Primary school, in class: I would gaze out of the window at the playground. The giggles and squeals of me playing with friends there an hour or so earlier would still ring in my ears.
Sixth Form, study leave, my bedroom: My eyes would drift to the street where the routines of people walking and talking past would become as familiar as friends.
I open up Facebook.
I gaze through the window. It gives me some enjoyment and amusement to see which friends are there right now. I can holler out a comment from my observation point and make them look. The giggles and squeals of me playing with friends there an hour or so earlier still rings in my ears.
The relentless likes and impulsive comments of a well-timed status, the depths of longing at the lack of midnight notifications, all lure me into a lull of comforting clicks. Key holes into other peoples’ lives. The forbidden fruit of distorted distraction proves seductive.
I have things to do with my life.
I haven’t called a friend in ages. It’s a social life of sorts becoming active, aggressively active, on Facebook. There’s an art to announcements. There’s a grandiose ego involved.
But eventually I feel lonely.
These are not my friends. These are holograms, illusions, projections. The garden looks like fun but it isn’t real. I am fooled again by tricks of the light where the ghosts of friends leave wisps of half-baked ideas.The reciprocation of conversation is never as fulfilling as it is in real life.
If I reach out to these wisps they disappear. It snaps me out of my reverie when I realise that the person I say goodbye to was never actually there. I just thought they were.
Am I crazy?
A Facebook profile shows everything – except whether that person is real or fake.
And if I stay too long I forget the difference.