I admit it. Like millions of other people, I got caught up into the Facebook Rage. My personal email inbox is now filled daily with notifications that people have sent me drinks, blown me a kiss, sent me virtual plants that will take 4 days to hatch into something like a teddy bear or a gemstone flower, requests to take challenges, add fish to my aquarium, feed my vitual pet, pet other people's vitual pets and nudges that it's my turn on a vitual scrabble game. As if there aren't already enough things to do and not enough time to do them all in!
My generation hasn't fully caught onto this latest craze yet. Up until this point, it's been more or less contained to those of at least a decade or more less than mine. However, that is quickly changing. We, older folks are now finding that Facebook is another new way to add "stress" into our daily lives!
While I love keeping in touch with old friends, saying hello and sending them a plant or a drink, wave, or a hug, I'd really rather be doing it in person as opposed to virtual gestures in cyberspace. By no means am I ignorant of the wonders of the world wide web and it's capabilities. I am actually quite well oriented with it and very proud of being self-taught at it all. The problem lays in the idea that we are all seemingly wasting vast amounts of time, chained to these computers, typing out messages to people that we could be spending time with on the phone and not the least, actually getting together with in person!
I watch people in cars, walking, in malls, and just about everywhere else a signal can be picked up, stumbling along, not concentrating on where they are or, what they are doing, cell phone nearly glued to their ears. Just about 8 out of 10 people that I see nowadays are on one at any given time and everywhere I go. Given the fact that we spend inordinate amounts of time on these little pieces of technology and coupled with the fact that we spend hours more on things like Facebook, one has to wonder whether anyone truly gets together in person anymore? Is there even a need for us to see one another in person? Are we even in "the moment" when we are on these things?
I have friends all over the world and for that, I am grateful to have these types of technological wonders as it saves me tremendous sums of money in phone calls or in having to go to the post office to mail off a regular letter. It is also instantaneous. Click a send button and we can send a hug, card, flower, our our deepest thoughts and feelings in one fell swoop. Two minutes later, those way across the other side of the world can receive it. Again though, that makes it dreadfully sad that we are using this technology with people who we could just as easily see in person!
Does the convenience of these web based product allow us freedom or are they actually balls and chains and hiding devices?
I can certainly tell you one thing here. Facebook has made me one busy woman. I am so busy feeding my virtual cat, petting other people's cyber animals and sending them gifts that I scarcely have time to pet my real pets! Instead of doing my laundry, I am sending everyone a virtual beer or tequila sunrise. Instead of reading a good book, I am too busy returning cyber hugs, toilet papering someone, or adding another fish to their virtual aquarium. Rather than planting real flowers, I am sitting on my fanny here, sending out plants and flowers on the web. And, rather than reading a good book, I am far too engrossed in trying to keep up with my friends in taking cyber quizzes and comparing scores!
There are actually days now where I dread going to my computer to check my email! I now find myself gritting my teeth at seeing 14 emails which tell me that friends have left me my daily virtual messages and gifts on Facebook because that means that I feel obliged to return the favor lest they think that I am being rude!
As if there weren't enough things to do in a day. As if there weren't other ways to be "friends" with people.
Perhaps, I need to clear my Facebook profile now and simply write............
OUT LIVING REAL LIFE! CALL ME. WE'LL DO LUNCH!