MCN Blogs
Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

Is Google Plus Really Doubleplusgood?

My social life is getting too complicated. Or perhaps it’s more correct to say, my online social life has too many channels, and I don’t want to spend half or more of what remains of my existence in this lifetime shuttling back and forth between Facebook and Twitter and Google Plus and whatever idea some other tech brain comes up with next to take up more of my time and make him/her super-rich. (I already jettisoned MySpace long ago. Sorry MySpace, it was good while it lasted.)

So all of a sudden in the last couple days I’ve been flooded with inbox announcements letting me know that this or that person is now “following” me on Google Plus. And do I want to add them to my Circles? Er, sure, I guess, but first I have to figure out what Circles are and how they work, and where the hell do I go to keep track of what everyone’s doing — what if someone eats a doughnut or gets a haircut or has a thought and I’m NOT in the know?! — and where do I put that guy who thinks he’s my BFF but really I have to read his nametag at Toronto and Sundance every year to remember who he is? No, I’m not talking about you. Of course not.

I jest a bit on that … most folks in this industry, myself included, would be totally screwed at fests were it not for those ubiquitous badges emblazoned with our identity, reduced to coming up with all sorts of contrived ways to not admit we don’t always have the best memory for names and faces, right? Please say that’s not just me.

All of which is by way of saying: I’m willing to give Google Plus a try, but in the end I’d like it to be Google Plus OR Facebook, not both, and Twitter may eventually have to go hang out with MySpace in the ex-friends corner, because I do not have enough time in a day to keep up with all of you in all these various online places.

And yet, that insidious voice of peer pressure whispers in my ear, “But Kim, if everyone else is on Google Plus, what might you miss?” What, indeed? I don’t know, and therein lies the rub that sucks us all in to the Next Big Thing. They count on it. They’re always doing that, aren’t they? And the more They convince us that our lives are online, the less we actually get together with people in person, and the more awkward and weird it is when we finally do meet. I know people who have had entire relationships — beginning to breakup — online, without ever meeting in person, touching, having sex, or interacting IRL (that’s “in real life” for all you oldsters not hip to the terminology these kids today use … you know, what we used to just call “life”).

In truth, I do have many friends who are mostly “online” friends. I use Facebook as a tool to keep up with far-flung work colleagues, which allows me to work in this industry from Seattle and keep up with people in NY and LA. It’s a good tool for that, it works for me. It’s not broken, and I’m not convinced yet that I need to replace it with a new one.

Besides which, it’s starting to feel like part of the point of all this technology, is to depersonalize everything to the extent that we don’t have to actually interact with anyone in person. Or at least, isn’t that the inevitable end result, even if unintentional, of where we’re heading? A world where people can dive-bomb-angry-bird-attack strangers in blog post comments and Twitter wars, where you’re free to be as hateful and inhumane — and inhuman — as you want to be, because there are zero consequences in the online world for being an asshole?

Maybe I’m just getting too old and too crabby to keep up with all the technology that seems to be necessary to be one of the cool kids, a member of the Inner Party, so to speak. I still use an iPhone 3 (I know, I know … at least I finally upgraded from a flip phone!) and probably won’t update to an iPhone 4 until the fifth generation comes out this fall and the prices on the 4 drop significantly. I guess I will forever be a step behind the curve when it comes to those things.

Or maybe I just need to be sent to technological joycamp, where I can learn to surrender my oldthink ideas and accept the march of technology. I’ll get right on that, right after I organize a local chapter of the Junior Anti-Sex League. Because we wouldn’t want the youth to get any subversive ideas of ownlife, would we? That would be doubleplusungood.

In the meantime, just in case, I guess I better practice my blackwhite doublethink: Google Plus is the place for all online social interaction. There has always been Google Plus, and there always will be Google Plus, and there has never been anything else. World without Orwell, amen.

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~ László Krasznahorkai

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One of the great movies. Charles Bronson, great, Charles Bronson. Great movies. Today you can’t make that movie because it’s not politically correct, right? It’s not politically correct. But could you imagine with Trump? Somebody says, oh, all these big monsters aren’t around he’s easy pickings and then shoot.”
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