I recently signed off from the bizarre world of FaceBook. For those of you who don't know, Facebook is a service which allows you to broadcast to the world important things about yourself including: your favorite books, your political affiliation, and most importantly your relational status. Anyone can search for you, although you have to grant people "friend" status to view your entire profile.
For awhile I thought it was mildly amusing as I tried to acquire as many "friends" as possible. Naturally I couldn't keep up with the college crowd who boasted some two-to-three hundred friends. I was a decently popular guy in college, but even at the height of my quasi-popularity I was not filled with the delusion that I had that many friends.
Then it dawned on me. This tool, while attempting to make life easier and draw people closer, had added one more layer of superficiality to our high-tech world. It allowed people to know me without them ever talking to me. It allowed old friends to stay in touch by "writing on my wall" instead of making a phone call or writing an email (which is another subject altogether).
So I removed myself from this madness. People who know me and want to stay involved in my life will be in regular communication with me via phone, email, or physical interaction. Those who would like to get to know me should not think that finding out I like Star Wars from a website draws them closer to me. Instead they should go through normal channels of relational development to build a friendship. Even a blog should not be used as a substitute for true human interaction, although it often is!
Don't get me wrong - I see the value added in all technologies. I just like to make a strong case for the good ole days. Yes, that's right - the '80s.