How social are you?


Last year I stopped using facebook for some months. It wasn’t a personal “let me see how much it will last” project. The circumstances don’t really matter. The thing is, I could say it back then and I can say it right now: I didn’t suffer and I certainly didn’t die from not using it. What did happen, was that I no longer was able to follow what my “friends” were doing. Friend is a  word that I prefer to use seldom. I use it only when it concerns those very few close people I am attached to. And I always knew when those friends were doing something. Despite of me not having a facebook account anymore. I didn’t even have to use my phone that often, since we used to meet quite often. What the others were doing didn’t really interest me.

Slowly, my mind began to create a sort of shape of what I was really thinking about the whole Social Networking thing. I’m not going to define it right now, as it would be irrelevant. Back to not having a facebook account any longer. Thinking back to the time where I had one, It was more like reading the news or watching some movies and somehow knowing the protagonists. Which actually isn’t a bad thing. Then again, each one of those autobiographical movies is nothing else than a cut scenario. Don’t even tell me about that in a relationship/single status. I’ve done it and I think all or at least 99% of us did it. You can’t be seen online as being in a relationship with somebody you aren’t anymore, can you? And apart of that, if that someone blocks you or unfriends you (oh my God! These words really exist?) you won’t be capable of being in a relationship with them anymore. Muahahahaha. Back to what’s being cut out, shall we?  The parts being cut out are the parts that would reveal so much more about somebody’s personality, the less fortunate events in somebody’s life, the struggles and situations in which one actually wasn’t quite the same shaped personality or didn’t look quite the same as so nicely and carefully presented before. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say that it is a bad thing, who am I to judge? The only thing that I want to achieve by writing this, is making a note to myself never to do that mistake – again. My opinion. My own struggles. Call them phobias if you like.

As we became more and more industrialized, we were likely to waste more and then more and a little bit more. As we became users of the world wide web, we began forgetting how it feels like to live our lives it isn’t a matter of time anymore that we are able to click ourselves away from our lives. Good and/or bad. We are being offered the opportunity to embrace whatever reality we want to have. Even if it is virtual. Even if that mask we are wearing might be put aside after going offline. Again, I’m not stating that this is the case for all of us. And I certainly wouldn’t want anyone beside my partner see me when I wake up in the morning, would I? Well, it’s a matter of personal choices and personality, I’d say.

I can’t stop asking myself if, for instance, Shane MacGowan from The Pogues had been noticeable today or if noticed, let to “get public” with that figure of his, without being prepared for going public. Maybe they would have applied at least some sort of makeup and transformed him in a kind of Marilyn Manson? Who knows.

Let’s get back to our sheep and allow me to draw a parallel between our reality today and the reality back in…you name it. Oh, you do not seriously think I would do such a thing! For that I’ll need a pseudonym. A new one. And some years from now on to write it all down. Plus to research it carefully. It’s not a subject which I am comfortable with. What I can tell you and what you already know is that pseudonyms existed long before the world wide web started spreading its tentacles. And yet, even if pseudonyms didn’t cease to exist and against all odds grew stronger, we are about to reinvent them. Nowadays it wouldn’t suffice to use a pseudonym only. As far as I can tell it’s imperative to create a bunch of accounts related to that pseudonym. Related to that other self  person you are about to use. It’s not an easy task, but more and more people do it. Until we will be living a double life. Or no life, for that matter. Okay, that might be far fetched, but since our children and pets already have accounts on the major social networking sites, I can take the liberty of bringing this up, can’t I?

I said it before, and I’ll say it once again, taking the risk of repeating myself. It’s like all some of us do is for the sake of their public image. I can totally understand the ones who do it. I can also understand the ones who don’t. It’s their choice. But what happens when you really don’t know who you are talking to anymore? When it’s not about that individual selling you his company’s products, but about your own friends who you see trying to desperately show off a life they don’t really own? And then again, this is not a problem at all, compared to companies tying to sniff at someone based on their facebook account for instance. One of the articles that almost made me [insert what you like] last year, was Beware, Tech Abandoners. People Without Facebook Accounts Are ‘Suspicious.’ And since I didn’t have that account of mine, I started wondering. Am I a suspicious? But why? Then I started to write here and I realized it was likely to happen again. Create account. Add photos. [Note to self: take care not to upload and save/share/whatever the you being ugly photo he took last year.] Write something nice. Wish people you didn’t see for 10 years Happy Birthday. Comment on their timeline. Timeline? What the heck is this supposed to mean? Ah, they mean my events on facebook! Right. Why didn’t I think about this earlier? I could just hide some events if they aren’t suitable for my image! Bingo! Isn’t that somehow amusing? I can be who I want you to believe I am, look how I want you to see me. I can show you my life as I am willing you to believe it is.

Am I social? Yes, I certainly am. All of us are. And we are by nature drawn to all things that have the potential of going viral.

Off the record