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I joined FaceBook in 2005 at the behest of my employer at the time to evaluate its marketing potential since it was “what all the kids were doing”.
My account would sit dormant until January 2009 when the site’s popularity exploded along with my email in-box pinging hourly … “so and so wants to be friends on FaceBook.”
People from high school. People from college. People I’ve had sex with. People I’ve worked with… all of them crawling out of the virtual woodwork… plus scads of folks I didn’t even know.
The language “wants to be friends with you” – is deceiving. Just reading those words makes you feel a little rush because (at least if you’re over the age of say 30) they mean something entirely different. “Wants to be friends” is more special than “wants to look at your pictures / activities and participate in a public commentary about it all.”
The champions of Social Media tout this technology as pushing the culture ahead and bringing people closer together. I don’t know if I agree with that assertion.
I was once a prolific blogger… I may be once again.
Unlike blogging – which requires a degree of contemplation… of construction… of intent…. FaceBook makes throwing your thoughts into the public seductively fast and easy. Whether it’s about the bacon sandwich you just ate or the frightening fashion sense of the girl in front of you in line at the bank.
This mindless free-for-all creates a constant stream of what is by definition: “petty”… and by deduction: “pure narcissism fuel”.
Like america’s addiction to reality television. The human drama is the salty sweet for our monkey minds… It *is* irresistible. The full blooded as well as armchair narcissists out there know this likely on subconcious level.
I’ve wrestled with why this is… If I’m talking on the phone with a friend and I tell them about the bacon sandwich I had for lunch – it isn’t (or at least doesn’t feel) petty or narcissistic.
The only thing I could come up with is the concept of publicly airing trivial personal information *and* allowing for commentary. It just seems to bait the worst of human nature and creates a playground for vultures, stalkers, predators and psychic vampires. The vaudevillian term Peanut Gallery suddenly has a new, highly relevant meaning.
I met one of the greatest loves of my life via the social network giant… The fledgling relationship would eventually de-rez along with my heart – not “because” of Facebook – but it definitely played a roll. The ongoing drama between myself and this would-be soulmate played out like a cheap soap opera of status updates for The Peanut Gallery to feast upon… adding static, distortion and confusion to an already challenging set of circumstances.
I never dated in high school… Now I know why. FaceBook is still very much still… “what the kids are doing” – and that’s why I’ve stepped back from it. I’ll likely re-activate my account in the future… but not until I gain a higher perspective on the whole lot.
I’ve got a bunch of grown-up stuff on my plate… as well as a bacon sandwich. If you’re in my life, pick up the phone and call me… or send me a text message! I’d love to talk with you. If you’ve come round to feast on my misery, try to get into my pants or take something precious from me – move along – this kitchen is closed.