Wednesday, February 8, 2012
A Facebook status I would like to give to my Facebook 'friends':
My reason to use Facebook was simply to get my head out of this box I live in everyday and reach out and connect to the world out there. This anticipated connection in reality has become a great disconnect. Originally I saw this as a way to maintain current and possibly rekindle past relationships. For someone like me, this ‘social’ technology seemed like a godsend to compensate for my inability to get out and about and interact with people in my life, and especially so for those who live far away.
In time it became evident to me that a profile picture and a few well-chosen typed words are a sorry replacement for actual conversation in the physical presence of another human being. Missing are the nuanced facial expressions, a touch on the arm or a smile that one would share with someone in conversation, which keep the interaction genuine.
Now what happens is this ridiculous need for validation that we feel. We have this great thought or bit of information that we think will get an overwhelming response from ‘friends’, but nothing. Automatically our assumption machine kicks in and paints all kinds of reasons and fictions explaining their lack of interest in our brilliant comments. Now we are left with no reference point to work from, left in a sort of limbo of self-doubt and insecurity. To prevent risking devastating blow to our egos we choose not to say anything at all, which also inhibits potential responders. Communication then becomes non-communication; which is the complete antithesis of the purpose of a social network to begin with. I know less about everyone now than I did before. At least before I had my delusions of who people really were or shadows of a memory of someone you knew in the past.
I’m basically weary of being constantly barraged with people pushing their religious and spiritual viewpoints, their political agendas, how to be happy, how much they love their children and selling their products. I’m all for people believing whatever they want and doing their thing but none of it rings true to me. Of course everyone loves their spouses and children and believes this or that. I just don’t want to hear about it.
So what I was looking for, and never found, was someone to tell me how they are doing or what they have really been up to since I’ve seen them. Just thoughtful honest conversation, let’s call it socializing. What I see, though, is a disconnection, a detached participation and a fear of sharing thoughts that leaves me with a feeling of disappointment. I liken it to feeling alone in a roomful of people who don’t speak. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with anyone I chose to friend. It’s just the nature of the ‘social media’ beast that we are all caught up in that I really have a problem with. It offers us the illusion of reality that has actually become unreal.
I’ll probably come back once in a while but not as much. There’s so many things I want to do and very little time to do them so I’ll do them instead. Like the song line of one of my favorite songwriters says, “So long, it's been good to know yuh. This dusty old dust is a-gettin' my home, And I got to be driftin' along.” And when I die I want my epitaph to read “At least he fucking tried.”