Monday, February 23, 2009

Upon Reflection (aka - A Mini-Rant)

I've decided that I'm really not a fan of the myriad of websites like Facebook and MySpace.

What has caused this sudden declaration of dislike?

Well, there are several reasons.

First, I can barely keep up with regular letters and emails and then you add in these other sites that change so rapidly, it gets stressful. Not that I don't enjoy the actual more email/inbox type items that come my way. These I do read and and try to respond to faithfully. But the other piles of messages that get sent--it's too much to handle! And so often they are just surface, randomness. I'm not getting to know these people any better, not unless we're actually directly corresponding about something. But I did get to hear the stunning news of how so-and-so is glad her acne cleared up and that person x is contemplating his navel. Am I cynical? Maybe it just means that I'm a selfish person, but sometimes I really don't care about hearing how every second of other people's lives are going in the one-liner updates - "Person X is.....".

There's a Gilmore Girl's quote (I think there's a GG quote for just about every situaiton in life if you simply take the time to think about it) that really struck me as being the exact right description of how I feel about the people updates on these sites. You know, updates that are generally so vague they don't really describe anything much of importance and mostly really don't lead to any actual depth of relationships being built but are just kind of vague comments about one's life:

"Fine is a word you use when someone stops you on the street that you sort of know but you don’t want to talk to, so they ask you how they are and you say fine and that’s just enough so that they don’t have to keep talking to you because they don’t want, and then they can feel good about themselves because they’ve been considerate enough to ask. And then if, God forbid, something actually is wrong, they’ll actually sit down and take the time to listen even though they don’t want to." -Sookie St. James, Gilmore Girls, Season 1 Episode 4

And perhaps it's just me, but there are so many little tools that seem designed to keep one in high school forever. You know, comparing to see if you're placed high on so-and-so's friend list or if you're considered in the top ten list of "nicest" persons. Or like the invites. I know of several people who have mentioned to me about feeling hurt because they thought they were friends with a group of people and yet they see that group get together all the time through these public "invites", and yet they're never invited.

And since I'm on the topic of invites. Unless you're a faithful "user" (no drug-reference intended there...or maybe there should be one...hmm...have to think about that analogy), you might wind up missing out on invitations to stuff because you didn't receive the invitation on your Facebook account, and when you did get on there, it was so buried in a mass of 50,000 pokes, pies in the face, and gifts of plants, fish, and cookies that you didn't see it! All because someone else thought that was a good enough way to stay in contact with you.

And does anyone truly enjoy getting poked, pies in the face, and the other hundreds of things that people can virtually do to you? And how is one supposed to respond exactly to said pokings/pies, etc? Will a simple thank you suffice? Will they be offended if you take the quick and easy way out by simply ignoring their offering? Or do you have to in return look through all the different options and send them something just as obscure back? Hmmm...I wonder if so-and-so whom I haven't actually seen in 10 years would be offended if I sent her a cookie or would she prefer a butterfly? Or maybe I should just "super poke" her?

Now, don't get me wrong. When I first became a member of both sites (a couple of years time-difference between those two events) there's an initial fun buzz that goes with it (there I go again with the references!). And there are people with whom I've gotten back into contact through these websites. And I truly am grateful for those relationships that I've been able to reestablish and even rebuild. But, out of the 100ish people with whom I am "friends", we're talking about only a handful of rebuilt relationships. And yes, I do value those relationships (which is why I'm not cancelling my accounts).

But for the most part, I'm not a big fan. I use the sites minimally. I glance at other people's stuff. I rarely post things. Truthfully, anything that I want to write or update...I'll put on here. And I do keep up with any messages sent directly to me...but beyond that, it just feels like a headache to me.

Maybe it's the introvert in me coming out. I don't know. But I'm really not fully on the "MySpace/Facebook" bandwagon. I'll keep using them just to stay in touch with the few people I do correspond with regularly, but for the most part, if you want to get hold of me, send me an email directly. Write me a letter. Pick up the phone and call me. Skype me! Or better yet, come on over and we'll hang out.

Just my two cents.


Amber said...

There IS a Gilmore quote for any thing that ever happens. If you need help finding it, tell me, I use them all the time.

Almamater said...

100% with you, Hanna. FB has been fun for finding out whatever happened to old friends and acquaintances, but now I am pretty much just shrugging my shoulders at the whole thing. Sticking with it, but not letting it sap too much of my time. Keep bloggin'!

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