It’s been a while since I posted a status update on Facebook. Probably mostly because my current unemployed life of reading, watching TV, playing video games, walking, surfing and doing not much else is not often worthy of comment. Oh, yes, I have applied for more than 50 jobs and have not received so much as an interview in return. But I’m not looking for pity; I simply consider that a fact worthy of comment.
It’s also the nature of internet social media that’s rendered me silent on Facebook recently. A nature that has caused introversion in me for the same reasons the real world often does: its immensity and complexity. The realisation that the volume and character of my particular voice must be insignificant when set beside the cumulative voices of the rest of the online world. Or at least my friends list. It’s a view occasionally reinforced by statuses of mine which are completely ignored by more than 100 people I’ve decided, in some context or another, are my friends. It’s ironic that among such ignored posts, links to blog posts such as this have been the most commonly ignored. Sure, many people have little time to read more than a few sentences these days. But again: assuming some of the people exposed to the material have been, are or would always claim to be friends of mine, it is disheartening that indifference is so often adopted.
It’s also an energy thing. The numerous – but thankfully not necessarily grand in scale – failures I’ve suffered during my life in pursuit of various objectives have taught me that my energy, along with my time, is precious. That although failure is valuable for learning it is also taxing and can draw energy from other pursuits presently doomed to failure that might otherwise have been successful. Basically what I mean is that not only is online social networking not necessarily productive, even from points of view such as entertainment, but its pursuit as a pastime can sap energy from other worthwhile or even vital activities (ironic that the auto-type on my phone tried to write “viral” instead of “vital”, there). That idea might not be particularly new, but when one is given enough time to consider its implications (by, for example, disabling one’s Facebook account for a couple of months), the resulting realisations are frightening.
And, finally, it’s a privacy thing (another irony, considering some of the personal things I’ve aired on this blog). Social media is a wonderful way of accessing all sorts of interesting facts of various degrees of dubiousness about people we know. One of the problems is, and this might be only me, if someone is interested in something I find either irrelevant or reprehensible, I’m much less forgiving online. I’ve removed at least four people from my friends list for ‘liking’ that Tom Waterhouse suckhole. But in person I’m unlikely to be so critically dismissive of the same person. And this isn’t necessarily balanced out in terms of severity by my favourable opinion of someone who shares an interest of mine. Although the online, as opposed to real world, medium does arguably allow for a deeper conversational exploration of two peoples’ mutual interests. At least if they both feel more comfortable expressing themselves in writing than otherwise. So I guess from that point of view I can understand that perhaps some of my statuses/blogs are offensive or not easy to relate to, and that is why they’re ignored. Understanding doesn’t lessen the disappointment, though. And the other problem is about delivery. Even though I, and many others, try to make my posts humorous, thought-provoking or at least well written (for all I know some people might interpret writing competence as a form of pomposity), there’s probably a lot of people on my friends list who simply don’t care. And simply don’t care to such a degree that my post’s presence on their news feed causes an angry reaction in them. Something’s got to explain so much complete disregard. I simply don’t like the idea of making people angry. And not because it causes me fear, but because I try to have a positive (albeit maybe sometimes jarring) influence on people.
Well, there you go: four reasons. That’ll do. It’s 3am and I’ve indulged in an often suppressed urge to write at an inappropriate time. I suppose, all things being equal, it’s a better indulgence than cigarettes or alcohol. Especially on a Tuesday night. For all you workers out there: thanks for the dole money. Hopefully you’re consoled by the fact that it’s going back in to the economy anyway, even if you’re not consoled by the fact that it helps me to live at least a subsistence existence.
PS If you are on my Facebook friends list and you’ve bothered to read this whole thing, please comment on or at least ‘like’ it. I mean, even if we or one of us wouldn’t technically consider each other ‘friends’, chances are you’re on my list because I at least value to some degree what’s in your brain. So why the bloody hell not share it (what’s in your brain; I’m not trying to force you to share this post (but go ahead if you want))?