Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Put your head on my shoulder..."

In this day and age, it is nearly impossible to spend a whole day without hearing or saying the word facebook at least once. Expressions such as "Add me on facebook!", "I'll post it on facebook" or "Have you seen the latest pictures on facebook?" have become regulars in our vocabulary. To say the least, not only do we use that term commonly now but consequently, we can honestly say that facebook has pretty much infiltrated (all) other parts of our lives as well when it comes to "connect and share with the people in [y]our life". And rightfully so: thanks to this engine, we will not forget a birthday ever again. We needn't bother getting personal with our family and friends -- whether they live next door or on the other side of the world -- because they just need to click on our recently added photos to check how that holiday went. We can tell the universe our exact plans for today or the upcoming months by updating our status. We can even find out what X and Y are up to -- even without asking them -- just by going on their profile. And so and so forth, these are only a few of the endless privileges that facebook has to offer.

Without doubt, this profile site has made things so much easier for us. There have been similar websites beforehand such as friendster and hi5; but nothing caused quite the stir like facebook. It became more popular maybe because, among the already mentioned advantages, we also operate through facebook to create events, promote other websites, spread the news and debate about it; or to kill time with games and applications. More importantly, we might also regard facebook as one of the revolutions of the 21st century since people of all ages and backgrounds make the most of this service and Internet will never quite be the same without it anymore. In the end, we can conclude that its impact is clearly monumental. No one understands this better than someone who decided not to have an account.

[Oops... What just happened right there?]

Why brag about facebook as if it were the best thing that moved the world? Why speak of it highly when I, myself, do not really like the concept and its influence? Do not get me wrong, I had a facebook profile because everyone is on it and everyone told me I should get one. It was fun while it lasted, I do not deny it, but the reason why I deleted it is because, matter-of-factly, it is specifically for all the reasons above. Facebook is still a term that is used day-to-day in my life, but it has now shifted to "Why did you delete your facebook?" or "How come you do not have facebook?" I keep on repeating: NO! It is not because I want to avoid a boy and NO! It is not because I do not want to share my life with others. But reality is, even how much communication got more simple and effective through facebook, I still reckon that kind of communication and exposure to be impersonal, tacky and just plain superficial: people depend on it too much, wrongfully so, in order for them to stay connected to others.

Once again, I very much agree on the fact that it has great advantages: everything was made more accessible in the twinkling of an eye with facebook. Yet not having an account made me realize what is in my reach and what remains real in this fast-paced and 'virtual world'-oriented society. I am certain that I am missing out on a lot of things by erasing my account, but I also know what I am not missing: the number of people greeting me on my birthday has decreased but the right ones still remember, I would rather share my vacation with those who really wish to know how it went instead of announcing it; I prefer to call, write a personal message or meet up to tell my friends and loved-ones what I am up to exactly. Finally, I want to ask about their whereabouts by asking them directly.

Internet is a fantastic invention and it is true that I can be found on other websites that I visit on a daily basis. These are pages which, in my opinion, reflect my personality better and answer to specific interests. But concerning the core of connecting with people, which is the main purpose of the said site, I believe I have not lost touch with the world by not being on facebook. I cannot help but wonder: when did it become weird not to be on it? How many of us have connected again with old classmates and old flames, friends and family through facebook? But how many of us know them all and truthfully stay in touch with them? Aren't some of these friends just... faces? This is not a rant or criticizing how the people who depend on facebook have turned out negligent, but I think it is still pretty awesome to give communication (with those who matter) a more personal and intimate touch. It is a little reminder that it is not because it became so easy nowadays that we do not need to go the extra mile to keep in touch anymore. Always do, and always appreciated. Until the end of time, with new technology and all, communication should never be served on a silver platter.