The last time I logged into Facebook (which was only, like, one day ago) I posted a status that was something like “sick of FB, taking a break, if you want to get ahold of me let’s communicate like normal people” or something to that effect. Since that hastily-typed semi-thought, I’ve been inundated with folks wanting to know four things:
1. Is something wrong?
Is it something I did/said/posted?
Are you okay/feeling well/mentally sound?
2. Where are you?
I am travelling /moving outside the ranges of Facebook access
I am in hiding /Witness Protection
I am avoiding someone
3. How do I get ahold of you?
Has the cell phone number that you’ve had for the past three years changed?
And, perhaps the most disappointing:
4. Will I never hear from you again?
I only communicate with friends through Facebook
My absence from Facebook should be taken as a personal attack against that person in particular
Okay, so I exaggerate. The questions I’ve received have not been that frantically Worst-Case-Scenario-esque (though the first question seems to be pretty popular). However, I’ve welcomed each and every last one of these e-mails, texts, calls and instant messages because that is the “normal human communication” I was going for (and no, I wasn’t purposely baiting folks into talking to me).
See, I realized that if some Facebook-a-pocalypse were to Smote the Internets, there are a LOT – a loooooooot – of folks from whom I’d probably never hear again. These are mostly passing acquaintances; folks from my high school, students with whom I’ve worked, kids I’ve tutored, friends of friends I’ve only met once or twice. These are vague, semi-connections that, while meaningful at the time, were not really meant to last.
So I pared down my Friends List, removing the folks to whom I rarely (sometime never!) spoke, or the ones to whom I’ve not spoken in literally years (like the people who Friend Request you out of the blue, but don’t follow it up with a “Hi, how have you been doing?” message or Wall Post). I genuinely meant no disrespect by doing this. I just don’t think that being Facebook Friends actually means anything at all – but maybe that’s a generational thing. Facebook does sort of make me feel old (or at least my biological age) sometimes.
But more (probably much more) on that later.