I was concerned that I might regret leaving the social network represented by facebook, but immediately I felt relief.  There are things I miss about instant communication with friends and family, but for the most part, I’m glad to revert back to more traditional means of communication.  So, why the relief?  

If you’ve ever run into someone from your past and spent time with them, you’ll find yourself reverting unconsciously back to some old behaviors and mannerisms familiar to you in that earlier time-period.  Sometimes it’s subtle – it’s possible neither person has changed much, or perhaps the distance of time is shorter.  But when there’s a span of several years, often the changes are more obvious and generate a gap between who you were and who you are (the same goes for the other person).  Inside this gap is the slow evolution of personhood.  To compound the complexity of time, each person celebrates a different life experience, so who they are now may be totally different from who they were then, but also in complete contrast to who you have become.

I saw this frequently on facebook – people trying to maintain superficial relationships out of a necessity to remain in contact OR the opposite, ignoring people because of labels.  I began to wonder whether maintaining contact with so many people from our past and present is natural?  It seemed to cause me some anxiety trying to balance all kinds of complex emotions with the shallowness and limited communications we all try to inject in a chat window or our statuses.  And so I began to weigh the benefits and detriments of using facebook and concluded my life is better off without online social networking and all those uncharted gaps.  I’m happier meeting people in person and learning from their movements, their eyes and their verbal communications how their experiences have impacted them.  

And I think I would prefer the freedom blogging offers me to be introspective in my writing and to grow a little bit each time.