So I signed up for Facebook a couple of years ago. But I really didn’t use it much. I just figured (and accurately by the way) that it would be just another time sucking device in my life.
I was determined to allow it function only as a sort of portal for folks from my past to find me if they absolutely needed to, and nothing else. I certainly had no intention of filling it with mindless facts about what I’m thinking about or what movies I’m watching or books I’m reading or who I like in what election. I wasn’t going to get caught up in that.
Then something happened.
What happened was of course by design by the geniuses who developed this thing. I got an invitation by someone I’d forgotten about. It was a person I hadn’t thought of in years, but admired greatly. As I accepted this invitation, I perused their page stumbling upon other people I hadn’t thought about in years and also admired. I found myself actually interested in all the directions life had taken them. And then I found another person. And before I knew it, I was addicted. I was smack dab in the middle of Facebook hell.
What was happening to me? I keep telling myself, “I have more important things to do.” And I do. But, somehow I just need to know what Jimmy or Mary or Tony are up to. I can’t help it. I just need to know. I get little ticklers every day in my email letting me know they just posted something. “Wow, isn’t that cute?” I say to myself. Or “Hmm, how tragic.” It’s a soap opera – only I actually know the stars. And I’m one of them, because people actually comment on my thoughts or “status” as it’s called.
And at the end of the day, I consider my day’s accomplishments. I often discover I’ve fallen short. Way short. When I woke up I had a game plan, but I didn’t execute this game plan because I was too busy answering Sherri or Bob or Annie or Jack.
And so that is what life is now. It is about vying for people’s time and then wasting it once you manage to lasso it. Entire business models are built on just that. From social networking sites to phone apps to texting to 24/7 accessibility to reading the daily sports headlines on your phone while in the bathroom, our time is not our own.
And as troubling a thought as that might be – as much as I may long for a simpler time, I couldn’t imagine having it any other way.