Thursday, September 24, 2009

You're Invited to a Party!

Last night I was talking with my brother about online life, and we got to talking about FaceBook. I started a page some time back, at the prompting of at least two friends who were amusingly insistent about it, and out of at least a little curiosity. It's turned out I really don't "get" FB, nor care much about learning how to. Granted, my participation level is lethargic - but the value of increased investment for rewards I'm currently not *missing* seems forgo-able, for my money (and time), so I've actually finally just deleted my profile.

I initially started the thing using a nickname made up something like ten or more years ago, in the throes of sarcastic amusement at the IDs people come up with for Teh Intarwebs. I am increasingly leery about having personal information online, particularly in the tangled web of networking sites.

The fact is, I love ALL my friends and all my family - but they don't all know one another, life is a compartmentalized thing, and that's fine with me. I would not have everyone I know or ever did over to my house at once, because the mix would be unsociable at best, and in some ways for prudish sensibilities such as mine, outright inappropriate at worst.

I think to myself at places like FB - do I really care about being in touch (or being accessible to) with people who have faded from my daily life for one reason or another? In some cases, the "fading" has been entirely intentional. Why would I risk reversing all my efforts to cut ties to certain people - the offense and unnecessary hurt feelings that could cause in so many directions - merely to keep myself visible electronically?

I don't really CARE about being available to people. Those relationships I value, I have been able to pretty much maintain. That some things are memory, not present tense, is not merely all right, but actively preferable to me. That my whole life isn't viewable at the touch of a button is kind of a "thing" for me.

"So why do you have a blog, Ms. Smarty-Smarty?"

Precisely because this medium confers on me some control. I may be find-able, but I am still not exactly accessible - not, at least, beyond my comfort with that potentiality. A blog is sort of outmoded, at least in social terms. I know mine will always be a backwater, and prefer it that way. That this space bears my name at all is a concession to electronic mores, and some allowance for my paranoia to be proven wrong. It's a space where I can be long-winded and need apologize to nobody. It's the one flag I can stand to fly, in a mileiu so full of banners.

I think to myself sometimes: my friends are all in good fun, but some of them use language online I would never ask them to censor for my young-adolescent niece. Still I would not care to shepherd her into acquaintance with her auntie in the terms I fully accept from other people. Here, nobody need run into any of my relationships in any uncomfortable ways. Nobody need tolerate MY personal tolerances. And nobody needs to know anyone else too well, through me; be offended by someone, be judgmental of anyone. What I choose to embrace, I do not mean to recommend to any and all comers.

Right or wrong, and as much as I love everyone in my life, I don't want to be held responsible by one for the other's language, politics, outspokenness - or meekness. I don't want to worry about who's ruining whose experience in any space one could call mine.

I also really don't like hosting parties anyway. I am increasingly private as I age, increasingly a hermit. (Not anti social by any means; but definitely appreciative of solo space.) Asking myself whether this is a neurosis, I come again to the question of my family, my nieces.

And I say, you know, it's okay if I'm neither famous nor even paid attention to. What notice people give me in that mythical place called IRL suits me aplenty. This stuff? Is negligible. So here is my limit.

I find it's contenting, deleting that FB profile.

Now if only I could content everyone else. *Rush rush rush*


Anonymous said...

I would love to have the power to delete my FB profile. Unfortunately I'm terribly addicted and start getting anxious if I don't check it every couple hours.

Love your blog! Following.

DLM said...

Aw *blush*

Thank you!