So, yeah, I'm on FB. I don't do much with it honestly. I update my status every couple of days and when I remember (which is admittedly not terribly often), I go around and visit my friends. It seems to be best for catching my immediately family for a quick conversation and quick checks in on extended family and some friends. Storing pictures is easy too.
And it's been great to reconnect with people from high school or college I've not seen in years. But I've noticed that after that initial exchange of greetings and catch-ups, there isn't much more to the relationship. It's sort of like a virtul high school reunion. Fun, nice to see how people have grown/changed, and then you return to your life and tend to forget about them for a few more years.
Don't get me wrong - it's had good moments - but really . . . I sort of hopped on because everyone was there, and it's kind of a hassle, really. And it's not very good for the ego. There are unapproved friend requests or people finding you inadvertently through their friends and you sort of think . . . well, I guess I could friend you . . . but why? And then there is the inevitable defriending. I have yet to be involved in a dramatic style drop off, but I did notice on one of my random forays into being sociable and friendly that I'd been dropped by a person or two who probably did some housecleaning. Since I have no idea when it occurred and know it wasn't because of some huge offense, I can't be all that bothered. Truthfully, I'm already an admitted bad FB friend, so there shouldn't be much offense to be taken.
And yet, in the back of my mind was a moment of guilt, and instant of disappointment and sadness. Clearly, the relationship that existed was superficial at best, a passing nod to acquaintanceship or to a friendship that existed in another life or time. But still . . . remnants of guilt or hurt float up and I wonder about those people and what is happening with their lives now.
It's a really sort of weird thing, I think. Has there before been such a tool to reunite people? What does it accomplish, sharing our lives in bits and snippets? It's not that I think it a bad thing at all, but I wonder if it contributes to more superficiality in general, for a mistaken (imo) belief that a glimpse into someone's daily life is the same as a knowledge of that person and who they are and what motivates them and inspires them. Like other things - texting and cell phones and emails - I wonder if instead of bringing us closer, it makes us more impatient and less inclined to understanding our friends and family, replacing confidence and intimacy with generalities and banal tidbits. It makes me wonder what communication will be like when the Chicken is my age, whether people will still be relating to each other and how this new form of communication, instantaneous and trivial, will ultimately change the formation of the future. . .
Strange thoughts to be puttering about my head on a gloomy evening, I suppose.