Down the pub every night. With all of the friends you ever knew no matter where they live. This is real in 2009. So did google or apple come up with a new teleportation service? No of course not! I am talking about facebook.
Facebook seems to have taken over the role of the pub. Also, I have started to witness more and more that people talk about their recent facebook adventures in a similar manner to how small talk used to rotate (at least in pre-having-kids years) to your latest nights out at some club or pub.
“Hey I connected with …” similar to “you will never guess who was down the pub last night…”
“I loved the comment you made on …” similar to “love your shoes”
“Did you see the ridiculous comment …made about …” similar to “did u see the shoes she was wearing”
As this whole phenomena is based around communication it is to be expected that women SEEM to be more at it then men.So it is a pretty unique pub (and one that I was always trying to find) as its the only one where women outnumber men. Kind of like a permanent online hen-night (*). Without the ridiculously (usually) tacky clothes.
The whole concept also fits neatly with the EU laws on smoking – or at least the Austrian version of it – with the pub having seperate areas for smokers and non-smokers – i.e. those who want to smoke can do so in the comfort of their own homes without disturbing the non-smokers. And it’s always happy-hour at your own fridge. So it’s not a bad pub.
The games available also seem to be more varied than the darts board, pool table and slot machine.
But there is a downside – not necessarily for the sponge down the pub … but for the others physically local to one of the facebook sponges attending the online nightly hen-nights.
What chance do personal communications at home have when the alternative is what is like a WHOLE room full of friends all talking at the same time about totally different topics, i.e. all of your facebook sponge friends. i.e. try to have a conversation in your own living room with (mostly) the female parts of the family all tied up in some chat/wall-ing/game/… activity on fb.
I suspect a whole generation of kids will grow up being neglected not due to their parents having nights out at the pub but nights in tied to the computer.
So will there soon be facebook self help groups?
“Hi I’m Alan and I am a facebook addict…”
But its not all bad. There are things you find out about friends that you would not have found out otherwise – not even if you got ridiculously drunk. Like which of the seven dwarfs you are most like.
And there is no hangover the next morning.
Note: this is the first in a new series I am doing with a photographer friend of mine from Jakarta, Athalia, to show how globalisation can have some positive sides when done bottom-up instead of top-down. Over the next few weeks I will use her fotos to try and inspire the flavour of my blog.
(*) for non-english native speakers: a hen night is the female equivalent of a stag night, i.e. the last wild night out with mates of the same sex before getting married. It seems to have been successfully exported from England over the last 15 years to at least mainland Europe, in much the same manner as our other great export, football hooliganism. For a man out on the town without his better-half, a hen night which has-not-pulled can be potentially as frightening as bumping into an unsuccessful stag night resorting to the last option for a “fun night out”, i.e. up-for-a-fight.