Meet my new texty

I don’t mean to sound bitter, but I’m sure it will come out that way. I hate the whole virtual friends thing pervading the internet. I’m not a fan of social networks, or buddy lists, and I can’t bring myself to click on any site that has “myspace” anywhere in the url.

I might be fine with it if they changed the word. A “friend” is someone you talk to or hang out with. At some point, you must actually be in their physical presence for them to be a friend. You have to react to their eye movements, their gestures. You have to learn what the physical/emotional/spiritual/whatever reaction is when you’ve said something wrong… or right for that matter. You cannot have a friend through emoticons; it’s not possible.

They should call it something different… I don’t know, “texty” or something. As in, “This is my texty Susan. We’ve been texties for years.”

(exhale.)

The reason I’m going off on this is that I’ve been dragged into the Facebook universe (I’m not even going to link to it). It’s not that I particularly want to, it’s that everyone here, nearly every actual friend that I have in Korea, is on Facebook. They do actual things like share photos, upload rehearsal recordings, and organize schedules.

But I can’t for the life of me figure out how to search for these friends without having it troll my email account to find matches. I click on “find friends” and it wants to scan my email address book. Fuck that. So I click “more ways to find friends” and it wants to dig for more personal information (classmates, co-workers). Listen…. just give me the option of searching your database. Don’t go searching mine. A simple search box, where I can enter names, ala Skype, that’s all I want.

It seems people put a lot of faith in these virtual hubs of social interaction. I’m not sure which part of the psyche it’s feeding off of, but by the looks of things, there’s a lot of time spent managing this stuff. I’m trying really hard not to throw judgments around, and I’m sure it’s personal taste. But I find it kind of sad that people spend enormous amounts of time building vast networks of people they’re not actually experiencing, and then spending the rest of that time not-really-but-sorta hanging out together.

Give me a connection I can experience… give me flesh and blood, a genuine laugh that I can hear, an awkward silence, some ambiguity. Otherwise, I’m sorry, but it isn’t real.

UPDATE: OK, I figured out how to search for people. Like always: pilot error. I’m much calmer now.

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