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No social networking for you!!

Posted 24th April 2011 at 04:14 PM by Stuman

I'll be straight up and say that I don't have a facebook account. I had one, once upon a time, but in the face of banality, tedium and a general profound sense of uselessness, I deleted it.

I have a twitter account - well one does exist - but I forgot the password one day, then I forgot the name of the #tag I was using, and that was that for twitter.

Do I miss either? No not really.

I sort of miss the games .... must check my farmville crops and see how my mafia crew is going!! ... though now that I think about it, no I don't miss the games.

Do I miss the social interactions that happened within my network of hundreds of people?

Well, considering that of the 800 or 900 that I had listed as friends, most of those hundreds were in fact complete strangers "friended" just purely for the games (I think I may of failed to mention that the games were pretty addictive), the whole "social interaction" thing probably didn't exist in the first place.

"Social voyeurism" on the other hand though, existed in massive amounts. But really, voyeurism is not interaction. In real-life you wouldn't find yourself having indepth conversations with the neighbourhood peeping tom, but on facebook that [B]is[/B] the reality.

Anyway, notwithstanding these "friends who are not really friends but are in fact complete strangers" - of the actual real "friends" I had, the vast majority were in fact relatives or in-laws or work colleagues.

Now granted that some of those were people who I would consider to be "friend-like", they were in the main people who I had not chosen to know voluntarily but knew through happenstance circumstances (though I suppose in-laws can be considered voluntary in that you did choose to co-habitate with someone that they are related too).

You happen to work with me? well I'll add you as a "friend". I happen to be related too you through a quirk of genetics? you too can be a "friend". Social etiquette of the early 21st century means that if you have access too and use social networking and haven't added someone you know, then you (in their eyes at least) must think they are the spawn of hell or have a really bad personal problem or that you (gasp, shock horror) may not "like them"!!!

Like all etiquettes, the semblance of "reality" to "actuality" is a vast chasm in which many a personal relationship has inadvertently plunged (generally in a [I]slowly cartwheeling through the air whilst on fire[/I] sort of way).

Of the actual "friends who are friends", well I saw most of them of a frequency that was enough to ensure that the intervening spaces between our meetings were of sufficient length to acquire suitable conversation material that could then be discussed at the next occasion when we should see each other face to face.

Unfortunately, continual postings on social networking forums of these tidbits of observations on strange goings on; saved up commentary on funny people met/seen/tripped over; gripes/whines about work/life/kids/in-laws, sort of negated the whole conversation thing.

It does get annoying when you start to say "oh, I meant to tell you about such and such.." only to have the sentence completed for you by someone who read about it last week and thus knew just as much - if not more - than you do. All that is left for you to say in those circumstances is a conversation ender such as "well I heard that it heals" or "I think that there is an ointment for it".

And unless something interesting fell from the sky, that particular "social interaction" would end about there.

One day in the not to distant past, I actually found myself and a friend reduced to saying the words "yeah, it was funny" over and over whilst our brains tried to fill in the sudden gaping void that opened up in the conversation upon the realisation that we already knew what the other was going to say. It was almost like being married but without the damp spot.

Facebook went out of my life not long after that.

So do I social network? Well I still do in fact, I just rarely do it online and not with anywhere near as many people.

Though there are days when I miss playing something that is named "....ville".
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  1. Old Comment
    Schizo's Avatar

    I was dragged kicking and screaming into Myspace years ago, then everyone migrated over to Facebook...and I never bothered to make an account.

    I watch my girlfriend be completely consumed by it - she probably spends a minimum of 2 hours each day on it doing who knows what. She says she'd get rid of it - except that all her friends schedule events through it.

    Even more disturbing to me is the number of websites now that feel they need to integrate with facebook, or emulate it in some capacity.
    Posted 26th April 2011 at 02:41 AM by Schizo Schizo is offline

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