Anti-Social in the Age of Social Media


I’m leaving Facebook — again.

I think this makes the fourth or fifth time I’ve quit in the five years that I’ve participated in what may be the most colossal waste of time ever invented.

I remember when the Redhead first made me aware that there was such a thing on the internet. “You should get on Facebook,” she said.

“What is a Facebook and why should I get on it?”

“Well, it’s this internet site where you connect with people. Old friends and such. You can post pictures and play games and a lot of other cool stuff. Give it a try.”

I did — and she was right — it was kind of cool for a while. I did connect with some people I hadn’t seen since high school. I saw pictures of their kids, their pets, and learned about their lives — at least the parts they wanted to share in a public forum.

Over time my network of “friends” expanded.  People I had met but didn’t really know wanted to be my friend.  Sometimes people I hadn’t met wanted to be friends (these were friends of friends — an absurd concept) .  I learned all about their lives.  I learned what games they played, what songs they liked, who they voted for, and what they thought about just about anything and everything that popped into their heads while they sat at a keyboard.

In fact, I’ve learned more about a lot of folks than I really wanted to know.

Some of these social revelations caused problems.  I was “un-friended” over things I posted.  I un-friended others because of things they posted.  I reckon this means that we don’t like each other any more, which is kind of funny since we really didn’t know each other to start with.

The cold hard reality of it all is that I have a hard enough time maintaining a few real friendships without worrying about imaginary ones.

When I sign-off, Facebook will advise me to be reconsider because my 286 friends will “miss me.”  I have 286 friends?  Really?  Will any of you loan me a hundred bucks?  We’re friends, right?

Now like I said, I’ve quit before.  Facebook is a tough habit to break.  Checking your page several times a day is sort of like slowing down to look at a bad car wreck.  You know you probably aren’t going to see anything you really want to see, but you just can’t help yourself because you just might.

But now I’m on the record because it’s written here.  If I come back, I’ll have to swallow my pride, and that’s almost as painful as being un-friended by someone you never met.

Carry on my faithful 286.  I doubt more than ten of you will realize that I’m gone.

And for those that do, come on over to the house and sit on the porch with me and we’ll socialize the old fashioned way.  If we make each each other mad I’ll go inside and you can go home.


*For those of you who might want to read this blog in the future, now would be a real good time to subscribe.