I'm blogging. I'm aware that this is considered part of the social media world. But, much like Hollywood has affected every woman's idea of what romance is, social media is destroying our ability to communicate with each other. It's making us socially inept. And it's not just social media, it's all of it-email, texting, and whateverthehell is the communication trend of the day. Don't even get me started on Latitude.
I'm well aware of the benefits of the internet, texting, Google chat, etc, etc. I love being able to chat with my friends who I don't see on a regular basis during the day. Certain levels of communication are absolutely fantastic. But sometimes, it goes too far and it's slowing breaking us. Back in February I decided to take a break from Facebook because I felt too exposed. Yes, my fault, as I was a "power user." But then I stopped to think-do I really need 300 people knowing that I'm stuck in traffic or that I made a fantastic dinner? Do I need 250 people I never interact with on any sort of personal level knowing that my boyfriend and I just broke up? And do I need these people "liking" the fact that I caught a great sale on shoes today or commenting on whether or not my feelings on work are or are not valid? The clear answer for me was no I didn't, and by that point I kind of wanted to go live in a cave.
So with that, I left the world of Facebook. It became a fun experiment to see who actually kept in touch with me. People became confused. They didn't know what was going on in my life or how to invite me to events. There was even a rumor I left Facebook because I was being stalked. Awesome.
"I want to go," I said to a friend holding a charity event.
"But how do I invite you? You're not on Facebook," he replied.
"You have my phone number AND my email address."
I thought he was kidding-I hoped he was kidding-until a month went by with no invite in my inbox. Now maybe you're thinking, "Perhaps he just didn't want to invite you." Maybe you're right. But I like to think I'm not terrible to be around and, at a minimum, it was a charity event and one would think the more people attending the better. Anyway, I ended up going because someone else sent me the information and it was a great night. But, I digress.
I just think that we all need to remember what it was like to dial the phone, to have face-to-face conversations, and (I know I'm going out on a limb here) have some photographs printed and throw them in a frame instead of relying on Facebook to show off your latest trip to the Jersey Shore. A Cornell graduate asked me last weekend, "Well, say you go on vacation and you take pictures. What do you do with them if you don't post them on Facebook?" Come on now.
Please don't break up with me in a text message. Don't talk to my friend for two hours, not ask for her number and tell her you're going to look her up on Facebook. Don't text my friend to tell her you've decided to try to work it out with your ex-girlfriend after over three months. This is all not okay. Everyone is taking the easy way out and it's killing our character.
We can all sit around and feel special that we have 500 friends on the internet, but how much time have you taken lately to invest in your three real friends? You know, the ones who call when you need a pick me up, or the ones who know your birthday without getting a Facebook reminder. Stop thinking in 140 character increments. Let's all go for a picnic.