Saturday, August 15, 2009

on why i quit facebook and did this instead.

at the end of the eighth grade, mike grande wrote in my yearbook, simply, "Have a good life." nothing else. he was to go off to prep school and chances were i would never see him again. that year brought many of those cases, and i spent many lazy moments that following summer thinking about the reality of having to part with scores of familiar faces, off to bigger, better and navy-blazered futures. i would always look back at the sincerity and genuineness of his message, that hid not behind "have a good summer" or "maybe i'll see you around." to me, it just read, "this is life. get used to it." and so i did.

i recently stumbled upon mike grande on facebook. i instantly requested his friendship, and we wrote brief messages to each other. but after the initial excitement that comes with finding an old friend, i began to feel dissolute. the image of his pencil-scribbled yearbook message kept flashing in my head, and i felt like i was betraying the natural order of things by reconnecting with him. and then i began to survey the motley crew [sic] of people in my friends list—from elementary school, junior high, high school, college, new haven, providence, portland and countless jobs—and i started to feel like i was at my own funeral.

with the internet comes the notion that we never have to part with anyone, that there are now countless ways of "keeping in touch" while exerting little to no effort. i dislike this for two reasons:
one, i am willing to exert effort to keep in touch, and i do so. i call you, or i write you letters, or make you cards, or stop by your work—you know who you are. and i appreciate that you want to do the same for me. i think it means something. the effort, that is.
two, i don't feel the need to keep in touch with everyone. i think saying goodbye and closing doors and compartmentalizing is, well, healthy. hence the dissolution i've recently experienced. i think having everyone i've ever known in one venue is nothing short of confusing. in my head you all mean something distinct and unique. you do not all appear on one list titled: People I Have Known. you belong to different memories and different places, and therefore should not all appear together. it just rapes you of your individuality. and i don't think any of you want to be raped.

so, i deactivated my account, and with concern facebook asked me, "why?" and i replied, "because i don't ever want to see mike grande again." not because i don't like you mike, because it's just the right thing to do.

i moved to a blog because i have a lot to say, a lot more than can fit into an update on facebook. and if anyone wants to read it, awesome. if not, still awesome. i'm writing it for selfish reasons anyway.