- Posted May 16, 2012 by
San Diego, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Living without Facebook?
“No.” I respond.
The simple question evokes a flood of internal responses, from the rational to the emotional to the bizarre. To be honest, the real reason spans all of these ranges. However, rather than launch into a blathering rant and deluging them with a virulent brain dump, I simply shrug and say, “Meh.”
This usually spawns a retort about the wonders of social media and all the nifty things you can do and say, a kaleidoscope of possibilities where families or far flung friends can reconnect and share their lives and how I am hopelessly isolated without it. And it is this reaction that is one of the many reasons why I rebel at the prospect of opening my life up in such a way.
I value my privacy just as much as I value my friends and family. However, rather than share the details of my life with them in a virtual, pseudo-social way, interacting through a bland and emotionless computer, I instead will call them. I visit them. I send them photos they can actually post on their refrigerator rather than on some non-existent wall. I interact with them as a human and not some vague profile picture from High School that’s supposed to represent me.
Read the paper (If you can find one now adays) or watch the news and you will certainly hear about how the authorities caught some crook or some employer fired some philanderer because they posted their exploits on Facebook. Once upon a time, we used to worry about Big Brother invading our lives and quietly inserting themselves into our personal affairs, but here we are today, voluntarily opening our intimate and personal details up for all to see. Big Brother could not have asked for anything better than Facebook – a social experiment whereby all people are encouraged to share their lives and their minds with one another in a seemingly innocent and safe environment.
Don’t get me wrong, Facebook definitely has its merits and it has absolutely changed the way in which the world communicates with itself. It has provided an outlet for public discourse and direct influence for change that is unparalleled in all of human history. When used properly, it is a massive implement for good. But as we all know, most humans operate from a platform of at least mild self-interest and for as much potential good as it has, its potential for not-so-good is even greater.
So, perhaps the next time I am asked why I’m not on Facebook, I’ll simply answer “I don’t trust it and I have a phone.”