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Why I joined Facebook
Maireid Sullivan
April 22, 2013

I finally took the plunge and joined Facebook last night! Ben's enjoyment of Facebook over the last six months or so has convinced me: I've seen how much he is enjoying this more efficient means of staying in touch with friends.

I've been thinking about this since I joined for just 5 minutes back in 2007, when I thought the idea of being "poked" was a little too 'adolescent' for me!

My decision is based on musing over one of my personal mottos:
"Everyone is meant to watch, most of all ourselves"
This insight came to me in an epiphany, while I was living in Dublin, after reading Irish poet John Montague's 1975 prose poetry book, A Slow Dance, and has illuminated my thinking ever since.

Look where we have come since the 70s, in terms of being more informed and more interconnected. How far we have moved in seeing ourselves as an intrinsic element of the living organism of Mother Earth.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who developed and freely released into the public domain the hypertext markup language (HTML) that created the part of the internet we all freely use today, says the way to keep the internet free from "enclosure" is to upload raw data - fill the web beyond the interests of powerful agendas.

People are worried about government and non-government intelligence organisations surveying private information. This is inevitable because it is in our nature to want to know everything we can, but that works both ways. What is important is how we relate to the idea that everyone is meant to watch, most of all ourselves.

I imagine it would be viscerally awesome even for hardened intelligence officers to see maps of clusters of rated 'attitudes' across an entire population. It would also be a lot more truthful than the current systems we have in place for exercising our freedom and our civic duty, such as the voting system where 51% are happy and 49% are not happy with an outcome, and, 99% are needlessly struggling with symptoms of economic injustice, when we could easily be celebrating our ingenuity and maintaining good health and nature. So, we can use this technology too. But first we need to know more about the economic model that is the source of all of our troubles: See my wiki-blog.

Thank you, Facebook, and I'll remain on the alert for the next technological surprises that will take us beyond our current imaginative capacity where everyone is meant to watch, most of all ourselves.

Maireid Sullivan
GlobalArtsCollective.org
Maireid.com
LyrebirdMedia.com

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