People always seem shocked when they realize I don’t have a Facebook.
Yet, I find myself shocked when I read stuff like this.
So why don’t I have a Facebook, you ask? What is wrong with me?
I promise I’m not a luddite. Though I did just take a break from writing this to read the Wikipedia article on the original Luddites, and they actually seem kind of awesome. See? I use the internet quite frequently! I waste time reading probably-inaccurate entries on Wikipedia. I also have a Twitter account. I run my own blog. I have a Tumblr. I have a fancy phone and a big TV. I’m basically Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.
Because all these things are useful to me. Twitter gives me a convenient place to keep track of silly little thoughts I have, that might inspire me later. My blogs motivate me to write daily, even when no is paying me to. But I’ve never felt that anything in my life could be made easier by Facebook. I think of technology as a tool, and Facebook seems to me more like a frivolity. But everyone and their mother has a Facebook these days. Everyone and their mother’s mother.
To help me understand, I asked some of my close friends why they personally use Facebook. I got a few unique responses, but most of the answers boiled down to “So I can see what distant relatives/acquaintances are up to.” And I guess it’s obvious that Facebook certainly makes doing that easy. However, I’m not convinced that people would care about the daily happenings of “distant relative/acquaintances” if Facebook hadn’t created such an easy way to acquire the information. Isn’t your level of concern what differentiates a mere acquaintance from a friend?
It also seems to me that when you use Facebook, that in addition to keeping yourself updated on acquaintances, you also make yourself concerned that your acquaintances, be they your best friend or your best friend’s cousin’s college roommate, perceive you on this platform. And you care how they perceive you.