Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To Facebook or Not to Facebook?

There are no technological advances that I can think of where I have actually felt peer-pressured to be apart of, except one. I have never felt like I needed a big screen tv (ours is 19" wide), any gaming systems since when Super Mario Bros. was at its height in popularity, and although we have Mac computers, it's because I like them, not because someone said it was what I had to have to be cool. I don't even feel pressure to have the IPhone...but there is one thing where I totally feel like a social misfit for not being apart of: Facebook.

It started this year during school, when a girl in my class asked if I was on it since she had tried to add me as a friend and couldn't find me. I politely said no, and immediately felt the backlash of scorn. 



"One time my classmates and I formed a group on Facebook, and you didn't know where the party was unless you were on Facebook."

Wow...All of a sudden I was the unpopular kid who wasn't invited to the party. Ouch.

Every now and then I think about it, especially when some of my diehard holdouts cross over (Booie), but then that fleeting thought passes and I go on with my life.

Then there was this weekend...the 1999 R. A. Long High School reunion. To start off with, I didn't even know about the reunion, because they contacted people through Facebook (once again...unpopular). Okay, fine. I still found out. Then at the reunion I was also repeatedly scorned for not joining. "HOW COULD YOU NOT BE ON FACEBOOK?" "HOW DO YOU COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE?" Directed to the person taking pictures: Me: Where will the pictures be posted?...Him: "Ummm, it's called Facebook." AHHH!!! 

Okay for do I communicate with people? I call them. I email them. I send them letters. I hangout with them in person. Secondly...

When did friendships become one stop shopping? I'm sure it's easier to see what people are doing, but at what cost? Do we lose a sense of personal connection when instead of calling our friends to see what they did last night, we can just go online? 

By the next morning (8 hours later), some of my high school friends had already received friend requests...which means...people went home after the party (2 a.m.ish) and posted pics and added new friends. Did I feel left out? No. Especially when those on Facebook said they were going to have to untag themselves from pictures. (Will I sneak into Gracie's account and look at the pics...probably, but just for the pics, not to snoop.)

I have other reasons for not joining. The two biggest being that I think I would secretly like it and devote too much time that could be put towards school, and secondly, I don't want to be tagged to a photo that a future student might see. And the last reason now, is that if I cross over, I will officially not only be unpopular, but a hypocrite. So to Facebook or not to Facebook? It is one's own choice, but I do ask...or rather plead....please do not make people feel bad for not participating. We are not lepers...we do have friends...we have our reasons...and we never ask in all caps: WHY DO YOU FACEBOOK?

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