A friend and I recently had it out when I got tired of hearing him say how tired he was of being left out of things our friends were doing. He kept catching wind of road trips, dance parties and even weddings after the fact. He became aware of the events well after we'd already been there and done that, had stories and good times. It wasn't that he wasn't invited, he just didn't know, didn't ask, didn't plan. He doesn't have Facebook, Twitter, and as far as I know, he doesn't often e-mail. He had a Facebook account at one time but then deactivated it back when it was cool to do so.
Our ongoing text message argument became heated when he found out I was at a wedding a couple of weeks ago out of town. It was my best friend's wedding and I was her maid of honor. She had a very limited budget and being a bit non-traditional, she sent out a Facebook invite to her wedding. My friend didn't have Facebook, and I believe if he had, she would have sent an invite to him. The people who were invited started talking on Facebook about who would drive and when we'd leave. Personal invitations are more personal than ever these days.
A hand-written or customized invite is almost a command to attend. But, sometimes even an e-vite is personal. Consider the event creator. Whether or not my best friend meant to leave our friend out of the invites, she would have had to go another step in making sure her friends from college got word. A bride is a bride, and even very detail oriented ladies can become overwhelmed by the…details. In this case, I believe if he had been left out of the invite, he would have caught wind of the upcoming wedding and would have spoken to her about it. She would have welcomed him if he shared any interest at all. Again, not a traditional crowd.
When he became angry that he wasn't at the wedding, I told him to get Facebook already or stop complaining. That's where his friends are talking and making plans. That's how we're communicating now that we're not texting each other in class or meeting at Taco John's after lab. We're not close geographically, but through these means we are able to stick close to each other in a different but still meaningful way. I get to know what my friends are doing through Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Facebook, e-mail, Path, Tumblr, etc. I tried to tell my friend when we were both angry that when he talks like this, he sounds like the last guy to get a telephone. "Facebook is evil," he said.
It's not the same as true personal contact, but it is a good thing. So was the telephone. So were pagers and e-mail. I still don't know about faxes, though.
My friend thinks we're not communicating on a real level on Facebook, and that we're exchanging our deep, personal knowledge of our friends with a superficial look at their vacation photos and selfies. Sure, some do that. You know what I'm talking about, but if people are really in my life, their Facebook profiles aren't going to be a substitute for their true presence.
Social media gives me the opportunity to keep up with people.
But, I understand the negatives.
Facebook can really indulge our jealousy, hypocrisy, our rear window complexes, our obsessions, but use the latest communication or lose it.
Lose communication and you're lost.