One of the many problems with FB

One of the problems with Facebook and that family of website, perhaps even with the consumer internet itself, is that much of it is not actively interesting, it's just barely not boring.

When I'm at work, but not particularly busy, or when I'm sitting at a coffee shop putting off doing any sizable bit of writing, I keep flipping back to Facebook, to Google News or to Cracked.com, not because I'm at all interested in what's going on there but because I can't think of anything better to do. I could simply check FB once at the end of the day and see all of the messages, all of the comments, all of the tags that were sent to me and be no more the worse for it. Unless some truly major event occurs in the middle of the day, I've heard all the news I need on NPR while driving to the office. And, Cracked, I don't ever really need to read that, do I?

Checking these sites, and others, I'm never invested in the article, in the tweet or the status. It's just something to do for thirty seconds until I need to find something else to do for thirty seconds. Like a crack addict can pass days and waste thousands of dollars with a chain of ten dollar, ten minute hits, so can we flush away whole afternoons waiting for that little red flag to pop up on our main page.

Once upon the days before ubiquitous internet access, one went looking for an activity on the presumption that one could invest an hour, two hours or even an entire day in that activity. Now, we just need something to tide us over until the server refreshes. This is a bad thing. It causes us to lose focus and it keeps us from contemplation, innovation and self-discovery.

And I can't really think of anything else to say on the subject, so I guess I just proved my own point.

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