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.