Wednesday, January 04, 2012

It's All Facebook's Fault

Years ago -- or in that dapper, desolate era known as the 60's -- hipsters roamed the planet armed with worn leather jackets, Chuck Taylor high-tops and moleskin notebooks. They carried pencils or pens of reasonable size and sturdiness and recorded their thoughts and reactions to the trials and travels and travails which they faced and which faced them.

And with the birth of The Internet, they grew up and old.

In today's nano-friendly climes, one that sees children more likely to read from a tablet than a pop-up book, there is still something called Moleskin -- but it's no longer a company which produces pocket-friendly paper-based recording devices, it's a company filled with newly-minted antiques, an iconic throwback to an era no more.

I blame Facebook.

I'll explain.

Facebook -- which is not the root of all evil or The Devil's Work or really a bad thing at all, frankly -- is to blame for our increasingly centrifugal lives spinning headlong out of control. It started with answering machines and VCR's -- too busy to be home to a) answer the phone or b) watch TV? Let a machine handle it for you, and do it on your own time. Then came cell phones. Too busy to sit home waiting for that call? Bring your 12-pound bag-phone with you and answer the call on the go!

Twenty years later, it's all about the DVR, voicemail, text messages and running as fast as possible through life rather than actually sitting back and living life. Some people missed the memo -- it's about the journey, not the destination. Because, as most of us are acutely aware, the destination is the same for us all.

So to explain my continued and deplorable absence herein, I blame Facebook. Why should one stop life when Facebook chronicles each minute of our every day in its open-source, hacker-friendly pages? Why should I bother checking into a blog that no one has the time to read? Unless I wax prophetic about RIM's demise, Apple's impending egregious mediocrity or the newest Android phone, does anyone really care? I'm sure there's a hapless, helpless soul that counts him- or herself among my regular readers sitting in clothes that are overdue for laundry, reading this blog in lieu of a favorable, worthwhile hour of reality TV (although the truth is there really is no such thing).

The point being that we've eschewed humanity in our lives and we've forgotten how to step back -- ever so briefly and/or slightly -- and just enjoyed life rather than trying to outpace it. Whether we're in New York, Hong Kong, LA, San Francisco, Boston or Miami, life's increasingly rapid pace will always be just beyond our reach, but like a fat man on a treadmill, there's no medals for trying.

In either case, my somewhat regular mea culpa with respect to my absence here isn't my own, per se -- it's just that I haven't quite perfected the art of avoiding the impending Facebook timeline from my existence just yet. I am, of course, interested in those of others -- but for my own infinite playlist, gallery, photo album and stream of nonsense, I've held back.

I'm not sure why; it's certainly not a fear of self-expression. It may, of course be a lack of intelligence or wit or knowledge or, most likely, a combination of all of these things. Or it may be some sort of revelation that, contrary to an observation by Tom Petty, too much may not only be enough, it may very well be too much.