Thoughts on methods of communication
I deleted my Facebook account in part because I disliked how it made me feel like a stalker – you peruse someone’s profile, find out if they’re married or single, in college or in the workforce, where they’re living, how many kids they have, how their appearance has changed, their preferences in music, movies and politics, all while never actually engaging in any real-time conversation with the individual. It’s like having an FBI dossier on all of your friends and family at your fingertips, and they willingly supply the information.
I also deleted it because I disliked how it made people lazy. When you write a letter, you address it to a specific address. Phone calls require you to dial a number. Emails and instant messaging required a specific recipient. But Facebook status updates are just thrown out there into the nether. You post a little ditty about your day on the internet and you assume others will read it before it slips off the bottom of their main page. It’s the online equivalent of a bulletin board. And it is the requirement of the other person to obtain the information from you. It’s like playing a game of catch and throwing the ball only halfway and waiting for them to walk the remaining distance to pick it up.
I admit, blogging can be viewed the same way, but I try to make this blog less about my daily affairs and more content-oriented, and comments from readers are available to facilitate online conversation. So if people want to know what’s going on in my life, this blog isn’t going to do the legwork for them.
Since deleting my Facebook account 4 months ago, I find I hear from very few people anymore. If I don’t live within close enough proximity to engage in face-to-face conversation, then I am left out of the loop. I do my part by writing emails from time to time, something I should try to do more of. I haven’t received any comments on this blog yet, although I know I don’t have as many readers as I did on my previous venture.
Nowadays, if you don’t use Facebook, you pretty much don’t exist to other people. So I shrug my shoulders and accept that I am now out of the loop with most of my family and friends. I require too much of their time to stay current on each other’s affairs.
I make these observations as I just watched “The Social Network” tonight with Micah. We had a discussion about the disturbing trend of people to rely on Facebook as their sole means to their family and friends at the expense of other means of communications. I refuse to let a single website control the content of my communications — a third reason why I quit. And if you need a fourth, how about the fact that Facebook owns the content on your profile and can do with them whatever they see fit.