In a poem by T.S. Eliot, he says something like, "Prepare a face for all the faces that you meet."
Well I just joined Facebook, I wanted to be the only human being I know who wasn't on there, but I have to admit it's loads of fun. So much so that it's decreasing my productivity. In fact you may be reading this right now because I shamelessly promote my blog on Facebook.
Did you see "The Social Network?" It's a great film about the guy who created Facebook. But you know, things are not always like the movies, or like Facebook, they are not always as they appear. The film my have distorted the truth...I have no way of knowing...just like I have no way of knowing what all my "friends" on Facebook are really like, what they are really feeling or doing. By the way, I'm shocked at how many "friends" I have, I thought I knew like twenty people. But apparently though there are less than six degrees of separation between me and, maybe you.
It's like an Internet party, these social websites, everyone's wearing their best smiles, their best faces. We exchange smiles and witty comments much like we would at a real party and make fun of each other. It's nice...I even had a discussion with a total stranger about philosophy, we even went as far as the meaning of life in some sense.
But much like a real party, you are considered a freak, if you want to have a conversation that is not somehow promoting happiness and fun. I haven't read the paper or watched the news since I joined facebook, it's only been a few days, but seriously. I like this happy news from my friends better than that depressing shit on T.V.
I know people are dying, and I know I'm doing nothing on this Earth, not lifting a single finger to help a single human being who is suffering. I promised myself I would call a women's shelter to volunteer and I still haven't done that yet because I've been busy socializing during the holidays.
If I keep at this and read facebook comments instead of the New York Times will I become a smiley person, who is totally unaware of what's going on in the real world? At least if you live in India you can see inane poverty right outside your window, but in America, if you live in the suburbs, you can't see anything but a reflection of your own face.
When my uncle came to America from India his biggest complaint was that people ask you how you are all the time in America but they actually don't care. Every morning they will ask you how you are doing and they want to guarantee that you say you are great.
If you try to start a real conversation about how maybe your day sucks, you might be considered a Debby Downer. The thing is sometimes it totally sucks to be alive and you want to vent...god forbid you write about your horrific experience on Facebook and make someone cry.
I mean but when it comes down to it, given a choice I would rather laugh than cry. So I'm gonna stay on Facebook because it makes me laugh, it makes me smile. I mean after all the real thing I want in this life is to be happy. But I'm gonna try to keep another eye on what's going in the world beyond my doors. Because even though I don't really act on it, I do care.
I may not know you, but I care about you. I don't want you to suffer. If you are my friend on Facebook or not, you deserve to have some fun no matter how miserable your life may be. It's a good thing to try and be cheerful, I just need to remember to take all good things with a grain of salt.