Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm In Ur Facebookz

Appearing in ur newsfeedz! I have been conflicted about using my status to announce new blog posts, although you probably came here from Facebook, so must realize that at the moment I am announcing them. In fact, I plan on continuing to do so for the foreseeable future, and here is my thoughts on the quandary.

The two big reasons that I am hesitant to spam Facebook about my little ol' blog are that it seems arrogant and impolite. Arrogant because it seems like I am announcing how worthwhile my blog is, when in fact I am quite unsure that it is worthwhile. Impolite because it feels like I am barging into your newsfeed unasked, invading your space in order to promote my own agenda, which seems to be cutting too close to violating Kant's categorical imperative, that we ought always treat others as beings with their own complex desires and needs, rather than only as a conduit through which we might achieve a desired goal. Furthermore, it seems slightly high-handed to assume that you want regular updates on my blog posts, when there exist some easy tools to receive exactly these updates, such as RSS feeds and E-mail, which don't involve me cluttering your Facebook.

Of course, one might argue that there is the mitigating fact that I am posting to my Facebook, which is an area of the web that I nominally control, and might be considered mine to do with as I will. I believe this is an oversimplification as, although my statuses are just that, my own, due to the system that Facebook uses, they routinely travel out to appear in your newsfeeds, a place that I would consider either yours, or at least public commons. An analogous situation might be a CD player that I own, although it is my personal possession, allowing me some freedom in what it plays, since the sound may travel out to the public, or even into the personal space of others, I have an obvious responsibility to consider their needs when making musical selections.

Since I posted on Facebook, you might imagine that there are better reasons for it than a mistaken belief that my Facebook page is part of my own petty, little kingdom. The biggest argument in favor is how glad I am to see my sister's statuses, informing me of her new posts. These help me realize that I am imagining that others view my actions much differently than I view similar actions when they are taken by others. In truth, I am always excited to read her new thoughts, and welcome the Facebook update, despite the fact that she is also in my RSS feed (located two the right under the title Inside Out); sometimes I miss seeing updates there, and another reminder is welcome. Indeed, not everyone knows how to set up an RSS... thingy (I only know, barely, because Blogger will do it for me). Finally, I do think that this blog is worthwhile, otherwise I would hardly put my time into it. Perhaps my thoughts or stylings are not terribly inspirational, but it serves as a location for me to engage in the exchange of ideas with friends new and old, and certainly that is worth something.

So, here are some things that you can expect (hope for...) to see from my blog. Updates about posts on Facebook, at least until I feel self-conscious and stop again. More frequent updates, although maybe not on a regulated schedule. As you may know, I am taking a philosophy course this semester, to save my sanity, and I think it would be nice to share thoughts that it inspires. On a related note, I am making a conscious effort to keep my terminology more widely accessible. My sister noted that sometimes my thought process is hard to follow as I assume the reader has the knowledge of someone who has studied a significant amount of philosophy. Since I want all to participate, and I think everyone will get more out of the posts if they feel more like a friendly discussion, rather than a lecture from a pompous "expert," this must change. Finally, if you would like to know when I update, through a method such as RSS or E-mail, let me know somehow and I will try to figure out how to make that work for you.

One last change that I am considering making but nowhere near to implementing is making this a collaborative blog with other authors. As I mentioned, I think that intellectual engagement is best achieved when ideas are developed collaboratively, rather than combatatively (as is often the mode of academics) or unilaterally (coming up with ideas on your own, or imprinting your ideas on a passive audience in the manner of a heavy handed lecture, something of which I am occasionally guilty). I have no idea with whom I would collaborate, nor the specifics of such a partnership, but if you have an interest feel free to let me know somehow.

1 comment:

elfarmy17 said...

Considering that my total exposure to philosophy as it is taught (as opposed to as it is experienced) is reading Philosophy For Dummies, I am in favor of explaining the terminology. :)
I enjoyed reading your deliberations on the personal space vs. not so of Facebook. But there is a "Hide" button-- like ear plugs with a CD player, to use your comparison.