I am proud to say that I have yet to open a Facebook account.
The operative word here is I – there is in fact an account in may name created by mischievous friends in college who have long since forgotten the password necessary to erase it from existence. So perhaps I set the record for the most friend requests never returned, but I can’t be held accountable. Nor do I really care.
Setting aside this erroneous profile, I am proud to be holding out and the reasons are three fold:
1. I find it infuriating and belittling to diminish friendships to messages and status lines. The further I live from the people I love, the more important phone calls and letters and visits become. Being removed from their day to day life makes the time together that much more significant. They will send me the funny pictures, they will email the best stories, and the good ones will call often enough that I don’t forget the sound of their voice. Furthermore, I am not and don’t need to be ‘friends’ with relative strangers whose paths I once crossed. That’s not the meaning of the world and my life is not enriched by the reminder of their presence much less the knowledge of their relationship status and photo albums.
2. I just don’t see it as necessary. I am successfully maintaining each and every relationship I wish to maintain. There is a natural ebb and flow, no forced and unsubstantiated electronic connection. I don’t need the world or even my network – whatever that means – to see what I am doing at any given moment. There is no need to rekindle old flames, to re-meet old friends, or to even be aware of what those people whom I contentedly walked away from years ago are doing today, tomorrow, this minute. Besides, when I need the occasionally useful email address or phone number, everyone around me has an account and can look it up on my behalf. As a result, the last possible reason for justifying this social network was negated by the fact that I am rarely out of spitting range from a dozen people with access to the minute information that might actually be warranted by this monster.
3. I am just easily enough distracted that I don’t need another distraction. Entire days would be consumed by futile browsing – ahem stalking – and productivity would slowly slip from my grasp. It is a dangerous road to go down, a slide I may not be able to prevent once I start down the slope. So really it is an investment in my self-preservation, nothing more.
If nothing else, a line has now been drawn and my reputation is at stake should I dare cross it. I’ve cursed the entity and would be hypocritical to embrace it now. Too late. I am just stubborn enough to hold out even if I had no good reason, just because I said I would. So hold out I do.
That said, I would like to create a Facebook not to be told of all the people I used to know, but to be told of all the people I should know. Now that would be useful.