Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Why of No-Facebook Man

Hands up please, how many of you know someone that does NOT have a Facebook page? Are all of your friends wired into one of the most addictive social networks in the history of our entire, freakin, planet? Please do not inlcude your 80 year old grandma who still doesn't own a computer, old people are old for a reason, they were born before you were.

Let's say, for today's discussion, that we include ourselves and anyone we know up to and including people our parent's age. Beyond that most older people, not all, but many are too stubborn to learn this new technology crap. So, back to the question, how many people do you know that are NOT on Facebook? What could possibly stop these people from creating an account and posting a simple photo and fill in a few personal things about themselves. How hard could that possibly be?

I will try to explain why a person would not join Facebook. Whether I am speaking of myself or anyone I know it matters not, but I believe that I'm thoughtful enough to understand people's motives in this matter. At least let me try.

#1: Personal Safety. It may not occur to many, but some people are in witness protection, whether officially under FBI protection or self-protection due to some crazy family member or EX-"anything" that would love nothing more than to cause you harm. To me this is a very good reason to keep a low profile, a small or non-existant virtual footprint. I actually know somebody like this, and it's sad, but it happens.

#2: Stubborn. There are many who reject progressing along with the rate of technology in our world, people who use paper calendars to schedule meetings, people who will drive to your office to meet with you even when an email will suffice. There are actually quite a few people in this category who refuse to interact in the manner that many do these days because they have some deep-seeded bias against the evils of technology and how they dehumanize us, turning us into a web page and not a person. OK, I can totally respect that, really, becuase I believe that touch is deeply important to humans, to touch via a handshake or a hug...A REAL HUG...not a /hug. Now, can one have a Facebook page and still place importance on people, on touching them and looking into their eyes and hearing their voice on the phone if they live at a distance? I'm sure it is quite possible, and I've seen the kindest and most personable people also able to effectively use the internet and the ability to connect with others online. But still there is that person who believes that the two cannot co-exist. Fine, I'll let that dude be stubborn, after all it's his choice in the end.

#3: Fear. Now we get into a reason that could extend to fear of many, many things. One could be afraid of putting themselves out there and face potential harassment or ridicule. Now I could easily say that I got plenty harasssed in high school when there wasn't even an interent except in Al Gore's office (the unofficial inventor of the internet). But what if someone has a low self-esteem? What if they don't like what they physically look like and therefore there is no way that they will put any sort of picture on the internet for fear of people judging them because of their appearance. I am sure this is a very good reason to not be on Facebook. What the person may need is a friend, a lover, a diet, a motivational speaker, basically anthting that could help them improve their self image and help this person learn to love themselves.

This person I totally get, probably a bit too much. I probably wouldn't want people to see my disability, it may lead to discrimination when a potential employer is surfing the net for some dirt on me. This is also a reason to NOT be on Facebook, out of fear of potential employers discriminating. Wouldn't we much rathe be judged on the work we do than on what we did last weekend at that one place with that one person? I know I would. This probably should be a fear of many people, in my opinion only, but possibly not a fear that should lead one to live in absolute isolation. But who am I to judge? I understand fear very well.

Others still may fear offending people. One great way to decline the friend invite of your boss is to not have an account to begin with. But then again, what if everyone else in the office has a page and people use it as a means of connecting after hours, getting together and making new friends? For someone who fears letting people down, that same person is letting his/her co-workers down by not being available like EVERYONE else.

Conclusion & One More Thing
Personally, I think to join or not to join is a highly personal decision, and should not be judged one way or another. I know, fence sitters don't make good stories and I certainly wouldn't be a good MSNBC or FOXNEWS TV host, I'm not combative enough. Well too bad. Should I as a blogger (big or small) be connected in other ways socially in order to get my words out to you, the reader? Do I limit myself by using one medium where I could gain more readers spamming all kinds of social media? I don't know and I don't really care. I don't write for your sake but for mine. I just happen to be supremely grateful to any and all who read my stupid words, and hope they come back some time next week so we can think, talk, and/or laugh just a bit more.

FYI, I do not have a personal Facebook page, and have had very old friends plead with me to have a bigger virtual footprint so people can contact me. Ultimately the reasons are my own and I don't owe and explanation to anyone. As a blogger as well I use only this website, this page alone to share my thoughts, and I thank you for stopping by.

BTW, I finally got a MoP beta invite this morning. I'm glad I did. I expect to be a good tester, trying to supply quality feedback to Blizzard because I want to be a small, tiny part of making this next expansion better than the last. We shall see.

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