|Posted by Barnaby on February 12, 2012 at 8:05 AM|
This weekend, with a few fleeting hours to myself when my little daughter was napping, I was perusing the endless parades of conversations and congratulations on Facebook. It was like being surrounded by friends at a party for themselves and being stuck in a conversation that I had no reason to be involved in.
Social networking is a fantastic bonus for promoting yourself and your work but it's also a dangerous tool for abuse and upset. Even something as simple as just seeing what other friends are doing, or who they are visiting, can result in an unjustified huff. The point is, it's like being the invisible man. You can see what everyone is up to but, in the end, it just corrupts you. People annoy you who you once loved. People disappoint you who you once respected. In a nutshell, you end up learning more about friends than is healthy for your friendship.
Being sometimes housebound (whether it be due to being Daddy Day Care or a relapse in my long-term illness M.E.), you rely on seeing friendly faces. It's always nice when someone pops by or makes the effort to see you. Oddly, being on Facebook seems to alienate you from that. As you are in 'contact' every day, people don't feel the need to see you in person. Strange.
I'm a sucker for Facebook. I like the interaction and the ability to connect with people from miles away and from overseas. It's usage as a promotional tool has been watered down due to the hordes of events and pages and groups that you tend to ignore on an hourly basis. But, it's still a fun place to be. However, when you realise that you spend more time talking via a keyboard than via your mouth, then it's time to cut back and invite people over.
I get lonely. Everyone does. I like being surrounded by people. I like being in a 'group'. However, invariably, I find myself the epicentre of relationships and friendships - it's like I'm the connecting point that got everyone together in the first place - but then, due to the fact I've introduced everyone to everyone else, I'm the one left with nobody to talk to. It's a conundrum I've yet to figure out and, I'm sure, sounds terribly self-pitying. But, sometimes, just sometimes, I don't want to be the one who does the running, who does the organising, and who does the contacting. I'd like to be surprised by friends who genuinely want to see me, simply to say 'hello'.
I'll just sit here, tapping my foot impatiently, until the doorbell rings...