Last week, I stumbled on a single-panel cartoon that I found enormously funny. Some dude named Sisyphus was on his Facebook page, complaining to his Facebook friends that his rock had just rolled down the hill again (“Zeus likes”). That Atlas guy told him to try holding the weight of the world on his shoulders and stop complaining.
There was more, but you get the idea. It was a neat, compact skewering of a fad that most of us think we can’t live without.
No, I am not a Facebook fan. I’ve had friends who insist that I can’t live without my own FB page, yet here I am, happy as a clam, with not a single Facebook friend to my name. I’ve even been left out of important conversations because they happened on Facebook and no one in the discussion thought to email or call me. Still, I refuse.
I have a bit of a stubborn streak, and I’m a bit of a technophobe. I don’t blame my age – Michele has a Facebook page, and you probably do, too. You go, girls.
No, besides my insistence on clinging to a belief in the importance of some degree of privacy, there are two reasons I haven’t signed on. First, I spend enough time online. I have three email accounts, a blog, a LinkedIn account (forced on me by a former boss) and I spend most of my workday at a computer. The second reason is this: I have an old-fashioned preference for actually talking to people face-to-face.
I live by myself; I have a private office. I’m a bit of a homebody. If anything, I need more contact with live human beings, not less. It’s the same reason that online dating gives me the heebie-jeebies: if I’m feeling sociable, I prefer my laptops attached to legs and a torso. I can’t laugh along with a keyboard, and a computer screen can’t share a glass of wine and understand what a rotten day I’ve had.
Technology can help us, but it can never truly replace us. So I’m standing firm: If you want to friend me, you’re going to have to do it face-to-face.