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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

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I saw that on Facebook!
I saw that on Facebook!

Hearing vs. seeing...on Facebook

No one ever "hears" about anything anymore. No one seems to say, "I heard about that." Now it’s, "I saw that." And odds are - they viewed it on Facebook.

Are we desecrating our sense of hearing with endless postings about every detail of our lives on social media? Will auditory dissemination and recollection of personal stories, events and news simply disappear soon? Will telling a friend (in real life) about a happening just be a boring redundancy if you’ve already posted it? Will there be any need for a "catch up" lunch or cocktail if there is nothing new to relate? Is social media creating a sonic comprehension collapse?

Further, if something is not posted on Facebook did it even happen at all? And if you don’t post it on your timeline or create a "page" WILL it ever occur? You know what they say about a tree falling in the forest…

And can you even be selective about who "hears" about what anymore? It used to be that when you told a tid-bit to someone, perhaps they would relay it to someone else unless bound by confidence, but now does the luxury of keeping anything sacred exist?

Unless you really privatize your Facebook page, really, anyone can search you and see what is happening your life.

This is a great thing when you are trying to get the word out about a new business, a fundraiser or cause, but isn’t it just getting a touch cray cray when you run into someone you haven’t seen in years and you start to do the whole catch up spiel, tell them what is going on in your life and they say, "Oh yeah, I saw that."

Or how about when what you see on social media finagles its way into your subconscious? A quick glance at the Timeline embeds subliminal info that can taint real life social happenings. You find yourself thinking, "I think I already saw that" or "Where did I see that?" when someone redundantly recounts something to you that you have already seen online. Seemingly new information has a spark of familiarity and an air of déjà vu. These viewings can flavor someone’s whole perspective about who you are, the life you live and vice versa regarding your perception of them.

Facebook opens you up to anyone and everyone’s energy that is displayed on your "feed" when you click to open the "w – w – w dot." You are exposed to the beauty and the drama of life’s briefest moments encapsulated in a cell phone photo, accompanied by a caption and posted for all to see - whether you intend it or not.

It’s amazing that Facebook has connected and reconnected so many and that its vast reach has allowed people to get what they are doing out there to a wide audience. But, let’s keep some things old school. I still want to hear about what’s happening with my peeps, directly from the source with the thrill of novelty and freshness - from their mouths to my ears.

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