Monday, July 21, 2014

If I believed in the Devil, his name would be "Technology"...

I would like, first, to admit that the title of this blog sounds completely inappropriate considering that I'm, y'know, "blogging" right now, which would be using technology to share my thoughts with those I love, as well as any strangers who may happen upon my little technological ranting site...Kinda makes me hypocritical, don't you think, calling technology "The Devil" and all??? I don't give a rip. Call me a hypocrite. The issue isn't really "technology" anyway. The issue is people. Humans. Flawed. Easily distracted. Clueless. Selfish. Idiotic. Discourteous. (I sound like a Star Trek episode, don't I? Some alien species describing the human race...Well, I'm not gonna lie. These days, I feel like the human race is not always something I"d LIKE to be part of!)

Anyway, as usual, I digress. See "easily distracted", above. 

I hate Facebook! Sorry, Facebook. I know you went public and all, but you suck. There might have been a time when I could have come to love Facebook, if someone could have taught me how to get ONLY the information I really want to see from it, instead of pages and pages and pages of bullshit, which is most of what I used to see on there when I had an account. Which I shut down, after going on a computer-free diet for a little while and realizing how much time I was wasting in cyberspace...Surveys, what people had for dinner, changes to people's "status", and other crap that is truly of no interest to anyone other than the person posting it. I liked some of it....I liked the pictures of people's families, but most of it was just garbage. I don't want to spend my time scrolling through the garbage to get to the good stuff. If there is truly "good stuff" and the person posting it is an important person in my life, then I should already know about it. I shouldn't have to hear about it when the rest of the world does, by randomly checking my Facebook page!!!

So, if you have ever read any of my blog, you know that my social life consists of occasional nights out with the girls, rare dates with my husband, and....yeah, that's the extent of it. (Does "work" count as a "social life"??? No? Yeah, that's the extent of it, then.) But, last week, I spontaneously invited a couple of old friends I hardly ever see over for wine on my back porch. Miraculously, they both came! One showed up first, and here's (roughly) how the conversation went:

"You weren't at so-and-so's fundraiser."
"I wasn't invited."
"Oh, it was on Facebook." 
"I'm not on Facebook." 
"Oh. Do you know what's going on with her business?"
"No, I haven't heard from her." 
"Oh my gosh, there is so much going on....."

This turned into a long conversation about the incredible challenges that had been going on in my friend's work life...NONE of which I knew about, because it's all been posted on Facebook!

There. That's the problem, in a nutshell. I understand, if you're doing a fundraiser for your business, you might want to put it on Facebook to get lots and lots of folks at your event. BUT, if its important to you that your friends attend, you MIGHT want to invite them, personally, via a phone call, or email, or even a text. That's a helluva lot more personal than just posting it on Facebook and calling it good. Why is it that, who-knows-how-many-people know about the intimate details of the struggles my friend is having, but I haven't heard a word? 

This sparked a conversation about Facebook, in which my friend (a wonderful, creative, intelligent woman, who is in NO WAY being disparaged here -- Just a difference in opinion, and quite a few years in age difference, which might have something to do with it...She incorporates technology in a whole different way than I do) said that you basically just need to embrace it, if you want to be connected, 'cuz that's the way the world is. Hmmmm...

All due respect, I 100% disagree! (Which could be the reason I don't have much of a social life, but so be it.) Because, here's the thing. Having lost my Mom to a horrible battle with pancreatic cancer what feels like yesterday, but is actually over a year, my priorities are very different than they used to be. I don't want to spend time with people just to kill time and be around "people", y'know? I want to spend the limited time I have with people who really matter to me. AND, I want to spend time with people to whom I matter, as well. So, if you care enough about me to want me at your event -- I should get a phone call or a text or an email, personally inviting me, and you can expect the same from me. If you just throw it out into Facebook cyberspace and cross your fingers that I'll get the message -- I'm not important enough to you. That's how I see it. I think that Facebook has created a culture of laziness. A culture in which people don't take the time to make that truly personal connection with someone who's important. There are multiple times I have missed fairly major events in "friends" lives, because I didn't happen to check their Facebook page. Sorry, but that's a load of crap. I shouldn't have to spend 2 hours online, scrolling through Facebook pages, to find out that someone I thought was a "friend" got divorced, or married, or had a 15th wedding anniversary, or got diagnosed with breast cancer, or was throwing a party... If I'm important enough to you, you'll take the time to let me know. If I'm not...then it's a cold, harsh dose of reality for me, and a humbling message that I'm not nearly as important to you as I thought I was. But, I'm not willing to accept this new reality so many people have enthusiastically adopted...People have said, "Well, if you really cared about staying in touch with your friends, you'd get on Facebook." That's just more crap!!! It's not healthy, it's not personal, it's not the way I want to live my life...

That's how I see it. So, my message to my boys is this...Stay connected with the people you care about. In person. Take the short amount of extra time it takes to let people know they mean more to you than their 200 other Facebook "friends." At least send a personal email or a text. Better yet, make the time to call them and hear their voice, or stop by to let them know you care. Because the future I see is a grim one. A future in which people don't really take the time to personally connect with anyone. They'll just put all their business out into cyberspace and consider that good. Friends who are truly just strangers on the other end of a computer network. Not a future I want for my precious boys. Not a future I want for myself. And, if I am the ostrich hiding my head in the sand, then call me an ostrich!

Ultimately, I may miss out on lots of social opportunities. But, if I wasn't important enough to invite in person, than I probably shouldn't have been there anyway. 



  1. Hi Beth! You're right...we get so caught up in technology making things easier that we actually forget sometimes that there is a real world out there! I have a friend who's not on FB or any other social media, who hardly ever texts, and actually CALLS people and makes plans to see them in person! Recently I was trying to track down my daughter's old piano teacher so I asked that friend to help me, since she has lived here for so long. So you know what she did? She looked up the piano teacher's address in an actual phone book, then drove to her house and knocked on her door and introduced herself IN PERSON! You know what? It never even occurred to me to do that! lol I had been searching the internet like crazy, reaching out on FB...and there she was...a real live human with a real life living in a house, ANSWERING HER DOOR!, and having conversations in person with real live people. Who knew?!

  2. I love your friend. How sad that a personal visit has become such a rare thing, eh? Cheers!