Facebook, Postmodernism, and “It Doesn’t Matter Anyway.”

jxq4.jpgA friend of mine, Brian Lee Davis, recently posted this question about facebook to his blog (click here for whole conversation at his site):

What’s the big deal about Facebook? Can somebody tell me the advantages of using it? I feel like someone from the Stone Age for not knowing much about it.


In response, I wrote this comment on his blog:


Brian, Brian, Brian,


Let me help you out here.

If you are cynically uninclined toward facebook, you probably are not enough of a postmodernist to appreciate it. Or TOO MUCH of one.

I can’t decide. If you were on the Modernist side of postmodernism, you might just not value the opportunity to

—1) determine your own value,
—2) declare constant change in your life: constant and consistently important change,
—3) display value by a set of groups with whom you have self-identified.
—4) live fully functional systems of pretend life where you “send” virtual drinks to people, “poke” people who don’t respond fast enough, and slay blood thirsty zombies.
—5) find out just how many degrees you actually are from Kevin Bacon

On the other hand,

Maybe you are SO RABIDLY postmodern (in the real primal sense of postmodern thought) that you

—A) are suspicious of a 20 year old kid who owns a BILLION (literally) dollar company having not only all your personal information, but also the record of all your whims and stupid decisions.
—B) are suspicious of any one who doesn’t know you well enough to call you on the phone just looking you up on face book to “reconnect”
—C) are suspicious of any and everyone who purports to just be expressing the freedom of their soul in icons and music and books and logos and movie quizes and likeness quizes and friend matching software… okay… suspicious of these people as not just displaying who they are, but of actually trying to INFLUENCE people. We aren’t trying to let everyone be who they are, we STILL want every one to be like us.


To find out which one of these options most fits you, take my new Facebook Application Quiz: Postmodern Reasons to Ironically Hate One of the Worlds Most Postmodern (dare we say it:) Institutions.


Don’t you know?:
(“A poem should not mean, but be.” –Ars Poetica, Archibald MacLeish)


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