Facebook Faces

Social Media is all the rage these days. Everywhere you look, you are apt to run into an invitation to connect with your past, present and sometimes future (ie: Match dot com).

As an avid newspaper reader (USA Today mostly) I often find myself amused by the articles about Facebook, Twitter, My Space, Linkedin, etc. that speculate on their respective influences, both good and bad, for our modern lives.

I will have to admit, I am often one of the first to investigate new trends that involve the internet. I remember the days of AOL and dial-up connections at a speedy (I jest) 300 BPS. It took hours to send a small file to a printer and the cost of the next generation modem was astronomical.

Yet I digress!

Today’s high speed DSL connections have opened us up to a new world of technology. We now buy online, download music, movies and TV and use to Internet to keep in touch through e-mail, IM and social media sites and blogging.

If you are like me, you have more friends than the people you actually really know and relate to on a daily or weekly basis. I have often found myself clicking through pages of photos of people I barely know, just to pass the time away (don’t cha hear the whistle blowing).

If it wasn’t for the fact that most of our “friends” want us to look at their lives, we’d be classified as voyeurs.

Having said that, let me say this: it is fascinating to see how some of our friends have changed over the years. Some people I once knew 30 years ago, don’t look anything like they did way back then. There may be a vestige left of the person we remember physically, but often the change in appearance is rather drastic. Sometimes, the person looks almost like they did, only older—almost like those CSI computer aging programs we have have seen on TV. Add a few wrinkles, white hair and a little weight and Wah Lah, we have a match.

In thinking about all this, I remembered a piece about faces written by Rainer Maria Rilke that I have always thought to be brilliant. So I did a Google search and found it all typed out for me and now I share it with you.

Enjoy your ride today.

Have I said it before? I am learning to see. Yes, I am beginning. It’s still going badly. But I intend to make the most of my time.
For example, it never occurred to me before how many faces there are. There are multitudes of people, but there are so many more faces, because each person has several of them. There are people who wear the same face for years; naturally it wears out, gets dirty, splits at the seams, stretches like gloves worn during a long journey. They are thrifty, uncomplicated people; they never change it, never even have it cleaned. It’s good enough, they say, and who can convince them of the contrary? Of course, since they have several faces, you might wonder what they do with the other ones. They keep them in storage. Their children wear them. But sometimes it also happens that their dogs go out wearing them. And why not? A face is a face.
   Other people change faces incredibly fast, put on one after another, and wear them out. At first, they think they have an unlimited supply; but when they are barely forty years old they come to their last one. There is, to be sure, something tragic about this. They are not accustomed to taking care of faces; their last one is worn through in a week, has holes in it, is in many places as thin as paper, and then, little by little, the lining shows through, the non-face, and they walk around with that on.
   But the woman, the woman: she had completely fallen into herself, forward into her hands. It was on the corner of rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs. I began to walk quietly as soon as I saw her. When poor people are thinking, they shouldn’t be disturbed. Perhaps their idea will still occur to them.
   The street was too empty; its emptiness had gotten bored and pulled my steps out from under my feet and clattered around in them, all over the street, as if they were wooden clogs. The woman sat up, frightened, she pulled out of herself, too quickly, to violently, so that her face was left in her two hands. I could see it lying there: its hollow form. It cost me an indescribable effort to stay with those two hands, not to look at what had been torn out of them. I shuddered to see a face from the inside, but I was much more afraid of that bare flayed head waiting there, faceless.

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2 Responses to Facebook Faces

  1. Carey says:

    scared me too, faceless is antithesis to facebook.

  2. ded says:

    Always liked Rilke, too.

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