Joe Moon on Facebook’s New Timeline Feature

September 27, 2011

...what I find jarring about this formulation is the same thing that bothers me about the alarming trend of weddings in which the photographers and videographers have free reign, even during the ceremony, in order to get the best, most cinematic record of the event, at the expense of the event itself and everyone participating. It’s a conflation of the record of the event with the event itself, or even a privileging of the record over what gives the record its meaning and power. At the same time it ingeniously adds to the pressure to record all meaningful events on Facebook in order to make sure it becomes part of your identity.

I've been thinking along these lines myself lately.

Yes, indeed, you can’t witness an event without affecting it, and sometimes reporters don’t do a great job of being “invisible.” It’s also unavoidable that some people will care more about looking like they’re having fun than about having fun. Certainly the knowledge that we’re being watched and that how we look and act is being scrutinized affects us. But all that has nothing to do with Facebook as such, but rather with how technology changes society.

The invention of cars and sanitation allowed us to grow our cities to enormous proportions which also affected the way we act, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Ford and Bayer in particular are the reason people don’t socialize with their neighbours as much as they used to.

He’s also saying that Facebook forces us to post stuff to it by being awesome to the point of being indispensable. To a point I agree with him on that.

Pies [+11]
Sep 28 11 at 2:35 am

We actually selected one photo for our wedding album specifically because it recorded the stony glare I was giving the photographer as he made an utter nuisance of himself as we attempted to cut the cake.

He actually wanted us to *pose* with the knife edge on the cake. Stand there and make happy faces.

The quote you presented above does a great job of defining the wide gap between my expectations and the photographer’s at that moment.

That’s just it, Pies. Facebook is making an utter nuisance out of itself by figuratively worming its way into our relationships with those we care about.

Robert Bigelow [+49]
Oct 1 11 at 1:43 pm


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