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Social contracts.

Yesterday, I decided to break up with Facebook. I don’t even want to be “just FB friends.” I didn’t totally disable my account, but did venture there. The fine borgs at Facebook presented me with a survey of reasons why I was considering this move. The questions were a bit loaded and self-serving, in my opinion.

These should be considered as possible reasons why:

  • Because others misunderstand your posts
  • Because the political views of strangers and family members gives you panic attacks at the level of willful ignorance and inflexibility in thought
  • If you get one more request to work on the collective kibbutz of Farmville you will go insane
  • Your body language, smile, big brown eyes, laugh, and nuances are lost in the bandwidth, and have become irrelevant here.

I also found out this morning that “it is strongly suggested” that we educators do not include a certain group amongst our contacts. If anything, this “group” should be encouraged most of all to have proper Internet interactions modeled: courtesy, kindness, and knowing when NOT to post an opinion or every passing thought. Are we furthering distancing ourselves from helping each other? Is this the paradox of a ‘social’ network? I realize blaming Facebook is like blaming a grocery store for selling cookies and ice cream along with apples and grapes: they’re just providing a (commercialized) service. It’s not Facebook, but how others, and myself, use it. If I’ve abused the power of distancing myself between conflict, collaboration, or conceit via a social network then shame on me.

I will go back on Facebook soon to do two things:

1. Write each of the “friends” I must drop why I need to do this

2. Send myself an email list of those I need to know and cherish – some of these old friends are too important and wonderful to lose in the noise and steam

And then we’ll take a break.

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