Pharos-Tribune

Columns

August 31, 2013

KNISELY: Living social, for real

I’m off Facebook … again.

I went off the social media site earlier this year for a couple-month stint. It was a great experience. I should have just stayed off.

Facebook is an unnatural evolution of human involvement. People come and go out of our lives, but on Facebook, their presence lingers.

It used to be you’d leave high school and venture out into the big world to find new friends and new experiences. You’d revisit your classmates every decade or so at the reunion and undoubtedly compare your life to theirs and see if you stack up. But in the post-Facebook world, you have an ever-open window into their lives and, for many, that means the comparisons are ongoing.

The site also keeps you connected to people you’re not connected to in the real world, i.e. past relationships or severed friendships.

I guess you could say it’s all in how you use the online tool. I’ll give you that, but argue we’ve all used Facebook in unhealthy ways. Yes, I’m talking to you, person who is shaking their head no right now.

I know for me, I’ve found that I tend to see my friends less often yet I feel like I know what goes on in their lives because of our connection on Facebook. But I really don’t know what’s going on with them; I just know what they post on Facebook. I see pictures and feel like I’m there. But isn’t the point, though, to actually be there?

And that’s only half the problem. Sometimes Facebook is just plain annoying. You can love someone but absolutely hate them online. People will say things in Facebook posts they would never say in the light of day.

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