Thursday, June 20, 2013

Real Time

Some things are harder to give up than others. There are times when we know that we have to pull a plug on something in our lives and when we do, we wonder how we ever lived with that part while it was still intact.There can be signs and huge hints that tell us to take a hike. And that, my friends, is exactly what I did when I left the Facebook world.  Yes, I unfriended the friendly friends for once and for all.  Will I miss that intimate relationship with the hundreds of people who told each other way too much,  about every hour of every day?  Probably not.

There are some parts about those voyeuristic opportunities that leave me feeling high and dry now.  But, Joe still has a page that is alive and I can drop in unannounced any time I'm hungry for more. For a mother who is prone to worries, this at least allows me to know that my daughter is still alive and that my granddaughters have new shoes from time to time.  It also allows me to know where and when their next vacation will be....and that means so will the rest of the voyeurs and we're still not sure that they are all good "friends." They wouldn't dream of using the information and the opportunity that was just provided via a recent "post" and the endless comments and questions. Hmmmmm, maybe. Oh, when are you leaving?  How long will you be away?  Will you be alone?  Can I come rob your house?  Even better, what flight will you be on.....can I blow up your plane? Dangers abound folks.

I am apolitical. I don't have a party of choice or need. That does not mean that I don't have opinions about how my country is run but I will not miss hearing about everyone else's opinion. Over, and over and over.  No, I won't miss the "shares" or the endless filling up of my space with the views of people who like to repost anything liberal whether they have actually read the original or not.  Mind you, I am not a conservative but you probably would not know that or anything else about my politics because I wouldn't want to "offend" anyone, not knowing who's out there to be offended in the first place.  Get my drift?

I eat, you eat, we all eat.  However, I'm not so sure that I want to hear all about every meal, snack and/or diet you are on, as much as you would like to tell me and show me the photos.  I'm not missing those little red flags on those mini maps that tell me exactly where you are dining and with whom.  Why is this so important? If you own a business, sure, promote it.  I can't think of any better way to reach the millions of people who should know about your product or your place of business.  But I do not own a business so there's another reason for not having four hundred and thirty nine Facebook friends.

If I haven't seen or heard of you since high school, why,oh why do I want to hear from you now I ask?  Perhaps it might be that you want to show me how perfectly wonderful your current life is.  Could that be the reason?  If not, what took you so long to "reconnect" with me?  If we were friends then, we most likely still are and becoming "friends" won't change that unless we lost each other's name, address, date of birth and had a burning desire to have what we had when we were thirteen years old. Doubt it. Here's a perfect place to use the old phrase, "let sleeping dogs lie".

I am old fashioned in a lot of ways.  I think the telephone is an excellent way to share my views with other people.  Or, to be more in keeping with the times, an email that allows me to speak longer without my hands falling asleep from holding a phone next to my ear.  I would rather tell you personally that I love you or hear from you that you feel the same about me.  We don't need to "share" it with what seems to be the whole world ("you mean you're NOT on Facebook??????).  I also think that seeing you in person beats seeing endless photos of you.  Sharing, I mean really sharing a meal, in the old-fashioned way, beats seeing what you ate or intend to, in an Instagram photo.  I'd love to hear all about your vacation, love to know that you had a relaxing time, well deserved no doubt, and love to see some photos of what you thought beautiful. That beats "like" a hundred times over.  I will miss the spontaneity of your comments but there's always the phone or chit chat over lunch when you return.  I suspect that if you have the time to "post" all those bits, you have some time on your hands for other forms of communication in real time.

Yes, I am guilty.  I, too, filled up spaces on "friends" time lines.  I "commented" and I "shared" like the dickens.  I was one busy FB'er.  But I knew it was time to leave when I felt like saying "Yes" to Lowes, and when I wanted to ask why, if it's grown locally and there are no chemicals used and no transport or employee benefit fees involved, does it have to cost so damned much at a farmer's market?  I knew I was in the wrong place when I questioned more than one of the hero worships that went on an on following a rock  concert or a half time show.  I really knew I was totally out of place when I posted a comment and the post was followed by a "friend" of a friend who bracketed the word God in quotation marks.  That was the day I pushed the "deactivate" button for once and for all.

PS. .And when we do get together, by all means, bring photos of the grandkids because I want to see your face and the pride in your eyes when you show them. In Real Time.

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