A couple of weeks ago, one of my best friends asked me a simple question, “Why aren’t you on Facebook?”
I answered her question with one of my own, “Why would I need to be on Facebook?”
“Well, it’s fun. You can find out what everyone you knew back in high school is doing,” she said.
“I really don’t care what the people I went to high school with are doing today.”
I don’t think she quite understood my response.
Seriously, I couldn’t give two farts in a stiff Texas breeze about 652 of the 654 people I graduated from [insert name of rich, suburban Rust Belt high school here] with back in nineteen garble garble. The two who are left, you ask? Well, I’d drop everything on less than a moment’s notice if they called and said they need my help, as I’m sure they’d do if the situation were reversed (right boys?).
Everyone else can get bent as far as I’m concerned.
How can I dismiss out of hand 652 people? It’s not like they were bad (well, at least most of them were nice). It’s just that over the years those bonds of high school friendship that seemed so, so very important have not stood the test of time.
One guy, who I was as close to as the two who are left just kinda-sorta drifted out of my life after he got his girlfriend pregnant about three years after we graduated. His life got different, and we stopped having anything in common. The conversation ended there. It just petered out.
I’m not a Luddite, resisting some new-fangled Internet thingy just for resistance’s sake. The digital camera and souped up Mac I received this week prove that.
But perhaps, as I think about it, there is a bit of resistance to the idea of Facebook in my actions. Maybe I am old fashion in my thinking that a friendship is something that goes further than a few short sentences on a wall or posting a new picture or two every once in a while.
I used to love writing letters to my friends. During the 13 weeks I was at Parris Island I must have written 50 letters to family and friends. While I was in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War I wrote letters back to the complete strangers who’d taken the time to write to Any Marine. Some of these started correspondences continuing long past the time I returned home.
I can’t remember the last time (aside from Christmas cards) I put a pen to a clean sheet of paper to just say hi to a friend. How about you?
For me, friendship involves the breaking of bread, a shared bottle (hopefully something distilled by Mr. Jameson) and tales of mischief, woe or love told face-to-face. A hug goodbye as you leave a party is so much more satisfying than clicking “sign out” when all is said and done.
I’d like to think the time I don’t spend on Facebook is time I can spend with you ITRW.