The Facebook window

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.

Now?

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.

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11 thoughts on “The Facebook window

  1. I think facebook is great for keeping in touch with long distance friends or people you meet on travelling, but not a substitute for hanging out with your home friends. Use facebook, don’t let facebook use you.

  2. Very good post. It’s great to see how you weave your stories together while putting across a good point. I enjoy various forms of social networking but am also aware of their limitations. I do find keeping in touch with people who are far away much easier to do then it was in the past.

    • Thank you!
      Oh, I completely agree. Facebook’s brilliant to share, announce and organise people, it’s quick and easy, and, as I say, there IS a lot of enjoyment and amusement to see who’s there. It’s great for long distance friendships… but it also helps me forget about the ones waiting outside.
      This post is not deriding Facebook, it’s about my own inabilities. When I start wondering why the ‘like’ button isn’t enough to sustain a real life conversation, there’s a problem.

  3. How true, A Leek. You make a very good point. It’s quite ironic that something meant to connect us better makes us feel far more disconnected. Great post. L.C.

  4. David Hing likes this. *thumbs up*

    Yeah, I’m not a Facebook fan. I hate the way it connects you with old friends to the point that you can both see each other’s lives and are both painfully aware that neither of you are still really talking to each other. Friendships go different ways as a matter of course, but you’re right, Facebook can turn that friendship into something illusory, or something that you can’t help feel was imagined.

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