I’ve always been a keen reader, from a young age my head was constantly in a book. Then as the years went on, and tv shows become addictive, you’re alcohol enjoyment increases, the social circle expands and the ability to nap is null and void, it was becoming much more of a rarity. A few years ago when I became single, and recluse-itus snuck in, I treated myself to a Kindle. Daaaaaaaaamn, my love of literature full on returned! There was something about it, the feel, the ease, the simplicity that just had me once again, hooked on reading. And of course, you picked up on the fact I said single right, well, I felt like I was the only of my pals that was ticking that box, so I had all the free time in the world. I tend to drift away in to my own imaginary dreamland at the best of times, so reading was probably a tad more healthy.
Fast forward three years, throw in some new friends, plenty of new adventures and the reading became a tad sparse again. That was until, I was discussing the awesomeness of the library with a new pal. Now that i’m planning on spending quite some time in Auckland, but not wanting to commit to owning possessions, and let us face it, them books can be bulky as, with my head on the bus window home that night, as the Kindle battery hadn’t been charged in some time (oops, error) I was like “Lightbulb!”, the library is free, books are free, no expenses, no commitment, no new unnecessary possessions – I was going to get me a membership for the Auckland City Library tomorrow!
So that I sure did! I am now a member of the library. I am such a catch me aye!
My first loan out was “Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class – Bikram Choudhury”. Sounds a bit random, outta the blue, totes cray cray for myself, but the reason was, i’m looking to take up Bikram because my 32 year old body (I know, 32, shocking isn’t it just) is really struggling with it’s 90 year old joints now. I would just like to confirm, I have not had any joint replacements or exchanges of joints with a 90 year old, I am just one giant ailment taking on this life shinanigans one injury at a time. This book was therefore a little read to just let me know what I could possibly be getting myself into.
The second book I loaned was that that was mentioned in a previous blog post – “Building a WordPress Blog People Want to Read – Scott McNulty”. Another successful borrowing. Helped me immensely.
Admittedly, I appear to be on a reference borrowing phase, well, it’s just seems logical. Why buy the book (especially when they are priced around the $40 mark) when you can borrow it, refer to it, for free! I do have quite the USB stick full of free Kindle books yet to get through. The Kindle will not be forgotten about, don’t worry. Also, please do not refer to me as two faced should I mention at a later date that my Kindle and I are currently enjoying a delightful read. I am no traitor after all.
Returning the WordPress read once it had satisfied me to the core, I exchanged it instantly with what has proven to be a FANTASTIC read. Completed in just 4 days (not four 24hr periods of constant reading, i’m not that lazily unemployed), I could actually quite happily read it again.
The book I am speaking of is: “The Boy Kings – A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network”, by Katherine Losse.
Two words: READ IT!
I am pretty vocal about how i’m not necessarily the biggest fan of Facebook and what it has done to this world, yes I still use it, but I am not a fan. I was nodding at this book throughout, agreeing with Losse at her words of just the nuisance that FB really is. Does it have any benefits at all? Is the world a better place for its existence? Will there ever be another generation of people that know a life without it’s name being rammed down our throats?
Coming from Employee #51 of FB, it was quite refreshing to read someone’s words so similar to mine, yet they had actually worked for this darn social dampner.
As I said, I do use FB, go ahead, call me two-faced, fickle, roll your eyes, judge me, do what you want, I can’t see you (unless you send me a picture. But please, don’t feel the need to do that), and very often do I hover over that “Deactivate User Account” radio button, but my golly, all those friends I have out there, sitting behind their computers, laptops, tablets, mobiles, however would they know what I was up too? Believe me, that isn’t a rhetorical question, how would they know? As I have been a victim, or rather witness for much of a kinder word, as i’m sure so many of you have, watching face to face conversations and catch ups diminish, written letters, actual greeting cards, telephone calls all become a thing of the past. It’s horrid. Me being the other side of the world from a mass percentage of my friends shouldn’t change this. The postal services exists, as do telephones or even Skype (okay, a technical based system, but much more personal than a note on someones wall, dontcha think?), yet, I can probably count on one hand the number of friends that would be happy to opt for these retro forms of correspondence to remain in touch. It’s sad really, when you think about it. However, i’m sure once you finish reading this post on your phone, tablet, computer, you’ll skip right on over to another web site and eventually end up on FB liking someone’s video of a cat painting it’s claws, or a pigeon getting its rave on and forget everything you just glanced over even considering to change.
One thing that really stood out for me in the book was this: Chapter 5: Video Nation;
Anthropologist Robin Dunbar proposed in a 1992 article that approximately 150 is the maximum number of people that any individual was able to know and keep up with at a given time.
Funnily enough, I had performed a clear out of my FB friends just a few days before starting on this read. I managed a tear free farewell to 97 names in just one sitting. I’m still over the 250 mark, but i’m sure after reading this, people will take it in to their own hands to de-friend me pretty quickly, so I could be at Dunbar’s fact finding number pretty soon. Shame.
Yes yes yes, I know, when it comes to FB i’m all lock it up and throw away the key, but give me Instagram, and I melt like a 1980s tv presenter at a school assembly. Instagram, I dunno, to me it’s different. I’m a sucker for colour, something caught in the moment, Instagram does that, it’s pictures god damn it. FB never captures the moment. Losse explains this in the book. The world these days is spending so much time trying to capture the moment THROUGH FB, that the real moment is actually always missed.
I’ve thought for many years that we actually live in a world similar to that of The Truman Show. This book kinda made me feel like this even more.
So yes, I am on to you. YOU! I thought over watering that vase would cause the microphoned bugged stem to fizzle out, but clearly, no such luck.
Have a good day readers, try and stay off FB for just 5 minutes before de-friending me, won’t you?
I lost you on the second paragraph didn’t I… *eye roll*…