1 : to cast off : discard
2 : to relinquish (as sovereign power) formally
3 : to renounce a throne, high office, dignity, or function
Today I want to talk about Facebook. Some months ago I quit Facebook because the experience began to feel like attending my own funeral—a hearty selection from everyone I have known, a series of pasts in my present. I didn't like the idea of mixing everyone and everything together. I like to compartmentalize. I like to shut doors. I like to move on. There seemed to be something incredibly unnatural about reconnecting with people from my past. Let sleeping dogs lie, I suppose.
A couple months ago I was doing some research for an article I was writing, and I found that one of my sources could only be reached through Facebook. A dilemma. In order to contact this person, I needed a Facebook account. I actually considered going through a friend, but how childish would it have been to begin a message having to explain I'm using a friend's account because I don't have my own account because I find it to be antagonistic to the natural progression of the social psyche. So, I started a new account under the name "Copper Archives," after my ancient email address only used with old friends and family, simply for the purpose of being able to contact those otherwise unreachable. Four or five welcomed friends discovered me, and I begged them to keep my secret. I logged in once about every two weeks, and logged right back out. Never posted anything on a wall or, forbid, plastered a picture of my face on the home page.
This morning I read a interview on Salon.com with David Kirkpatrick, author of "The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That is Connecting the World," which details Facebook's beginnings and development as an international cultural phenomenon. I was immediately attracted to the subject matter—I find myself to be perversely interested in articles about Facebook because of our (mine and Facebook's) rather tumultuous relationship.
At one point in the interview, writer Emma Silvers asks Kirkpatrick if he thinks Facebook is a force of good. Here is his answer:
On balance, I have to say my view of Facebook is as a positive force in modern life. I think it's a new form of communication, of exchanging information, and that leads to good stuff. It certainly has allowed people to organize politically more efficiently, and I think over time Facebook and other similar tools will change the nature of politics and democracy.