Pleading the Proverbial Fifth
17 February, 2012 § 7 Comments
I’m going through a reduction of conversations in life: time, money, writing–in order to communicate a clearer message. Today at 5:15pm I will be deactivating my Facebook account. Not in pointless protest of change or any such ridiculous thing, but in order that I might more intentionally live life and share in life’s immediate conversations more poignantly. There are two reasons for taking this measure and they are the pressure of being present and my philosophy of people.
Having given it 24 hours since I announced my leaving of Facebook, I have already spoken to one person who feels freer now to deactivate her Facebook account because my wife and I are leaving. This led to a realization that I hadn’t quite fully grasped, but had an idea of, when I announced my leaving. People, especially friends and family who we’ve both recently moved away from, expect a great deal of involvement in their lives because of our presence on Facebook, and when that involvement isn’t met there is hurt and resentment. The pressure of being present on Facebook is enormous. I have a friend who never bought into the whole, “get a Facebook” craze, because of the pressure involved, and now I understand some of that.
Not only is the pressure of our presence so poisoning (had to), but I’m also realizing that my philosophy of people doesn’t agree with the philosophy that Facebook promotes of how to build an effective relationship. Information alone doesn’t constitute a healthy relationship. On Facebook, you don’t even really have to know the person to know their birthday, relationship status and what they ate for breakfast. In this ever shrinking world, with implements like Facebook, texting, twitter and the like, you are never sure who heard (or misheard) you. That analogue afternoon never happens. I can really only keep up with so many conversations before the input that I have to give in these conversations becomes so paltry that I might as well have not spoken. I don’t want to speak in every conversation. Neither I nor anyone I know is a true renaissance man, and to be honest, I don’t want to be.
I plead the fifth.