Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thing 20 - About Face

Famous last words, "never say never". I now have a facebook presence, and really my world doesn't feel much different. I did the basics such as creating a profile, posting on the wall, and joining three groups, one called "banned books" that looks interesting. I liked the common craft video, which has been the case with all of their videos that I've viewed.
I tried to set up a friends link to the 23 Things using my email, but I get the message "unsupported email", which I think must mean that my internet provider for some reason doesn't allow me access to facebook. Seems weird to me, but I'm not invested in actually pursuing any more with this so will let it go.
I don't know what to say that hasn't been said countless times already about the virtues vs. the problems with these sites. I lean heavily toward thinking that there's something wrong with all of this. I was just reading an essay this morning which talks about private vs. public space. A statement was made that all of this online social networking is so individualistic and fabricated in the sense that a virtual "relationship" can be aborted immediately if a person is dissatisfied and lacks the real world messiness of human to human contact.
I think we all deal with levels of loneliness in various ways, and I can't help but feel sadness when I think about how much we are all just trying to look for and express love, and how we all fumble, fail, and occasionally get it right.
Now for an about face. I do think we library people need to meet people where they're at, though I don't think we need to dumb down or let go of our ideals. Especially with kids, facebook and myspace are very much their world, so I think it's important for a library to have an interesting online presence and to show youth that they really matter to us. The Hennepin and Denver myspace sites seem teen friendly, though I have no idea if they are actively used. I know it takes staff time and creativity to not only make a cool site but keep it current, which is a constant challenge for all of us.

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