Last night after a chat with my husband, I decided to disengage myself from FaceBook. A social suicide of a kind. I wondered who would notice, who would care if I wasn’t on the social network anymore and MORE importantly – how this disconnect would make me feel.
After pulling the plug on myself, I went to bed and found that a tear welled up in my eyes… I would no longer see the baby pictures people posted nor could chart their growth or accomplishments. I would not see the beaming smiles on the faces of friends in far away lands as they post their vacation photos. I wouldn’t be up on their daily chats. I would lose contact.
It had become such an important part of my daily routine. Checking in on people and letting them know what was going on in my life by updating my status. So what would it be like to be so detached for a week or more. Could I go on with my life – certainly but how would this self imposed cyber-solitary confinement effect me.
I have a couple of friends that were never on FB and some who rarely post anything. I’m not a daily poster but I do spend far too much time deleting email alerts that someone I know posted on someone I don’t know’s wall. Facebook has become such a big part of everyone’s lives but it’s a shout-out – like talking to the heavens and wondering if anyone hears you and then the pay-off – someone clicks “likes” or leaves a comments on for you and others to see. It validates your existence.
Even my blogs are posted on FB and gets hits otherwise what I have to say falls on deaf ears. Who will know what I have to say if I don’t post. It’s an easy way to keep in touch with hundreds of people at once and coming across people that I lost contact with was definitely a PLUS. The high school friends that have moved on with their lives, still remember me (fondly) and it’s nice to see that they are well. To see pictures of weddings and births really warms my heart.
One simple click of an update status button and everyone knows about your gallery exhibits or what you had for breakfast, its unobtrusive in a way, much like emails. And as nice as it is to have hundreds or thousands of friends as some people have. I wondered how it would feel to not have that connection. Would I feel isolated?
The social networks played such an important role in the uprisings in Egypt, Libya, etc. There is strength in numbers and it makes you feel empowered when you are counted among the many.
We are such social creatures and I think once utilizing the capability to connect in drones it will be difficult to go back in time and pretend that you it didn’t brighten your day a little when you saw the image of little Johnny eating home-made mashed peas for the first time.
note: I can reinstate my FB account and they keep all my info on record so that I don’t have to start all over again – or so they say…. this is a test, this is only a test.
Already I am starting to feel invisible… as a photographer, the connection between you, your image and the viewers is why you create in the first place.