Nov. 26th, 2008

peterbirks: (Default)
No-one who is a fan of The Simpsons can forget that classic line uttered by the minor Simpsons character who fulfils a number of menial jobs thourghout the programmes' long long life. In this episode he is a waiter at a restaurant where it is New Year every 15 minutes.

"Kill me now" is his sole utterance.

Anyhoo, I've decided that Facebook is, in fact, Christmas every 15 minutes. All of those people with whom you would have no contact, except a card at Christmas with a note telling you what they have done throughout the year (and perhaps not even then), now tell you via Facebook what they are doing every 15 minutes. I now know that Geoff Brown gets up every morning (something that I could probably have induced anyway) and that he often gets a train to somewhere at an unearthly hour (which I didn't know). I know that if Simon Billenness can't sleep, he actually gets up and does some work -- which I would perhaps say displays a certain lack of imaginiation, were it not for the fact that I have been known to do the same thing myself.

Not via Facebook, but of that ilk, came e-mails from Jo Haslam, from whom I hadn't heard in yonks, from Craig Nye, with whom I had been out of touch for decades, and from Vick Hall, whom I saw at MidCon, but haven't really spoken to for a long time.

Jo's out in Kent now, with an additional child, Lucas, but still working for Pokerstars and, possibly, with a new project in line at which I think she would be very accomplished.

Craig e-mails me, but then tells me nothing more. However, by the wonders of Facebook I know that his daughter Katherine (whose middle name might or might not be Berengaria -- or maybe I'm confusing her with someone else) is also online. I'd completely forgotten that he had a daughter at about the same time that Diane had Kate. Then I remembered that, at the time, I forecast a rash of Kates/Katherines in their mid-twenties at around this forthcoming turn-of-the-decade.

Vick is working for a new company, and he did tell me what they did, but I've forgotten. I know that it's in a new field, though.

All of this is an interesting example of the law of unintended consequences. Facebook, which really exploited the desperate desire for insecure young females to have as many friends as possible, has become something perfectly suited for a generation who have lots of past circles of friends, who can now keep in touch for very little effort. For people like us, it's a Friends Reunited that works.


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