Jeff Time: Day 13

Internet Popularity I don’t know what’s normal for everybody.  I’m talking about internet time.  I don’t know how long people spend on the internet every day.  I myself seem to go through a whole process each time I “check my pages”.  

I go to yahoo to see if I got any emails.  There I find out if twitter or facebook or myspace changed any.  Usually at least one of those does.  So I will then go look at those sites.  

I don’t go to myspace too much anymore because the only thing I get there these days are friend requests from bands I have never heard of or will probably never listen to.  It’s always some hot new rapper in Atlanta or a qurky, Christianish Indie band.  I used to have such a vibrant myspace life but I guess that time has sadly passed.

These days I go to my twitter page first.  I’ll go through and block all of the stranger followers.  Then I’ll read through all of the updates and find out what all has happened in the world within the last 8 hours or so.  Usually a lot has happened though most of it isn’t very important.  So most average days I go through this thought process:

“Why am I checking these updates?- I am a sad person.- I should do something other than this.- I don’t know if I naturally care about knowing any of this stuff.- I am a social networking addict.-I’m stuck in a sick routine.- I need serious help.-I have become a ridiculous sponge specializing in useless information.-This post will be the last and then I will quit twitter and facebook and figure out a purer lifestyle.-(Then I post something)-(Time will pass)- That comment was hilarious when I first wrote it but I have been thinking about it for the last couple of hours and I think I might be an ass.-I hope nobody takes it too seriously-Perhaps I should delete it.- Either that or post something else.-The best thing to do after saying something dumb is to say something smart.-Make sure everybody knows that you’re kidding.”  

Then I give myself five more seconds to enjoy twitter and then I sign out.

Finally I go to facebook.  This is where all the people I know in real life are.  Or used to know.  I don’t talk to most of them anywhere other than on facebook now.  I went through and hid everybody’s status updates so to read them now I have to click some spot that makes them visible again.   I hid them because it was making me very annoyed with a lot of people.  And also insecure that they might read my updates as well.  

I still do read the facebook updates but I have to admit that a lot of them seem even more trivial than the ones on twitter.  At least on twitter I am finding out about a war somewhere.  On facebook I learn about… well, I shouldn’t say anything.  Someone might read this and delete our friendship.  And that would be just tragic.

I really don’t know if I like having the constant community that is facebook.  I go back and forth about it.  It’s like going to a church and a bar and a concert and a baby shower and a family reunion all at one time.  And I think I care about everybody.  I want to.  I try to.  It makes me wonder about what kind of face I display to the world around me.  I guess on facebook you have no choice but to be the same person to everybody.  

Is that good?  I think, maybe it is.  I don’t know.  You get to become the streamlined version of yourself.  

But what I don’t like is the feeling you get in real life, after you’ve been facebook friends with somebody.  You haven’t seen them in a little while and you know all of this stuff about them and they know all this stuff about you.  You look at each other and then look away.  You look down at your feet.  

“Hi.”  

“Hey.”   

Then you comment in real life about one of their previous updates.   “I saw Inglourious Basterds too… 3 nights after you did… at the same theater that you saw it in…”

“What did you think?”

“Not very differently from what you said you thought about it.  I found a review that articulates my opinion.  I’ll email you a link later tonight.”

“I’m already looking forward to it.”

“So, I hear your wife is pregnant.  Congratulations.”

“Thank you.  Yes. We got our sonogram pictures last week and had them posted on twitpic within an hour…”

“That’s so awesome.  When I saw the picture, it was like I was seeing a different side of you than I ever had before.”

“What do you mean by that exactly?”

“I guess before we became friends on facebook I saw you as a mean, gruffer character… but now that I have seen 5 photos of your unborn child I see a tender, more fatherly side of you, and it just changes the way I think about you, I guess…”

“That’s so great to hear.  Yeah, ever since I got on facebook it’s like I have not only my own family photo albums available for all to see but I get to look at everybody else’s pictures too.  This is kind of embarrassing, but some nights I just sit on my computer for hours looking at pictures of people’s children…”

“Oh… Oh yeah?  Okay…”

“I look at the light in their eyes… it takes me back to a more innocent time…”

“Okay.”

“I imagine me being younger and hanging out with the kids… but like, if we were the same age, you know?”

“Yeah.  Sure.  Okay.  Yeah. Whatever.”

“Do you ever do that?”

“Uh, no.  I don’t do that.”

“Gosh, after being friends with people on facebook it’s like my relationships have a deeper level of honesty…

“Okay…”

“I mean, I really feel like I can be myself around you.  My true self.  It’s like I don’t have to hide behind any walls.  I can just be me.  And I know that you will accept me… because you already have…accepted me.  Thanks for that.”

“Yeah.  You’re right.  I did already do that…”

“And now… Now we’re gonna be friends forever and ever… from now until the end of time we’re gonna know all kinds of great things about each other…”

“Yeah.”

“…and now that we’ve had this conversation I’m going to be paying even closer attention to all the silly things you say on your facebook page!”

“Okay.”

“Well, it’s getting late.  I’ve gotta go home and sit in front of my computer for a few hours.”

“Oh, so sorry to hear that.”

“Hey, but I’ll be waiting for that link!  Just send ‘er over whenever you want.  No rush!”

“Okay.”

“Signing out… ha ha!”

“Bye man.”

“Toodeloo.”

“Okay.”

“See you on the flip side.”

“Right on.”

“I’m outtie!”

“Okay…”

Then you go home and watch TV for the first time in a month.

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