My god... has it really been a year (quite literally) since I posted here? This blog has been in a long hibernation!
In anticipation of the release of my second book, 'In Memory of Real Trees', I've been doing a bit of networking, and doing my best to start utilising the many resources out there. One which I have been particularly reluctant to actively use is Facebook, and I'd like to share my reasons why.
The idea having an active account on the site makes me pretty uncomfortable. There have been an increasing number of frightening stories surrounding its invasive nature in the news: not just the oft-cited fact that the CIA are one f the company's investors, but actual evidence of people being watched. I'm not going to reiterate the cliche that we have become a Big Brother state, to which Facebook heavily contributes (there's a trashy but enjoyable Ben Elton novel called 'Blind Faith' which already drives that point home well), but there's no doubt that Facebook could be used as a frightening exploitation of personal privacy in the wrong hands.
As a bit of a conspiracy theorist as a kid, I used to wonder whether the government had archives of personal information on each of us hidden away. They no longer need to: it's there for the taking. I can see the other side of the argument in this debate would bring up issues of Freedom of Speech, but I fall quite firmly in the camp which believes that our society is becoming a self-monitoring one; that a sophisticated CCTV-like system has been subtly interwoven into the fabric of our lives.
With all this in mind, I bow down to any accusations of hypocrisy that come with me using the site to network, catch up with old friends and promote my new book. The simple truth is that the Facebook phenomenon has become so ingratiated into our culture that it is difficult to do any of those things without utilising it. Therefore, I find myself, once again, sleeping with the enemy.