I had a brief return to social media this week. It was the result of a great night out with friends (almost as rare as a Phoenix blizzard for me) and the euphoria of being “out there”. So I dug out the keys in the junk drawer and restarted the engines on match.com, facebook and afroromance.com.
Ya that worked out about as well as I thought it would. I immediately unfriended my mother because she “liked” my cover photo almost as soon as I posted it. Sigh. Now lord knows I love my mother, but seriously, I could post a picture of my fingernail clippings and she’d like it. That’s what moms & dads do.
I had told her months ago that I initially left Facebook because I am repulsed by the nature of “liking” and apparent need for people to share their most droll lives believing the public truly cares what the fish fry at the Corner Tap looks like or that they are getting ready to go to the gym.
We’ve become a culture of individuals who crave attention from “friends”; the great majority who we don’t even know. It is nothing more than cheap, superficial, feel-good affirmations from the masses. This “look at me and like me” behavior encourages, inflates and then feeds the worst dynamic in human beings; ego.
[Disclaimer: As for this, my free-for-anyone-to-read journal, I find it hard to believe that my blog is being read by anyone, and if it is I would probably prefer that I rarely find out..in other words, the “comments” option on my posts is turned off, I do not have any need to be “liked”, and could not care less about maximizing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so I can be #1 on some matrix.]
And then there are the people on Facebook who ignorantly (or intentionally) expose themselves as bigots, homophobes, or even worse, Fox News cultists. ew. There comes a point where I simply do not want to know what other people are thinking. I’d like to remain optimistic about humanity.
Anyway, I only wanted to get back on Facebook to stay connected with friends in other parts of the world and a couple of folks I know here in town. Well besides cringing over mom’s likes (Yay! Mikey did it!), I went ahead and reconnected with a local friend to see how she was doing. After exchanging pleasantries in a couple messages, I went ahead and offered to treat her for lunch sometime soon. The silence was deafening.
As an inept social misfit, I panicked. I thought my “creepy old guy” persona must have unknowingly crossed some line, and the rest, as they say, is history. Abort. Essentially, if my only contact with a group of “friends” is through Facebook (and I had “only” 17 friends there to begin with), then are they really my friends, or simply acquaintances who I was fortunate to know at one time or another? Face palm. Delete profile.
After our Saturday night on the town my guests and I were sitting around my apartment and I decided to update my match.com account from 2007 or 08. I actually paid $71 for three months (too many margaritas obviously). Ugh. So for the last 4 days I’ve had the um, pleasure, of being relatively ignored by women I find interesting (I really can’t blame ’em), and attracting those I simply do not have chemistry with. So that tells me I am being unrealistic when it comes to “romance”. For me its a no-brainer; better off shutting it down and stop wasting their time and mine. Canceled membership.
And finally, I’ve had a “lifetime membership” to Afroromance.com since about 2006. After my divorce I signed up when they had a $69 special for a lifetime membership which was cheaper than signing up for 3 months. Some eight years later, here I am still logging off and on. I have met some interesting and frankly adorable women. But as George Costanza would say; it was me, not them. After connecting with a woman last night, I lasted one email before I wrote, “sorry about the 180 but my heart just isn’t in it”. Deactivate (much like my student loans, I don’t think I can actually cancel my membership until they get my death certificate or something).
So that’s it. Like the groundhog on February 2nd, I saw my shadow and retreated. Or like Bilbo Baggins, until my next adventure I’m back in Bag End, ensconced in the side of the hill in my beloved Shire. At worst I confirmed my social ineptitude. Better off writing a manifesto in private. At best I am reading my inner compass better than I used to. If my heart isn’t in it, if it’s not telling me to move in that particular direction, I simply cannot. No matter how long or hard I bang into some walls, they will not move. I have to turn and go in a different direction; the sooner the better. Both of my marriages were indicitive of that. I banged my head into the same wall for 10 years and then again a second time, but for “only” 5 more. Now I respond much quicker to following my heart and directing my journey. But I suppose every now and then I have a need to just double check, “…to see if I still feel”…