"So, there will be this thing called 'the internet,' which is sort of like talking on the phone and sort of like channel-surfing and sort of like typing all at once. And it will be pretty damn cool, but will also have the tendency to fragment real life and take your mind off your terrestrial existence."
(This is me going back in time, in the style of Bill and Ted, Marty McFly, or Scott Bakula and giving my 1991, high school Junior-self a little bit of a heads-up about the future.)
"And so anyway, it will be cool for a while - you'll be able look up anything! The world will be at your fingertips! Information will be free in almost every sense of the word...but then, naturally, market forces will intrude, turning most of what's cool about the internet into a Festival of Lameness. From that lameness, many mind-numbing things will emerge, including something called Facebook."
"Face-book? What's that?"
"Facebook, young Jonathan, will be an insidious way to stay superficially in touch with a few friends and a whole lot more obscure people so that advertisers can utilize personal data to better reach their target demographics...does that sound awesome or what?"
"No, it sounds like the wackness. Assuming I psychologically survive high school, I can guaran-damn-tee you I won't be 'bookfacing' or whatever when I'm thirty-five. It sounds like a future re-enactment of the social stratification I witness every day in the lunchroom."
"It is. And that's why people will scramble for this thing called Facebook. It's hard to explain...but in the future, it's what passes for fun. And strangely, it's also what will pass for communication."
"If I wasn't so self-absorbed, your vision of the future would terrify me. Please tell me that I don't fall for this Facebooking crap."
"Oh man - you'll fall for it all right. But that's why I'm telling you this now. You see you must stop the machine..."
Et cetera. Et cetera. Et cetera. And so, I decided earlier today to, in 48 hours, pull the plug on my Facebook account and to stay in touch with those I love & like the old-fashioned way. That's right: E-mail, instant messaging, and Skyping. Woo-hoo! I'm practically Amish now!