Ambient Intimacy

Rikke and I were heading for the subway in The Village, when we passed by two guys. The bespectacled one was asking his friend what he’d been up to before they met. Without hesitation, the other guy answered: “I was home, facebooking”.

Strangely enough, I too have been drawn into Facebooking, despite my preference against walled gardens. Hell, even Rikke is Facebooking!

It’s the phrase I’ve been wanting to spout at all of those internet-lethargic friends I have, but couldn’t conjure up on my own. Ambient Intimacy, (via Jeremy).

It’s an interesting development, and I’m sure it’s already been dissected to death in blogs across the globe. Yet it still tickles me how, much like The Sims, Facebook managed to tap into something so powerful, yet so absolutely misunderstood. I still don’t quite understand why anyone would want to play The Sims, but really, how can you argue with those kinds of sales?

What I do on the other hand understand, is ambient intimacy. I’m not the most social cat in town, and I downright suck at keeping contact with even the best of friends when life conspires against us spending ‘real’ time together. Sure, I have this blog, and people can read what I have to say about the things I deem ‘important’ enough to actually type up. And yeah, some of us have ‘secret’ blogs where we can write the same kind of ‘important’ things, only to a closed audience.

But the level of commitment needed to engage in that conversation is considerably higher than simply letting the world know how my MacBook Pro got doused with water yesterday evening. Or how it worked perfectly come morning (thanks Apple!). Hardly mission critical information, but relationships worth keeping usually survive on the details, not the broad strokes.

Facebook is about the two of us spending time together, without having to expend the effort to do so.

And considering the amount of people I know, whom I meet maybe once every other year, often less, you’d think Facebook (or Twitter, and last.fm, and flickr and so on) would be adopted faster than the you can take the ‘Guess a movie by its DVD cover’ quiz (47secs. 100%. Pwnage).

Contrary to what you might think, I also wonder whether Canada is run by Optimus Prime, and yeah, I do want to know which artists you’ve listened to the most over the last week. Similarly, you might want to know how our trip to New York was, without me specifically ringing your doorbell and spreading my celluloids across your dining room table.

Sure enough, some people simply aren’t geared towards trickling communication forms like Twitter, and as such I can do little else but lament the fact that the people I want to share my ambient intimacy with the most, are the tardiest in adopting these tools.