"Friend me," she said.
"I thought we just did," my incredible wit replied right before she awkwardly smiled and walked away and when I say "walk away" I mean turned and talked to the next guy at the bar, who without a doubt, is on Facebook.
For you see my compatriots, I am maybe the last person in their mid-twenties not on the social network. Well, along with about a billion people in China. But, to hell with them and their child labor and poor record on humane conditions, for they don't have to put up with the cultural leprosy young Americans who aren't on Facebook have to endure on a daily basis. Moments such as when...
- You miss parties because you didn't get an electronic invite
- You are listed as the "creepy guy" in photos because you couldn't be "tagged"
- You can't waste time at your job wasting time on other people's photo albums
- You can only figure out if a girl is single or not by awkwardly gauging reaction after comments like, "Let's make out" and you won't be able to keep exact tabs on ex-relationships
- You can't stalk people
- You still call it "The Face Book"
- You still use AOL Instant Messenger
- You are still setting up your Connect-U page
- You can't "like" Skittles publicly without physically telling someone, which, is a weird topic of conversation to instigate
- No one says "Happy Birthday" to you because no one knows when the hell it is, even siblings, who are on Facebook.
- And when out, you can only drunk text despite your wantonness to message more than 140 characters in a public wall posting format
Admittedly, I was on Facebook at one point. Who the hell isn't these days? But, I relinquished myself of it, went AWOL, for various reasons somewhat stemming from the fact I only had twenty-two friends and no wall posts in two years, but mostly because of the one thing I lusted for when on the site: anonymity. Or, more specifically, the wantonness to have no peripheral social implications past a bad look at a bar for anything I did. So, if you feel as I do, which judging from the wild popularity of the site, you don't, but if you do than you should know these few things about going cold turkey:
- You will, no matter how strong the impulse to rid yourself of your page, log back on and sign back up no less than three times in a six month period
- You will use other people's pages without their knowledge after asking something like, "Hey, what's your password? I just want to jump on here for a second."
- You will constantly think after taking a picture that it was, undoubtedly, "profile" worthy.
- Worst of all, you will in the first year, see your ability to meet up and hang out with friends be cut by at least a third, possibly a half.
No one ever said it was going to be easy to drop out of the online social revolution and the side effects can often leave you feeling for lack of a better word, like a loser. You may even say to yourself as you sit all alone on a weekend night that it was a total clown job to get off Facebook, but don't worry, there are bonuses that Mark Zuckerberg in his infinite wisdom and despite the privacy locks, couldn't account for on his billion dollar web page:
- You will no longer have 751 friends despite only knowing 54 of them
- You will no longer check your phone incessantly to see if anyone wrote on your wall
- You will not have employers fire you for the drunken office party photos despite being that person who "went too far"
- You can literally stalk people. Old time style.
- You can pretend to be too cool to be on Facebook.
- You will have the time to Google more random and possibly disturbing things
- You will be able to lie to casual acquaintances about your current occupation with no fear of reprisal. In the last week I have been a lawyer, doctor (surgeon to be exact), scuba instructor and living in Japan which isn't an occupation UNLESS you were asked to do it by a renowned Harvard Sociology professor to study the effects of a lanky, Irish Catholic on a culture of shorter, smarter people.
Complete and utter anonymity in a society where everyone is a click away from seeing and knowing who you are can be quiet fun. So, the next time you look at a picture and long to be "the creepy guy" or "girl", just log out and shut it down and never look back. Except of course, for the re-lapses but after that, shut it down and join the tens, maybe hundreds of people just like you who aren't on Facebook.
Follow Colin Barnicle on Twitter: www.twitter.com/colinbarnicle