If you are on Facebook, and you probably are, then you know all about the Status Update. It’s where people like myself spend far too much time sending messages for all Facebook friends to see, letting them know what you’re up to. Or, in some cases, it’s an opportunity to share emotions or feelings through haiku-like brevity or pop culture references. Yes, I am a chronic Facebook updater, it’s true. But, like this blog, it’s all part of a cycle with the readers. As soon as you think someone isn’t paying attention to this sort of ego-driven cyber sharing… someone in your circle asks “hey, where are you? why haven’t you updated your blog/Facebook in a while?”
Or, there’s that minor incident when a friend teased me about my chronic updating, so I wrote a false update about that friend’s personal life. Sure enough, it caused a little stir with our mutual pals, something I did to illustrate: I update because people read it. Rather than say, “I blog/Twitter/update, therefore I am” I would suggest “I am, therefore I blog/Twitter/update.” Personally, I read Facebook updates when I’m passing the time, it’s a good way to keep tabs on what friends and strangers are doing or at least a sense of what they are feeling.
Virginia Heffernan muses about the “subtle art of the Facebook update” for The New York Times. As she concludes, sometimes it’s poetry and sometimes it’s personal. Either way, it’s opened a Pandora’s Box of information sharing between friends.