i have always had a love/hate relationship with technology. i typically feel like i was born in the wrong year. not completely far off from the early ’80s, but maybe in the ’50s or ’60s would have been smarter. i loved the way true hippies dressed, the suburban neighborhood entertainment, and the way people used to communicate…”the old fashioned way”.
now, i love my cell phone. and i love to text. and i won’t lie that there are some grand conveniences to apps, camera phones, etc. (did i mention i have a love/hate relationship?) but i still feel as though all of these things take away from our privacy, and can pressure us to form bonds with people we might not on a normal day. allow me to explain…
i am 30 years old. i am of the generation that saw the first beeper, the first “car phone”, instant messaging, AOL, myspace, etc. i remember my first AOL account username, and how exciting it was the “chat” on my computer. but i feel like a major disconnect in reality came with the introduction of “Myspace”. yes, it was cool to put your picture up and interact with your friends, but all of a sudden we were thrown into this world where privacy was dashed into the wind….and we WELCOMED it!
i will be very transparent. because of the age i was at when all this began, i feel like i lost my true self for several years, and just recently have begun to find her again. the true me, the one that didn’t try to impress anyone in my home life, the one that was awkward when i was awkward, boring when i was boring, and introverted when i was feeling introverted lost her way in a world of “i went here”, (like anyone should have cared on a day to day basis) “i listen to these bands”, (even if i had only heard 1 song by them) “i think these movies are cool” (even if some of them i haven’t seen), and “i’m friends with this many people”, when in actuality, i had either only met some of them, or knew them through other people. my generation slipped away into a world that did not resemble reality at all. i hate facebook and twitter for those reasons.
last week i spent the WHOLE week cleaning out my facebook account. i got rid of apps that i never use and friends i never talk to. but i felt tons of guilt for it. why? why would i feel guilty ‘unfriend-ing’ someone that i haven’t spoken to in 5 years. see, this is where it is so false. when we were younger, we called to talk to the people we considered ‘friends’. we WANTED to hang out with them and speak to them, have coffee with them, be involved in their everyday decisions and choices, their struggles, their triumphs. but to do that, we invested our time and energy in them, and they trusted us with their personal, intimate details. but these social media tools take away from that effort. now, don’t hear me wrong. i LIKE facebook. my sister posts photos of my niece, and i love being able to keep up with what my friends are doing…but there is no need for me to be keeping up with everyone i ever met. but facebook does not make it easy to unfriend people. it was a challenge. and i don’t consider these people not my “friends”, but not people i should be sharing every single detail of my personal life with.
…this is a rant, i suppose, but i mean for it to be a revelation.
i am tired of being someone, and doing things, and taking part in activities, so that i can share it with the world of facebook. i feel like i became someone i wasn’t so that i could make people believe that i was “cool” or diverse, or unique. it took away some of my identity. it took away me being me, just for the sake of being me. i share this in hopes that if anyone out there feels like they have forgotten who they truly are, or feel like they are not themselves, perhaps take a moment to evaluate why you do what you do, and who you are doing it for.
i will keep my facebook account, and my blog, and my computer. like i said, it is a love/hate relationship, not a hate only relationship with technology. i think it is great for some reasons, like keeping in touch with my extended family, or a friend that changes their phone number constantly, or people that are hard to get in contact with. and i like sharing on here with you, blogging about the interesting things that the internet, this beast of technology, can teach me. i like that i found this avenue to be myself and people that enjoy who that truly is.