As I sit here on yet another night, contemplating Facebook suicide, I am struck with strong feelings of unwanted nostalgia. So much of my Facebook experience has been about ghosts from my life (lives) past resurfacing; from early childhood friends to old party friends and extended family I haven’t spoken to in at least 10 years. I find myself wanting to look up people I have – up to this point – had no interest in ever contacting again; and I must admit – I am not happy with this feeling at all.
As I prepare to click the “deactivate account” button, deleting personal information, likes and dislikes, quotes and notes – I struggle with the desire to broaden this false sense of a personal network contrasted with the desire to walk away from it all – if only for the reason of a lack of ability to define its purpose in my life. For all of my personal disdain of it, I cannot seem to hit the button. Is it the fear of missing out on something? The fear of being ‘network-less’? Is my Facebook profile nothing more than a hyper-personalized version of my blog – where my friends can see who each other are (if they even care)?
For all of the talk (academic and otherwise) surrounding the importance and/or (ir)relevance of social networking sites like FaceBook, all I can think of is that it is really a space of absolute (impersonal) voyeurism in a most acceptable (although not perfect) form. A space created by the subject, yearning for people to look in on their little slice of constructed selves. A space where you can ‘bump’ into (while searching for) old acquaintances and new colleagues without the pretense of a reunion or conference. A purely narcissistic space where I believe (wish?) people care what Kelly is doing 3 times a day.