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Social Not-working

     My name is Josh and I don't do Facebook*.  There.  I said it.  The weight is lifted and the healing can begin.

     I'm not the only one; my wife has never had an account.  My son has a supervised account with 30 "friends" that he uses to stay in touch with our extended family.  He has many cousins who Facebook.  We check it when someone calls or texts to tell us we need to.  Since he's 5, we will occasionally help him post pictures and write sentences but that's about it.  I don't check it on my phone.  I don't check it on my work computer.  I don't feel any large hole in my life, either, so there!

     It's not that I'm asocial, it's that I can't imagine anyone being interested in the banality of my life.  Nobody in their right mind would be interested in an honest status update from yours truly.  "Josh is eating cereal" -- it's just not that exciting.  Who really gives a hoot about what I'm having for dinner or how I'm spending my Wednesday night?  (Spaghetti and fixing the shower drain, if you're really interested).  

     I could certainly embellish to make myself seem more interesting; I've seen people do that.  I could be philosophical and post "Josh is contemplating the Jungian significance of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax, and cabbages and kings" but that seems kind of silly.  Or maybe I could really give the Joneses something to keep up with and post "Josh is polishing off a bottle of '57 Chateau Brane-Cantenac whilst bathing his miniature giraffe in Himalayan spring water."  Uh, no.

     The truth is that I can't think of anything I could write that I would be 100% comfortable with.  Even when something good or exciting does happen to me, posting it on Facebook would seem like shameless self-promotion.  I can just imagine my "friends" rolling their eyes and thinking to themselves, "Oh, look, Josh is bragging".  I know this because I do this. ;-)

     And what if I spend the better part of an hour crafting the perfect status update and no one "likes" it or replies to it?  Does that mean that no one "likes" me or, worse yet, that I don't exist?  I'm not sure I could handle that rejection.  It's bad enough having a blog that no one responds to.  

     Maybe I'm not the Facebooking kind.  Maybe I'm just a neo-luddite who prefers his interpersonal relationships to be conducted in person.  A firm handshake tells me more about a person than knowing they like Twilight movies, piña coladas, and getting caught in the rain.  I can tell by the sound of a person's voice whether they're genuinely excited about something or just filling the gap in a conversation with random noise.  You don't get that stuff from Facebook.

     Perhaps I expect too much from Facebook.  Nobody said it was supposed to be a replacement for human contact, although some unlucky folks seem to use it that way.  Maybe at it's simplest, Facebook is nothing more than a daily affirmation that we are not alone on this great big internet.  Everyone else is just as boring, just as eager to please, and just as needy as we are.  "I Facebook therefore I am" is Cartesian philosophy for the 21st century.  

 

 

 *Full Disclosure:  I do maintain an administrator account in my name for the Cynthiana Democrat Facebook page.  It has 1 friend, the Cynthiana Democrat.  As Technology Manager, it's a necessary evil.  So, please, please, please, don't rush to find me on Facebook and then start sending me hate mail.  I'm fragile and I may break.