Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The latest contemplation...

I have been toying with the idea of deactivating my Facebook account, at least for a while, if not indefinitely. Reason behind this desire is that I am simply not enhancing my life in any way, shape or form by wasting the endless hours I've spent doing nothing of true value since September 2007, when I joined the social networking site.

This comes, obviously, three years after I joined, and although I've gotten back in touch with many people I lost all communication with from as far back as 1989, I haven't gotten anything out of these reconnections. Not to say that I expect any tangible benefits from getting in touch with people, or even true friendship out of connecting with long-lost friends, but the problem is that I add these people to my friends list, we update each other briefly on what's been going on with us the last 20 or 10 years, and then we just forget about each other.

Right now I am sporting 82 Facebook friends. I enjoyed watching that list grow to that number over the years, given that I've always been a rather shy introvert who can count all the friends they've ever had on all their fingers, and maybe half their toes. To say the least, I was under the false impression that Facebook would somehow enhance my social life and skills. But three years later I still have less than five people I consider friends, people I can rely on to wish me a happy birthday, a happy Ramadan and Eid, and that's fine, really.

Over the years I've found that the shy introvert is just who I am. It is not a character or personality flaw I need to change in order to be accepted, because the truth is that I am only shy and an introvert at first, and once someone starts the ball rolling, I become as social as anyone else.

Facebook isn't going to change my DNA, nor is it going to change my relationships with all the people I've come across throughout my life. I'm certainly not on Facebook to meet new people, so basically I am on Facebook to keep in touch with people I already know. Some are important to me to the point where the site is not needed for me to know what's up with them, some are people I lost touch with years ago and the more I watch their behavior patterns on FB, the more I realize that we lost touch for a reason, and others I scratch my head and wonder why I have them on FB in the first place, we're so far-removed from each other and on different wavelengths.

I've felt this way before, but I've just shrugged it off as me being overly sensitive when someone doesn't wish me a happy birthday, yet spends all day playing games on FB the day of my birthday, considering that no matter how close or unclose we are, I always wish people a happy birthday on their walls, just because it takes only a few seconds and it's so convenient. Yet this desire to disconnect myself from the great abyss that is Facebook is strong this time around.

Thanks to the latest privacy changes and issues nobody seems to quite get or understand how to overcome with Facebook, I am more inclined to disappear off my friends' lists in an attempt to protect my privacy, whatever's left of it. At the end of the day, I have to ask myself, why jeopardize my privacy in order to keep in touch with people who don't really want to keep in touch with me? It's such a waste of time, time I could be spending writing, reading and bettering myself for the real world, not some virtual world where your personal photo albums are displayed for the world to see.

In the meantime, I am still on Facebook, wishing everyone happy birthdays, congratulating them on their successes and sympathizing with them during hardships, no matter how far or close I am to them, all while keeping my expectations low and my private information as protected as I can keep it. Once again, I choose to keep Facebook for those times when I'm really really bored and need to waste time, because that's all Facebook is good for.

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