Facebook has taught me a lot about life. Since I joined three years ago I've perfected the passive aggressive status update (guess who I'm talking about!), the sly "brag" (hey, look what I can do/have), and the "I care about you just enough to leave you digital content but not enough to pick up the phone" interaction. But something felt wrong.
I was tired of reading status updates of people who secretly annoyed the hell out of me. and enormously agitated by the obligation to think up different ways of saying "Happy Birthday" every few days. I needed a break from the self-created noise.
As a social media entrepreneur, I know that my grievance with FB is ironic. The website literally pays for the roof over my head, but if I had to have one more offline conversation with a friend about the difference between Facebook-appropriate comments and behind-closed-doors banter, I'd snap. Despite my pretty straight edge life, I was tired of worrying about a 3AM tagged photo that would tarnish reputation. I couldn't even watch cable replays ofAdventureland without feeling resentful. I was in too deep.
Facebook was starting to take up a large amount of emotional space so I did what any modern person in their twenties would do, I unfriended 600 of my "friends". Cleaned house. The tech genocide felt good. It made me feel powerful like a despot or rebel leader. Sure, I received a few confused and hurt emails here and there but overall, it was a success. The people I stayed in contact with were the people I was actually in contact with. People who I cared about or wanted to get to know, not just those I had a mild interest in.
Now that Google+ has come around I find myself wondering if I'm headed down the same path of obligatory baby photo Like-ing and oversharing. Of course the second an invite was offered to me, I snatched it up but I'm wary. Real life, the kind that isn't compressed into a status update, has been growing on me. I don't know what bands, causes, and foods via photographs of restaurant plates hundreds of people are are in to and I like it.
Google+, I'm going to let you in, but please remember you are a guest in my home. The second you put your feet on the couch or tag a wall, you're out. I have high hopes for you. xx Me