If approving a friend or following someone sounds like a typical day in front of your computer then you understand how ubiquitous social networking sites have become. In theory, we are all supposed to feel more connected. To never lose touch. To know what all our friends, favorite celebs, and those people we couldn’t stand in high school are doing with their time.

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… we don’t live “in theory”, and in reality it strikes me quite differently.

FB-BigThese sites tap into the exhibitionist in all of us. We can share up to the minute updates of our most inane activities… and unbelievably, we think others will care.

Informative gems like:

Watching a movie.” – No you aren’t apparently, you’re typing away on your iPhone.

Going to bed.” – Did you need to tell me that? Just go already.

Thinks he ate too much at dinner.” – By all means, share your indigestion with the rest of us!

Needs a shower” – Great, now we can all visualize you stinking up your keyboard.

Loves his wife.” – Sweet, but does she know?

Twit-BigAnd I’ve had many requests to join twitter, as many friends are already on it and want us to follow each other. The truth is I imagine I will create an account for Everyday Driver before too long, but personally I don’t have any random updates worth sharing.

Todd is sitting on his couch updating his status.” “Todd is going for a hike with the dog.” “Todd thought about doing something just now… and then decided against it.” See? Riveting.

I figure if you’ve got free time and any interest in what I’m doing or what’s on my mind you’ll read my blog. (Hello by the way… to all three of you…) That’s what this is here for… because when I have a thought I really want to share I need more than 150 characters.

Most recently I’ve been wondering how far this status updating can go. Or better yet, how and why are we reconnecting with people who left our life at some point for some natural life cycle reason?

I suspect that kids born this century may never really lose track of their junior high classmates. Now, they won’t talk to them any more than I do… but there they’ll be as one of their 1,249 friends when they are 30. How wonderful, this must be forever, we’re facebook friends! I follow you on Twitter!

Todd is currently retching.” And then they’ll be 6 people commenting on my status update.

Then there’s the dark and funny side of it… my wife getting an update that someone from her high school class just died. Sad, yes. But Catherine had to look up this girl in her yearbook cause she had no idea who the person was. This hasn’t made us closer, it’s just made us connected by this thin veneer of “I’m interested in you and you’re important to me.” When the truth is we’re all just trying to come up with our next clever status update.

And a girl I barely know has started posting strange call-for-help updates. To the point that after a series of dark postings one just said “help me”. Reading that from thousands of miles away really made me realize how superficial this connection is and how much “look at me” goes into one sentence updates.

Where’s it stop?  Am I going to wake up one day and read:

_______ just jumped from a building but didn’t realize it would take this long to hit the gro… 5 seconds ago.

And it will pop up on Twitter and Facebook. Social networking last words.

We’re not closer, we’re blasting a running commentary to hundreds and calling it closeness without sitting down with 1 or 2 and talking things out.

This makes me want to hug my friends. The real ones I talk to regularly and have been through shit with…

And not with some (o) icon either… not via twitter or my iphone. My arms, their necks…

That’s friendship.


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