I deactivated my Facebook account, and I haven’t been posting on Twitter. Or I’ll post, and then delete it. Recent events have rendered me uncommunicative. And Facebook makes me uncomfortable.
Do I want my mom (FB friend) to know how depressed I am? Do I want Marilyn to know? Do I want random people I only know from shows, classmates, aunts and uncles?
What is this supposed benefit, this advantage, to being “out” and “complete” on the internet? To not withholding pieces of myself? What do I get, besides exposure and violation of my own personal privacy? Not any guarantee that others will accept me or treat me compassionately, that’s for damn sure. Mark Zuckerburg’s argument that we should post our entire lives online, under our own names, presupposes a just and compassionate universe that I just don’t think I see.
I’m writing more now that I’m not reading Facebook.
Facebook is predicated on this idea that our whole lives, attached to our real names, should be open books. How profound can Facebook really get, in that situation? How far are we willing to risk our true selves on a website?
Open and honest Facebooking is predicated on the assumption of an open and honest (and compassionate) society. Why should teachers be honest, when they could be fired for admitting they drink beer? Why should public officials? Why should husbands, knowing their wives will read what they post? Children, in the view of their parents, and parents in view of their children? How much are our relationships really built on honesty, and how much are they built on discretion? Does Facebook make society more tolerant, or less?
Is this why so many people do nothing but post pictures of lolcats and articles from cracked.com? What would they say, if they knew people were really listening? (Or maybe they know people are really listening, and that’s why they keep quiet about everything except the new Twilight movie.)
I am so much more open here, where nobody reads what I write.
In order to be honest with others, I have to first be honest with myself. And really, this fall, I’m just not there.