Note from November: Having spoken to and listened to my friends and Tarot community members, I have admitted that I was selfish in my reaction. I reactivated my account in order to be able to discuss our seminars and Tarot thoughts in the Tui Tarot closed group.
My good Aussie-multitalented-calligraphy artist-style guru-wine connoisseur-queer friend Jack once gave me a postcard, saying “No, I’m not on Facebook” which he said I should hang on my wall so that people would stop asking. It does hang on my wall, but people still keep asking.
But if you don’t have an account, how do you talk to people?
Don’t you have any friends?
Don’t you want to network?
How do people get in touch with you?
How do people find you?
Don’t you feel lonely?
Honestly, to someone who has never went near this monstrosity, all of those questions were simply funny. Facebook seemed like an odd cult where somehow the entire world belongs. Like, the entire world – I don’t know anyone personally, who doesn’t have a Facebook account (excluding my grandmothers).
But when I launched Tui Tarot, I thought I would finally give in to the peer pressure and try it out. I mean, it could do no harm right? I wouldn’t be using my personal credentials; I would be using it strictly for Tarot – either to promote tea salons, have interesting discussions in a plethora of groups, or just generally get connected.
Truth is, I had no idea that I wasn’t connected before. I felt perfectly happy with my domestic relationship, my friends, my acquaintances, my business network… But everyone kept telling me I am missing out on something incredible and irreplaceable which will send my life quality through the roof.
So there I was, 28 hours ago, creating my Very First Facebook Profile. I used Tui Tarot as my handle and got through the first steps quite painlessly. The moment I had created my account, I felt as if I had given my hand, no, my heart and soul to a blue devil. You can never get rid of your account. What do you mean I can’t? Are you telling me I can never close the account?
And what’s up with tracking my every move on the Internet? Did I really sign up for that when I created my account?
I mean, read my blog if you will, but literally tracking every move that I make on any website I visit? Clearly it was time to put my foil hat on. I didn’t sleep that night.
The first evening was fun – my two friends taught me how to use the Chat feature, showed me how to create a Group and participate in discussions. I even created a page for Tui Tarot with an announcement of the next tea salon. I took a test on HelloQuizzy and posted the results. I made a few funny comments on my friend’s wall.
But then, on the homepage, Facebook suggested a few things to me. It suggested my home town. It suggested the school I went to and the job I had. It suggested to me the job I applied for a few days ago. Not as Tui, but as me. My paranoia only grew, but the worse it got, the more content I was posting. Because that’s what you do on Facebook.
I spent an entire day trying to figure out whether it was a good choice to lose my Facebook virginity. What do I actually gain from that? There might be more discussion, but will this discussion be meaningful? As I logged in again, the first thing Facebook did was to show my some people it thought I know, so my sister’s face was glaring at me happily. Facebook knows I have a sister? Even though I haven’t even given it a speck of my private data?
I clicked “Deactivate”. There was an ominous moment of silence after that, and a bit of irony as well. As my main reason for quitting Facebook after my 28 hours, I listed “Concern for my privacy”. Facebook was very concerned with my concerns about my privacy, even telling me that two of my friends would miss me. Friends who live closest to my apartment. Coincidence? I think not.
During my Facebook-bacchanal, I got 7 friends in my friends list, made roughly 30 new comments, got 14 likes, liked 3 things, wrote in two groups, chatted with two people, stalked 7 childhood acquaintances, refreshed the home page 529 times to see whether there were any updates, posted 1 event, got 1 attending
Everyone around me knows that the most meaningful affair in my life is with my red laptop and I am quite glued to my tech devices. But I am so at my own accord – I am a graphomaniac and I enjoy writing on my lappie (did I say it was red already?). I also like to eat, take walks in the park through the golden leaves, have sex, melt chocolate so it leaves the lingering smell in my kitchen, draw and read next to the fireplace caressing my ferret. I just don’t have the time to be refreshing Facebook also.
I talk to people face-to-face, or call them when I want to meet them. Interesting discussions I have in a chat room of my favourite forum. Sometimes I write e-mails to my friends, if there is something particularly interesting that they need to know IMMEDIATELY and are unavailable for a call.
I have friends over often (several times a week). We play boardgames (or fight over which boardgames to play), sometimes we play Dungeons & Dragons, sometimes we just sit on the couch or in the garden at the fire and talk about life, love, politics, food or wine.
I’m happy with my network. I’m happy with my community. And I’m definitely not lonely.
If you want to share this post on Facebook, feel free – because I won’t be able to.