The first of the Relativity of Literature for the month of June, translated…
Jia-Hsien Yang: I will never forget the day I got hooked on Facebook. It was a period of my life when I felt most lost—yes, that, was during the time when I’d buckled down, and wrote out my doctoral dissertations, in the research center’s research rooms, the days grew dark. During that entire year, I did not write a single poem at all, I’d checked out my progress on Word, to see if I’d written another extra five hundred characters and added three more notes. At the same time, I’d started, writing on Facebook, back then, Facebook was not yet “populated”, I’d only gotten a handful of kudos, felt a bit cold.
At first, it was only, a place, to smooth over the wound left by my doctoral dissertation. As a few years had come to pass, it’d become this demon that prevented me from moving forward in my research.
But, before anything becomes an addiction, it would get tangled up, I’d written and you’d reposted, love and Facebook, are both like so. And yet, it’d become this method, this stage, and people are all, coming up on stage to perform now, to show themselves, to set up one’s own image, and forcibly, report our own whereabouts to the world. We can classify our “friends”, decide how far, to spread the news of ourselves to the world, or to give a dissection of oneself in depth. There were my friends who’d insisted on not adding their professors, or their students, as “Friends”, some had kept the bosses, the managers, or subordinates away, as your mom and dad learned to use Facebook, and wanted you to add them as your friends, this, was the commonly shared trouble for us all. Mmmmmm, that’s right, I’m the kind, that added some of my relatives, and at the very end, I’d blocked all of them out. This, was the weirdest part of this sort of interpersonal relations: we’re allowing strangers on Facebook to read up on the goings on of our lives, but, we wanted to keep the cousins out.
As my workload increased, I’d had a TON of idiotic postings. As I’d gotten kudos for my idiotic postings from the scholars, it’d shocked me so (for instance, recently, Professor Cheng came to give me a kudos).
Juan Tang: Facebook wasn’t born from the stars, and, the nights flowed, never endingly, and, perhaps, this, is the end, of my career in writing creatively. I’d spend all of my days in the research labs, silently took in, all the losses I’d suffered, in the online chess games. Constantly, fighting it out, with unknown players, never knowing, who will end up, slaughtering me to pieces.
But, I HATED Facebook, I hate how it is like a whirlpool, sucking my entire world in. Ahhhhhhhhhhh, could this be, the biggest BANG of my life from here on out? The nature of Facebook, is not for someone, middle aged chubby men like me, it’s a place, for those adolescents to bullshit in. And here, we would use “Kudos” as way of attack, and, the beauty in quantity is measured, the qualities step aside, with the experts, using their fingers, every single person who’s not that good gets a kudos, Facebook is the holy ground for online democracy that’s for sure. People of all ages, living in all parts of the worlds, can state their opinions, and, those who’d followed the leaders get commended, those who don’t, get shunned. The pages are refreshed so quickly, the applauses died too quickly too, it is, a world, without too much “friction” (who gives a SHIT about “your weird goings on”, your “innocent ways”, and “simplemindedness”).
Then, why are you here, Old dude? Oh, I’m here, to tell them, to get out, to tell them to stop sliding on their cell phones, to not rant on bullshits, to read those useless articles, to give out kudos for no apparent reasons………for the sake of having a successful conversation, I’d taken up their brain dead way of communication, to laugh out of turn, like chasing the pointless trends, to pretend, that I’m an outdated, but still in the game, old geezer, standing on the side of the young, of the open, of the future (but what if, I’m not?), to deal that FATAL blow, to the ancient belief systems. Can’t believe, that they’d loved it when I got angered, posing their innocence, and giving old geezers who tried to mess things up like me kudos; can’t believe it, getting kudos feels even better than that $300N.T. whole body massage I just got at Hsin-An Massage Palace. (oh, I’m in love, beep-beep, beep-beep), forget it, I’m about to forget to head home now, I like you all, younger boys and girls, it’s so funny, Uncle will chit chat with you all a while, do you think my words are funny………
Jia-Hsien Yang: Well, uh? You seemed to become possessed when you talked of Facebook, it’d showed, how normal I actually am, how I’d followed the rules to the “t”.
Facebook, in the same level’s mirage, how it’d mocked the goings on of the party in front of the temples, it’s truly, a high pressured world. There is always something going on, there would always be two different points of views, duking it out, we can’t keep our silences, we must show where we stand; if we don’t, we are deemed as aloof, uncaring, chicken. And, all of a sudden, Facebook had replaced all the actions of man, like how everything you see on Facebook IS the whole world. No wonder as people marched onto the streets for protests, they needed to post the photos online (I’d done that too), otherwise, who will know that you were there? Who would know, that you are, showing care and concerns for the society right now? I’d often pondered: if I didn’t think clearly, if I couldn’t speak wiser words than those already spoken, using a different angle, I’m just, “checking in” at the right time and the right place, other than making my Facebook account into my bulletin, my views into stickers, making myself, into a drop of water, in this big and vast ocean, what’s the meaning of it all? Of course, this, is probably, too much of an individualist belief. Perhaps, someone would say: what’s so bad, being a part of a group? I’d recalled, the difference in The Gilded Age’s Ling Ding and Hong Hsiao now, I don’t want to be Ling Ding, and I lacked what it takes to be Hong Hsiao, but, their differences gave me a revelation.
Like I’d destroyed the atmosphere that Juan Tang was creating by sarcasm of the partying scene in the temple celebrations now……but, Juan Tang said, that there’s not that much friction in this world, no wonder, I’d feel very relaxed and happy when I’d logged on Facebook; the designers are truly wonderful, allowing us to block each other from seeing us if we felt like, and, allowing us, to stop interacting with those who had offended us somehow. I’d started ranting now, as I’d opened up on my views of Facebook, but, at the same time, I’m reminded, of the two years, nine days’ ago posting of mine, and I’d reposted something I’d posted some seven months ago back on my front pages, to be used, as a reminder to myself, as well as others.
And still, at this moment, I’m feeling, kinda anxious about, not posting anything of value on Facebook for so long now.
And so, this, is two people’s opinion on the usage of Facebook, and, undeniably, Facebook had become, the way we connect with one another, as it’d connected strangers, but, do remember, the saying of how the more you friends you have on Facebook, the less friends you have for real, because you’re spending all that time online, “following” the goings on of those Face friends, instead of getting face-to-face interactions with those who are next to you.