Monday, September 07, 2009

Reasons for leaving Facebook, part the first

At the end of last week, I made a not very momentous decision to de-activate—only because one cannot delete—my Facebook account. Now, I am sure that almost no one, except for the anonymous readers who tell me that I am dumb, reads this blog, but in the next few days I will be talking about some of the reasons that I decided to delete my account.
Social networking sites (help to) turn friendship into a passive enterprise. Whereas a real friendship involves taking an active interest in another person, spending time with that person, putting effort into a relationship and more—that is, a friendship is an active endeavor—a social networking "friendship" involves occasionally reading the postings of another, reading another's status updates and acting as if this is a connection. (Of course, this allows for the extremely awkward moments when a friend or acquaintance brings up something posted months earlier and never personally shared and makes one wonder how the hell the other person could have known that.) If this is friendship, then I am friends with Paul Krugman, several extremely conservative Catholics and a number of politicians, none of whom would recognize me.
Friendship is work, as are almost all things worthwhile.


Unknown said...

I suspect that, along with the different styles of thinking, there are probably different levels of friendships - and we probably all rotate through them at times.

For my own part in your Facebook exercise, I welcomed your feedback and involvement on any level I could get your attention for. As I tend towards self-destructive introspection and isolation rather than trying to build healthy, positive relationships. Part of the challenge is that I'm not entirely sure *how* to do that, and in the anxiety, boff it up again and again. As I mentioned when we met last, I'm really good with children and animals. And as you observed, it's adults I have the most problem connecting with. At least, in segments of time that take longer than a status update, or comment/feedback exchange.

Miss ya. Hope all's well.

Tyler Hower said...

I do agree that there are different levels of friendship, but I think the way Facebook levels them out is one of its problems. And, I worry that for those of us who do have social problems—and I'm including myself, here—social networking does us almost no good in improving our skills. Crutches never dropped just allow our muscles to atrophy.

But, in other news, how are things?