks – those sorts of things. Gen Y or are up to Z now? technical capable people who use co-opted computers to do denial-of-service attacks, typically.
OP: I'm on Facebook a few times a day. I find it a convenient way to keep track of family and friends. Kind of you lot, some people are funny, insightful, and/or informational, while some or tedious, preachy and/or chronically misantrophic. A nice thing about Facebook is you can just click on "unsubscribe" button and you don't see their posts anymore.
But if Facebook goes down for a week, that's fine. Nothing important happens there. Some good stuff – public service announcement sort of things, but I can find that info elsewhere.Jan 23, 2012 at 9:07 pm #1828791
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
I have an account but spend little time there. Those few people I care about get phone calls, visits and e-mail.
This group has made other threats that didn't come to fruition so we will have to wait and see.Jan 23, 2012 at 9:35 pm #1828805
Yeah, Facebook has its place. I had great success digging up long-lost classmates. However, once reconnected, I still prefer "talking" to specific people — versus posting onto a "wall".Jan 23, 2012 at 9:48 pm #1828812
It would upset me, not because I like Facebook itself, but because, living in Japan, far from most of my close friends and family, that is how I stay in touch with them. Calling them or meeting them is out of the question. I'm looking for an alternative to FB, because I hate their policies and carelessness with people's information, but right there is nothing.Jan 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm #1828816
Maybe Google+?? There's upfront work, of course, such as convincing friends and families to sign up as well. But if y'all use social websites a lot, then it makes sense to have a backup, right?
When traveling, I like being able to make free VOIP calls to family and friends. I use Skype primarily, but also have Google Voice on my tablet as a backup.Jan 24, 2012 at 12:18 am #1828846
Now for more questions. Facebook: okay I really don't know what this does. I did sign up for Tweeter a few years ago, to follow a cross country race my son was in as someone was posting the race, and that was the last time I used that thing.
So my big question is; why don't people just email their friends? One program and account that does all your electronic communication?
Here is my take on all of this. My leisure time is valuable. I have to monitor my business email, so those I want to stay in contact with have it. I have a free email service that I never use, unless someone or some company wants my email and I don't care to communicate with them; I then give them that email address. I need a phone for business, so I have a cell phone and a business-only land line. My cell phone is probably 95% business. I can count my real friends on one hand, and don't need to talk to them more than once a month… even less is better. I really don't care about what some kid I went to school with 50 years ago is doing… we probably have little in common, and if I liked them in the first place, I would have probably stayed in touch. I live with my best friend, who happens to be my wife, so I set aside most of my free time for her. I don't text. Text messages are just another thing to monitor and clutter up your life. The exception on texting is when I am traveling in different time zones or late at night, I text my wife to let her know I arrived safely, instead of calling and waking her up — on a high traffic text month I might send 5 of them, usually I forget how to use the freakin application anyway. When people text me, I call them and tell them not to do it again; if the text is important they can call or email; and if their message isn't important enough to warrant a call or an email, then it isn't important at all and we are both wasting our time with it. I spend enough of my free time on BPL (maybe too much). I visit only one other forum on the Web, a tent trailer site, and only visit it once or twice a week, and rarely post there anymore since I started visiting BPL. One forum is enough to keep up with.
Seems that if people cut down on all this social networking stuff they would have more time to get out and hike, bike, run, ski, etc., or even god forbid… talk to their wife and kids for a few hours everyday. We have so many posts on BPL about living the simple life, it seems that all this social networking is a complicated, time consuming mess. To me one email account and a cell phone is the UL kit. Facebook, Tweeter, LinkedIn, MySpace, Your Space, My This, Your That, etc., seems like a 65 pound external frame pack to me.
Now some (or most) will say I am just an old, technology illiterate fool. Maybe I am. But I have been using PIMs to manage my time for a long time (since the 80's), starting with Sharps, Casios, Palm Pilots, Smart Phones, and even an Apple Newton — most of you will have to look that one up, because you never heard of it:) My laptop syncs with my phone so I have instant access to my calendar, contact list, and to do list. I have been using a cell phone as a modem for nearly 10 years so I can maximize my time when traveling on business. All of this is done to make me more efficient, so I will have more free time to pursue my hobbies and family time. I build software applications for a living… so I understand the technical part of technology. But I see technology as a means to simplify life and create more free time in my life — not a black hole to suck up all my hard earned free time. The less time I spend with electricity circling around my brain, the better :)
Now if I lived in Alaska in winter, yeah I can see doing more of this social networking stuff :)Jan 24, 2012 at 1:16 am #1828848
Nick re: "But I see technology as a means to simplify life and create more free time in my life — not a black hole to suck up all my hard earned free time."
And not a black hole to suck up hard earned money, either. Or contributing to ever-growing piles of obsolete stuff.
Still figuring out what to do with all those vinyl records, cassette tapes, and VHS tapes, not to mention aged electronics, computer hardware, and software.
Why can't they just do it once, and do it right?
My component stereo system (w/cassette player & turntable) has been described as a "classic antique" — if it's still described anywhere anymore.
Works fine, though.
And saved myself a bundle over the decades by not replacing it.
But sure don't miss that Commodore 64 . . . with dial-up.Jan 24, 2012 at 3:12 am #1828856
Google + was very popular for a while, but most people don't want to start up yet another social site. And Google + is just as bad as Facebook in terms of privacy issues. The one I really like (and from whom Google stole the ideas for "circles") is "Diaspora". Unfortunately it has been moving very slowly and not keeping up with the times. Nobody wanted to join.
The idea of a backup is something I'd really like to find a fix for, because if anything happens to Facebook, I will probably lose touch with a lot of very important old friends and new friends whom I had lost touch with for many years. Facebook allowed me to get back in touch with them and stay in touch with them daily, reviving our friendships. But how to implement a backup? Not an easy thing to do. Plaxo is designed as an online address book, and might be a good solution. As would LInkedIn, though it is too much of a commercial thing for me.
For calling people I use either Skype or Fring. Fring was the service that was a lifeline last year during the earthquake when there was no way to get a hold of family and friends with the telephone or cell phone services.Jan 24, 2012 at 3:22 am #1828858
Nick, email has its uses, but it just doesn't work well as a social "gathering" platform. Imagine doing these BPL discussions through email! It would never work! There is something about the visual representation of being together that generates discussions. Email is better for quick business correspondence and private messages and proposals, something where one person is taking the time to write something that requires a specific answer, but not for something that requires a thread of disparate answers that build upon one another.
Living in Japan as a non-Japanese can be very akin to living in Alaska in winter. It is not easy getting close to Japanese; Japan is the only place of the hundreds of places around the world where I have friends, where I have no close, daily corresponding friends. Many non-Japanese complain about it. So Facebook is a very big help, socially and mentally.Jan 24, 2012 at 4:23 am #1828861
"I did sign up for Tweeter a few years ago, to follow a cross country race my son was in as someone was posting the race, and that was the last time I used that thing."
Like me, you're showing your age. I understand that it's Twitter and that you tweet.
But on principle I do social media as little as possible.Jan 24, 2012 at 4:24 am #1828862
"Living in Japan as a non-Japanese can be very akin to living in Alaska in winter."
Or, judging from the NHK news I just watched, being in Tokyo at the moment is just like being in Alaska in winter.Jan 24, 2012 at 5:52 am #1828873
"Now some (or most) will say I am just an old, technology illiterate fool."
Well, yeah, but that doesn't make you a bad person….. ;-)Jan 24, 2012 at 9:37 am #1828958
You know, when I think back to when I was young things were a lot different of course. And maybe all these advances are not so good. When I was a kid we didn't have a phone and we were fine. As a matter of fact, I didn't know how to use one until I was in college. As a kid I didn't know how to use a pay phone so I never needed to call someone. If I wanted to talk to a friend, I WALKED to their house. If I wanted to communicate to someone far a way I wrote a letter. And most people who had phones didn't make many long distance calls, because it was too expensive. The communication overload is like fast foods, instant I-want-it-now gratification. Heck McDonalds used to have 60 second timing clocks in their drive-thrus to show how fast your order was prepared.
In the 80's there was no public Internet and I expanded my horizons with a Commodore 64, a 300 baud modem, and the text-based CompuServe network. So today's Internet and broadband modems are a vast improvement.
I am not saying all of this is bad, but we are in Social Media Overload. Think about it… 40 years ago people called friends and relatives once in a great while (usually holidays) and they wrote letters. They spent their free time with their families or outside. Obesity, crime, and mental health issues were lower than today. There was little in the way of television. If you lived in a large metro area, you maybe received 10 television stations. Rural areas fewer or none. Today most people get a least a hundred TV stations. Why do we need so much TV?
I know or talk to people who have blogs and use FaceBook, Tweeter, LinkedIn, Forums, RSS feeds delivering content from dozens of Websites, etc. Gigabytes of information flowing into their homes day and night. People who are spending so much time online. It is not uncommon for people, in the middle of a conversation, to whip out their cell phone and start texting. I see people walking on the streets or in parks texting as they go with no idea of their surroundings. They do it when driving. It is like they are walking around in an alternate world. Why our our lives so busy that we have to talk to people when driving?
The link that Ben posted said that FaceBook has 60,000 servers. SIXTY THOUSAND servers. That is a lot of electricity, and most electricity comes from coal.
We are social animals and need some social interaction, but not 24/7. Prior to joining BPL I spent time on a tent trailer forum. Initially it was to learn more about trailers, because I wanted to rebuild/remodel mine. And I made some friends there, even traveled to Rocky Mountain National Park and Ontario, Canada to camp with some new friends. But now my camper has been modified to my satisfaction, and that forum is a lot of stuff rehashed over and over, and I have moved on. I do visit it once in a while to see how old friends are doing. But one thing I saw was many people were posting every single day, and maybe used their campers 7 or 10 days a year. Seems rather silly. They should use it 50 days a year and cut down on the computer time, IMO. I suspect it is similar here on BPL. It is rare for me to post here on weekends because on my days off I am camping or hiking, which is why I am not overweight, nor do I have any health problems. When I joined BPL, it was to learn more about UL gear. I found this forum intellectually stimulating and the right mix of knowledge, eccentricity, and personalities. Now if BPL were to close today, that would be sad, but I would not go looking for another site to fill a void, because there would be no void, just a little more free time.
So to sum it up I think too many people are addicted to social media, and are really socially dysfunctional. I spend a lot of time in my job teaching people how to work with customers. Too much of the younger generations want to sit behind a computer screen when communicating with customers. I have to teach them how to make eye contact, how to engage people in conversation, how to build rapport… things that used to come naturally to people. We have brains, eyes, ears, and mouths so we can communicate. I envision that in a few million years (should the species survive), humans will have only eyes and long skinny fingers, which will be an adaption for keyboards and screens. Their eyes will be too sensitive for sunlight, because humans will have spent most of their time indoors. They will not have vocal cords because they quit using them :)Jan 24, 2012 at 9:51 am #1828966
@woodenwizardLocale: Greater Mt Tabor
BPL IS my facebook.Jan 24, 2012 at 10:06 am #1828975
@tylerdLocale: SE US
Two things this discussion made me think about that I think add to the discussion…
First point, I read an article recently that said the internet IS ACTUALLY making us dumber in a sense. The information is so easy to look up or 'google' and we all have devices that tap into this vast network of information with ease, that our brains are cataloging not the actual information, but how to look up the information. In other words you don't necessarily remember the year Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, you remember that Wikipedia has that information and you can get to it by googling "Abraham Lincoln". We subconsciously know how easy that information is to find so our brains will forgo or skip over the need to memorize the actual information. Apparently this is more prevalent the younger and more 'wired in' you are. The attitude is kind of 'why should I learn history, Wikipedia has it all right there'. Same thing with spelling, grammar, etc, MS Word will fix it, now worries.
Second point, my father used the services of a corporate attorney out of NYC for many years and at several companies he worked at. Apparently the guy is pretty old, maybe in his 80's by now. He is kind of a strategy, big picture type guy, head partner at his firm. If you want some piddly thing you work with his other partners but if you have something of importance it makes it to this guy. He does not use email, does not have a computer. He accepts phone calls after they have been screened and only to listen and ask questions, he will render NO advice over the phone, he prefers if you write him a letter and mail or fax it. His only responses come by faxed, formal letter with the original by mail followed by a hefty bill. This whole process is designed to give him time to think about the issue or problem and mull it over. Sometimes his response takes a week but my father said it is ALWAYS dead on the money and worth it's weight in gold. The guy is highly valued and VERY wealthy, this is how he has been doing business for decades. His thing is, you get what you pay for and you aren't paying me for some off the cuff response. You will get your answer once I have thought it over.Jan 24, 2012 at 10:17 am #1828980
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
"And maybe all these advances are not so good"
I wonder if the "horseless carriage" is a good thing, we did just fine walking and riding horses (ridiculous example to make point, I'm not sure what the point is though…)Jan 24, 2012 at 11:03 am #1828997
What's the point of bemoaning tech advances?
Perhaps the point is that our tech advances currently exceed the capacity of most humans to benefit from those advances, and to do so efficiently and responsibly.
High tech increases the ease of communication, but also lays a curse on the quality of those communications — and inter-human relationships.
As for returning to horses and carriages, and doing without the wonders of instant distant communication, folks in those "old, old days" interacted exclusively face-to-face, often on a daily basis.
Out of necessity, and lacking high tech gizzamatic aids, they either had to get to know each other well and get along, or else get on their horse and ride for days, weeks, or months to find a new home and acquaintances more to their liking.
Seems likely that a lifetime spent in direct, personal association with others promoted greater personal responsibility for words and actions, which now can be avoided easily with high-tech, faceless, even anonymous, communication.Jan 24, 2012 at 11:16 am #1829004
"Perhaps the point is that our tech advances currently exceed the capacity of most humans to benefit from those advances, and to do so efficiently and responsibly."
Not sure. I hear what you're saying, and agree with the latter part of your post, especially the last sentence, but most humans benefit immensely from technological advances – early warning systems for storms that save lives, medical advances that allow us to treat maladies that would have been sure death not too long ago, transplants, distance surgery, the capability to better understand other cultures by direct electronic interaction (which never would have happened before), etc.
As with most things – both a blessing and a curse. Much like some of the discussions on lightweight gear – technology only gives us tools. Some of us humans aren't so good at using them efficiently and responsibly. Some of us are. Baby. Bathwater. Etc.Jan 24, 2012 at 11:46 am #1829021
@tylerdLocale: SE US
I think too it has to do with where the society is at as far as their economy. In my mind in the US we are well into the rich/spoiled/lazy end of the spectrum. Our wealth affords us the opportunity to use technology for junky, non intellectual stimulation and entertainment. We are afforded that ability by our wealth and relatively easy living.
Contrast that against a kid in China or Africa who might get their hands on a computer and it opens up a whole new world of educational opportunities and life changing possibilities. Maybe they are downloading free text books and researching career paths.
So the kid in Africa is receiving a very real benefit, life changing and positive whereas the American kid is using it to cut up with friends and monitor every movement of Justin Beiber. Same technology, very different results.Jan 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm #1829039
@tremeloLocale: San Jacinto Mountains
I've read that the bulk of anon prefers being called coders vs hackers
one implies kids, the other is specific to structure and experience. Not that I'd vest too much in that, it was passed on by a loud/proud btard on a 4chan flame missionJan 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm #1829044
Doug, re clarifying: "Perhaps the point is that our tech advances currently exceed the capacity of most humans to benefit from those advances, and to do so efficiently and responsibly."
For sure there are all kinds of benefits being realized from tech advances.
I was thinking of opportunities for additional benefits that are lost, squandered, or abused by so many.
So I suppose my real point in "bemoaning" tech is not that tech reduces quality of life; but rather that people do it to themselves by their choices. Which is what I mean when I posit that tech "exceeds the capacity of most humans to benefit from those advances, and to do so efficiently and responsibly."
As expressed in another context, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people."
One obvious example is identified by Ty above, although the dichotomy he draws in distinguishing US kids from kids in some other country is not very persuasive to me.
Given free time and "wow-wow" devices, kids will no doubt be kids anywhere in the world. I don't buy the "US bad; non-US good" story line.
People are people. If US kids are seen as somehow "worse" at availing themselves of tech goodies in "wise" ways, perhaps that's due to an abundance of opportunities in the US for exercising free choice.
Free choice means freedom to make unwise choices, and why personal responsibility and personal accountability are important — to learn from bad decisions.
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