Monday, February 11, 2013

Unsociable Media

Remember when Facebook first emerged? Practically everyone searched for their old friends from high school and then added them as a "friend". Whether they hadn't seen each other in one year or twenty years, it didn't matter. It was good to electronically catch up. Then there are some people who are still somewhat stuck in the past, whereas they expect to just hop into your life 'just like that' --- and while it may be a treat for you, it may not be an option for everyone. I have had the pleasure (and I mean that sincerely) of meeting up with old high school friends a couple of weeks ago. I haven't had that much fun in a long time. I also plan to continue to meet up with them when it's convenient for all of us. But what about people who want to connect with those who don't have the desire to reconnect? That's a touchy situation, because say in that person's mind - you were their absolute best friend in the world while you thought nothing of it, or perhaps you once did and just grew up and realized you were two very different people now. There is no easy way to say, "Oh I'm sorry, I just don't feel we have nothing in common anymore." Why are we searching for our past to begin with? Are we leaning toward our past friends in order to gain some sort of nostalgic comfort to ease the tension of "today"?  Do we really miss our old buddies, and if so, why haven't the lines of communications held together? I do sincerely think that there are genuine connections after a period of time that we can safely blame "life" for getting in the way.

As we grow more and more into our technology, smart phones and social media, we are growing more apart from our friends and family even though we stay electronically connected. If you want to see what 'so and so' is doing, just look them up. "Oh, she's at the supermarket getting a deal on chicken filets," -- "Oh he's up at the lake house with his new fiance, how nice." Everything is 'out there' --- so with all of this knowledge, we'll wait until it's the right opportunity (or thought to be) to connect with them, as Facebook says they're "living life". But what about people who rely on Facebook solely to see what someone's life is about? Most of us are all on our phones capturing life's moments. And that's great. While getting almost 200 "happy birthday" messages on my Facebook last week, I realized that I only knew a quarter of them - most being some of my readers and people I network with for work-related reasons. Nonetheless, still a nice gesture, but a sort of a grim reminder that most people do not remember birthdays, anniversaries and even phone numbers because of Facebook. When was the last time you actually dialed a friend's telephone number one digit at a time? I have an anti-internet/social media friend who doesn't even use a computer - just an old flip top cell phone. Every single event in my life, my birthday, my anniversary and even holidays, she texts or calls me. That. is. rare. And hey, I'm totally guilty of being a social media junkie too and tend to forget special events as well, but I'm just saying, it's so different now and dare I say...unsociable.

With that being said, I am now making my Facebook a bit more vague and private. I always have really -- nothing personal ---  maybe a few photos of my dog (ok a million) and a few comments about something insignificant. In taking this step of making my Facebook more private, maybe the people I love the most will want to check up on me in person, or actually pick up the phone to see what's brewing in my life. My public Facebook account will still remain in tact. Feel free to visit anytime. I miss the days when the only outlet of someone's life was a blog. Imagine that?

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!