It’s not the huge portion of my life which is sucked into the vacuous vacuum of social networking. Frankly I don’t network much at all on Facebook. Or in life, now that I think of it. I’m just not a social person. I don’t like people that much.
But I like games. And so, in spite of my social networking hatred, which has built itself up into something of a frenzy today, the bottom line is I only just hit level 44 — the landmark level at which I can acquire my 1st additional farm — in Farm Town yesterday & I’m not ready to give that up just yet. It took me an entire month to get here.
It’s the privacy options. Rather, the lack of them. Facebook forces you to use your real name so that people can always find you, & even if you make your profile unsearchable & your avatar unviewable, they can still see your name if you ever leave a comment on a friend’s page or if one of your friends leaves a comment on your page. When someone comments on your page, you are mentioned to everyone in their feed. There’s no way to hide.
I was resistant to Facebook because I had such a bad experience on MySpace. It had to do with an oversized Friends List full of people I didn’t really consider my friends. They were acquaintances. Some of them weren’t even acquaintances; they hated my guts but we were on each others’ Friends Lists – even as each others’ Top Friends – because to be honest about it on MySpace would somehow mean more than the fact that we didn’t speak to each other any more in person. I couldn’t remove ___ for the sake of honesty without it looking like some kind of public declaration. I did it anyway, but it tortured me when I remained on hers. I wanted honesty. I wanted freedom.
Recently this dude that I knew only briefly some years ago through WoW found me & messaged me out of the blue on Facebook, asking how I was doing. I responded cordially, & asked how he was, & he began talking about his personal problems.
I didn’t respond. When he asked about the guild I felt that was appropriate so I answered. And since he apparently felt he had tested the waters sufficiently & gotten a favorable response, he then fired off a Friend Request at me.
I denied it. I mean, come on. I never even raided with the guy.
Two days before that some other dude messaged me on Facebook asking how I was doing, referencing our acquaintance with one of my best friends (who very wisely refuses to get on Facebook). By my 2nd polite response to him he had sent me an add request, which I denied.
Guys like these two are easy to deal with. Just reject them. I don’t even know them. They have no reason to be offended or hurt if I do. There are so many others, though, who fall into an uncomfortable gray area. It’s not that I dislike any of these people; it’s just that I don’t really care about them either.
The problem, for me, with having people I don’t care about on my Facebook is that, well — it’s just too many people. I only care about a relatively small number of people & I only want to hear from them. I can hide the people I don’t care about from my Facebook feed, & believe me I have, but the add requests just keep coming. The meaningless, cheap, & pathetic invitations. It should be sufficient that I can just reject them, but somehow it still bothers me. It — grosses me out. I find it repugnant.
I realize that other people — probably most people — approach social networking differently. I shouldn’t even be here. I think it’s stupid to add someone you have no interest in, nothing in common with, & nothing to talk about. And yet people like that still want to add me, & then for the rest of my life on Facebook, I never hear from them ever again because we are not interested in each other, have nothing in common & have nothing to talk about. Completely useless. It offends my compulsive need for everything in my life to have a meaning.
On MySpace acquaintances would add me, & then I would never hear from them again. It was as if they just added me to have another picture in their Friends List. I just can’t understand that. Why have me on your Friends List?
ANYWAY, there’s no point in trying to explain my neurosis. I know I’m being emo, but I also know that this is really how I feel because it’s happened twice now. Either you get it or you don’t, & if you don’t, it’s no biggie. Lauren’s just being emo.
My ideal social network would give me more control over my interaction & my exposure. Facebook offers a few paltry settings but overall it throws antisocial people like me to the wolves. When I registered my Facebook account, I created a dedicated email; I wasn’t about to use my personal email. I didn’t know why; it was just a gut feeling, & it turns out to have been a good idea. I avoided entering my city & my high school. I refused to give Facebook my mobile number. No way, you Big Brother wannabes.
When I think about all the Life that I might be living if I wasn’t on Facebook it makes me feel a little angry. Really. Why do I spend so much time obsessing over something I don’t even really care about? Would I know who my real friends were, would I know who I cared about, without my Friends List or my Newsfeed? Of course I would. Right?
It should take me a few months to hit saturation point in Farm Town. And then I’m deleting my Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg & his forced transparency can suck my grapes.