Today I had a mishap on Facebook. A new acquaintance posted something I misread. I thought she said she was being made fun of by a girl in nerdy glasses and a guy in tight jeans, so in her defense, I thought I'd make fun of the girl in nerdy glasses and guy in tight jeans. Turns out she was the girl in nerdy glasses and her boyfriend was the guy in tight jeans. The hicks she addressed was everyone else at the bar--in other words, I made fun of the wrong group and came off as an ass. The number of people that hate me rose by at least two today, as I tried to do right and did wrong.
It's instances like this that I miss the good old days prior to Facebook and Myspace. I miss the days when I could go off the grid and be alone. I miss when I could vanish for an entire summer, when I didn't have a cellphone. Being antisocial a decade ago, even five years ago, was actually possible.
When I lived in Denver I would go weeks without any sort of social interaction, excluding my boss at work who I had no choice but to talk to if I wanted to keep my job, and it was perfect. I never got in trouble. I never put my foot in my mouth. I had zero drama, because I never posted something on my page, then had to take the post down or apologize because one of my online friends found it offensive.
I never had to argue with someone about politics because I shared a Daily Show clip or be sure to "like" their away messages about going to the grocery store. I was never forced to be witty or feel pressured to tell a joke. I never had to alter my opinions or practice keeping my opinions to myself. I never had to guess the mood of the person living in Florida that I haven't seen in a decade when they leave cryptic messages like, "If there were only words..." and I respond, "Those are words," only to be rebuked with, "You're an asshole."
Social networks are drama machines, when not used for bragging. When I left Myspace, I thought I was out. Then I was told to get on Facebook. When I tried leaving Facebook, all I heard was, "You have to get back on. You're missing so much." The guilt-trips were endless.
What does an antisocial introvert like myself, someone that just wants to be left alone, get from a social network other than grief and problems? Do I really need to see photographs of someone I used to talk to fifteen years ago standing on top of a mountain? Must I really be subjected to an onslaught of baby/child/pet/family/wedding photos from people I'll probably never see again? Must I really be forced to view everyone's version of reality TV? While I adore seeing pics of kids and whatnot that I actually see and interact with in real life, it's a bit surreal when I'm bombarded by people that are strangers yet I'm too polite to unfriend.
Personally, Myspace and Facebook have ended more friendships than developed them. Then there's always that awkward moment at the bar when I bump into someone I deleted because I was sick and tired of their comments/spam/constant fights. Seriously, when will the social networks go out of style?