BrokenJPG

A Copywriter’s Blog

Nothing would make me happier than if Facebook suddenly became the new MySpace. But with over 750 million users, even that best case scenario won’t happen until my children’s children have dropped social networks altogether in favor of Direct-Emotional-Psychic-Feedback-9000 implants.

So here’s what I think will happen before then.

My bet is that Facebook will remain the social network of high-school and college students the world over. Because, if you think about it, Facebook is tailor-made for self-absorbed narcissists.

In Facebook, everything you do is public. Every update is basically you standing on top of a building with a bullhorn, shouting out whatever crosses your mind to everyone you’ve ever met. Even the act of you posting on someone else’s wall is just you saying “I’m talking to this person, but I’m doing it really loudly so you can all hear what I’m saying and comment on it if you want”.

Which is why I think that Google+ will become the new standard for post-college people. With Circles each post is like you walking into a room, seeing who’s there, and going “Here’s something I think you guys might like.” Which is the sort of functionality that could be useful to someone who has to keep their “work friends” separate from their “sorry-I-puked-on-your-cat-last-weekend friends”.

Or, in other words, this.

Google+ ProTip:
People keep asking me why there’s no way to message someone directly on Google+. There is. It’s called email. I know. That blew my mind too.

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Let’s Talk, Facebook. Ben Levy 15, November

Hi Facebook, thanks for coming. Have a seat. Want anything to drink? No? Ok, I’ll get right to it.

What happened to you, man? You used to be cool. I remember when we were in college, before you got all famous and forgot who you were. Even after you made it big, you still helped me remember the names of the people we met the day before. Hell, you gave everyone a reason to take pictures for the first time since the slide projector, I think we all love you for that.

And you’re not like MySpace. You keep it classy. And I still respect you for that, Facebook, I really do. But ever since Twitter, it’s gone downhill.

Huh? No this isn’t just about the Moms. No one blames you for that. Of course you couldn’t keep the moms off you, not since that Oprah feature. But that’s fine. The moms I can ignore. It was a problem we all joked about good-naturedly, y’know? Like the one drunk Uncle who always passes out at Thanksgiving. Sure it’s embarrassing, but you just shrug and move on.

Picture 8

If it’s one thing, it’s your feed. I mean, when you made it real-time, it was just so obvious. All of a sudden everyone was on Twiter, and you freaked out and tried to be just like it. Twitter had no galleries. No friend suggestions. 140 freakin’ characters. What were you so scared of? Oh you were scared you giant social media pussy, don’t deny it. If you weren’t you would have just stayed the same way you’ve always been instead of trying to fit in with the new crowd.

You’ve been making some bad decisions, Facebook, and I can’t just sit by and watch you do it anymore. At this point, I’m willing to risk our relationship by being honest with you like this. What? Society? Society? Don’t talk to me about society, Facebook, you’re a freaking social media site. We made you, you don’t get to cry about us. Nobody is making you do this shit man. Hell, you pushed that shitty “box” layout on all of us.

Look, you want to know why people love Twitter, Facebook? It’s because- let me finish- it’s because Twitter listens. They hear people like something, like hashtags, and they implement it into their API. They don’t just spring some shitty “boxes” layout update on people, and make half their existing apps obsolete. I don’t want to hear it man, nobody liked that shit. And what the hell is THIS:

Picture 4

Now you’re trying to tell me who I should poke? That’s just twisted man. I work with that guy. Why the hell would you even say that to me? I don’t care how you meant it… oh now you just sound like my mother: “You haven’t talked to Johnny in a while. I always liked Johnny. You two should hang out.” Yes it is the same thing, you arrogant-

Don’t tell me to go jump on MySpace if I don’t like it, I’m trying to help you here. Everyone’s saying it and you’re-

Oh nice. So it’s like that, huh? Yeah? Well why don’t YOU talk to my mother, what do you think of that? Why don’t you tell her who she hasn’t connected with in a while? And while you’re at it, why don’t you take a picture of THIS and post that to your “Live Feed”. Better post it to the “News Feed” too, cause no one knows what the fucking difference is between the two of them.

Small-Screen Famous Ben Levy 25, May

“You know that guy”
“I assure you, I do not.”
“Yes you do, you went to high school with him or something.”

The guy in question was wearing a suit and standing nearby at a wedding The Wife and I were attending. The Wife knew the Bride and all the bridesmaids, but she didn’t know this guy. She swore I knew him, because she recognized him. This is the sort of circuitous logic that baffles single men. Married men everywhere are just nodding in sympathy.

As fate would have it, the gentleman in question wound up sitting at the same table as us during the reception. He introduced himself as “Adam”.

“See?” I told The Wife, “I told you I didn’t know him.”
She pushed me aside and asked “Do you know [the Bride] or [the Groom]?”
“Oh [the Bride]” he declared “I’m dating one of the bridesmaids.”
“Oh!” cried The Wife, with sudden understanding “I recognized you from her Facebook pictures.”

Then, a half second later she added, “I’m not a stalker, I swear.”

And that’s how The Wife became re-acquainted with the man she’d never met.

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I consider us “blog buddies” Ben Levy 23, February

Today I spoke to a friend whose voice I haven’t heard for 3 years. It’s not because we lost touch, never met, or they had their tongue removed for selling state secrets (yet).

It’s because since the last time I saw this person, our entire relationship has been based upon email and IM.

It’s bizarre. I consider them a pretty close friend. We talk several times a week. We’re constantly threatening to go into business together on creative side-projects which neither of us have the time for. It’s just, y’know, they’re an IM friend. The same way I have facebook friends and phone friends.

It makes perfect sense that two people will naturally gravitate towards the communication that best suits their relationship. For example, this person and I never have anything particularly important to say to each other, and our conversations are chiefly horrible contests where we see which of us can “cross the line” first. These days said line is somewhere past the horizon. It can take weeks before it’s crossed by either party. It’s the sort of thing that requires more immediacy than txt or email, while still benefiting from the IM pause that gives you more time to think between statements than a phone call. Hence, instant messaging friend.

My point is that technology is wonderful and weird. I was really looking forward to the day when we could finally meet face to face. My plan was to put on a shocked expression and say “What? YOU’RE [name]? Holy shit, I’ve been talking to the wrong person for three years!”. I’m a decent actor, I bet I could pull it off.

But they read my blog. So, hey, there goes that joke.

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