Last night I typed out this Facebook status:
Everybody wear your red, white, and blue tomorrow...unless you are a terrorist who hates America.
My wife, looking over my shoulder, immediately said, "Nic, change that, you can't post that."
"You know I'm only joking about the second part, right?"
"I know it, but a lot of people won't."
Unfortunately, she is correct.
According to Facebook, I have 346 "friends", and considering only 1/5 of these people are actually my friends, that leaves about 280 people who don't really have any idea who I am. Not one of these 280 people will understand that the above proposed status actually means:
Yes! The US is playing a big World Cup game tomorrow! As you know, I love World Cup soccer, and this game means a lot to me. I know it doesn't really mean a lot to most of you, though, and I wish it did, but I love you guys anyway.
I don't want to spell it out like this, though. Why should I when I could say something that my friends and I would all find funny? The answer, of course, is that Facebook is a sham. It isn't a community of friends, but an arena for any acquaintance, co-worker, or friend of our parents to eavesdrop into our lives. A lot of these people have apparently been appalled by what they have seen, because I have been defriended more times than I can remember. I haven't really been emotionally impacted by any of these defriendings because, really, what do I care? Better that people stay out of my business. I once had a woman Facebook friend me after meeting me on a single occasion, only to comment on this awesome video I posted with the word "Seriously??" and immediately defriend me. This kind of left me awestruck. Lady, don't take a bite out of the cake if you don't know what the filling is!
Sure, Facebook does give our acutal friends an opportunity to have a new window and easier access into our lives, but should they even have that access?
Why do we even humor each other with the question "What have you been up to?" anymore?
If we are being honest, we can say, "I see your vacation went well. Your new bathing suit is really cute. I see you and your husband ate at this particular restaurant, that you ordered this particular entree, and that you thought it was good, but a little too salty. I see your oldest son won his soccer game. He is getting so tall. I'm sorry work isn't going well. Hopefully that big project will stop stressing you out. I thought Toy Story 3 was great as well. Well, nice rehashing things we already know about each other. See you later." We won't say this, though, because we have already posted this on their Facebook page.
With this setup, we don't even need physical interaction anymore.
And going back to the story that I introduced this post with:
Did I really spend my adolescence, teenage, and college years fighting to establish my identity, just to wuss out as an adult on some stupid social networking site?
Still, I'm not deleting my account.