Inside the Wall, Inside the Funhouse

Facebook Means You Never Have to Be Alone#reverb10 Day 7

Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Thanks, Cali Harris).

You know what is funny? The Muppets covering Queen.

You know what else is funny? Crossword puzzles.

Here’s something else: transvestite tips from Paul.

These may seem random, but they are all bites of joy from my Facebook Wall.

I have friends there, too. of course. They are the purveyors of some of the best content I see daily. Some  are so witty I can hardly believe it. Facebook condenses their brilliance, talent and their humanity into a thick and addictive stew.

The Tweet-Leap

So 2010 was the year I deepened my relationship with others through the hallowed veins of Facebook. I enjoy it a lot.

But my good friend and executive expert Robyn Greenspan whispered to me sometime last spring that —OOPS! — I had it all wrong. Facebook was OK for Farmville and posting pics to friends and such, but all the cool kids had already started a more enduring relationship with you-know-tweet.

Robyn chirped up about this during one of my Facebook rants about being clueless about Twitter. I didn’t understand why people loved Twitter SO much. A hashtag was mincemeat to me. I wasn’t a complete Twitter Luddite; I had an account and occasional twirped (once a week???), but I didn’t see the point.

Her announcement devastated me. Even though she reassured me that Facebook wasn’t dead, it only meant that I had to keep on pushing my learning envelope. How could I be so wrong? And what was so bad with Muppets and crossword and Farmville and transvestites?

Organized Noise

I used to really love that “Hooked on Classics” album when I was young… Remember that? It was “The Flight of the Bumblebee” and other beautiful classical music, with a synthesized back beat. It seemed to so cool, so right, so amazingly up-to-date. When I was 11.

I heard it again, recently, and cringed. Let’s all get down to “Trumpet Voluntary”? Hmmm, maybe not.

Once the method to Twitter revealed itself to me (Thanks TweetDeck!), I started to see Facebook more like “Hooked on Classics.” It had its time and value, but that backbeat was not ever going to reinvent the perfect classic.

Before we misunderstand each other, I’m not saying Twitter is the perfect classic… actually I am saying that FRIENDSHIP and connecting with people is the baseline. All these tools we use are just one  way or another to put ourselves in the path of opportunity, experience, and ultimately, love.

So, I believe they both have their place. Twitter’s viral hashtag invention is excellent at pulling off something that creates “community” — like #reverb10 . Better than the linear commenting and sharing system on Facebook.

Facebook’s appeal is keeping me tight with those I am already tight with; letting me hold them up to the light like a prism, whenever they offer themselves. It also let’s me spill my guts more freely than I can in person and in a more private way (just friends, please!).

And then shake it off with a bit of idiotic Youtube-ed-ness.

One thing I do love about Twitter is the here and gone-ish-ness of it. To me, it is a massive carnival fun house: around every corner are more and more giggling strangers in funny hats holding snow cones. They are all peering at themselves in bent and twisted mirrors and saying: “Haha! Look at me! Come here! Look at us!”

Sometimes you connect and other times you just move on. That’s a party and I want to be there.

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Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 

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  8 comments for “Inside the Wall, Inside the Funhouse

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Inside the Wall, Inside the Funhouse | Letters from a Small State -- Topsy.com
  2. December 7, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I joined Twitter this year too, and I have to agree. It takes some getting used to, but once you learn how to use it, you never know who’s waiting around the corner with a witty comment or interesting link.

  3. December 7, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I love that you called FaceBook a “thick addictive stew.” Fantastic visual and an apt metaphor.

  4. December 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    “organized noise.” “a massive carnival fun-house.” i love the way you sling words together, sugar. and you’re right: the twitter hashtag does a pretty amazing job of creating community. i’m so glad you’re here in the #reverb10 community. i’m gonna’ look for you on facebook, too. (over there i’m jeanne hewell-chambers or InJeanneious.)

  5. December 7, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    yes, i have met amazing people. i actually went in reverse, twitter first, then joined facebook, twitter is more fun, more “live” and slightly more anonymous somehow. but the fsct that we have these tools to help us create communities that just a few years ago would have been unlikely if not impossible, continues to amaze me.

  6. Christie - The ChatterBox
    December 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    OMG! You mentioned “Hooked on Classics” and I about passed out! Nice to know I’m not the only old person in the blogosphere! Wait…not old… well seasoned…yeah that’s it! I share the same sentiments on this community as well. Thank you for your comment on my chicken post for Day 6. I accidentally deleted it while trying to publish it but I did copy your comment from my email and added it in the thread 🙂 Look forward to more reverberations!

  7. December 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Thank you for indelibly linking “executive expert Robyn Greenspan” and transvestite. May the coupling appear in a highly ranked Google search for all future employers to find.

    I honestly don’t remember imparting that bit of social media wisdom to you but it was clearly brilliant. See ya in the 140 as us cool kids say.

    • December 9, 2010 at 7:33 am

      You are clearly brilliant, and you really scared me, which is a good thing. And you are in no way a transvestite or expert in tranvestitism, for the record. As far as I know.

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