Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Shallowness....I Hope

Below is a facebook note that I wrote one week ago today explaining why I would be deleting my account and going back to blogging and actually picking up the phone to talk to people.

My Suicide

To whom it may concern:

If I tagged you in this note, it is because in one way or another you have wormed your way into my heart and I don't want to lose touch with you. If you weren't tagged in this note but are still reading it, you most likely weren't tagged because of the limit on the number of people that can be tagged.
One week from today there will be a suicide on my part....I will be deleting/deactivating my facebook, myspace, and twitter accounts and hope never to return. I will, however, return to blogging. A long series of events, which we refer to in our family as the parade of Providence. The final straw for me was related to the new facebook layout which has led me to finally come to grips with the fact that these internet social tools are not very healthy for our society and definitely not healthy for me. Let me explain.I joined facebook because it enabled me to keep up with friends and I really enjoyed seeing the pictures of everyone and chatting. When facebook made the most recent layout change, I was suddenly inundated with not only news of everyone on my friends list, but I could also see (whether I wanted to or not) what everyone was saying to each other and suddenly was given the ability to be the proverbial fly on the wall. I did not like it. I immediately changed my settings so that everyone didn't get that kind of information about me in their newsfeeds but there was nothing I could do about receiving so much personal information on others short of deleting everyone.I went back to my twitter account and that was a bit better, but there was no room for notes and a real sharing ideas and thoughts with others. Even messages that you can send to someone on twitter can only be short soundbites. Then it hit me. I have always hated that American news typically comes to us in short soundbites, and we are spoonfed only selected parts of whole stories. I despise that kind of reporting as it is always biased. I want the whole story and be allowed to come to my own conclusion rather than having it forced upon me. Being allowed only those short one or two liners for twitter made me fully realize how much our relationships in society today are based on mere soundbites, little useless twaddly bits of information which cause us to make hasty and rash assumptions about each other. Communication and relationships today are truly a mile wide, but only an inch deep. How much do we really know one another? How deep are the majority of our conversations, particularly those taking place through wall writing on internet social tools? How often have we unknowingly passed judgment on someone based solely on what we read or see on these concoctions?All this being said, I am going to return to blogging. Most of you probably have no idea where I stand on most issues, and most of you will disagree with me on a lot of points. My hope is that you wil realize that where I am in my thinking today is not where it was 20 years ago and most likely will be different still 20 years in the future. I have always been accepting of people with different ideas and have been able to agree to disagree and still care a great deal for the person. If you read my blogs, please feel free to disagree, agree and comment; but I do ask that any flaming comments be sent to me through email so as not to offend a weaker brother. I love each of you and leaving will be hard. I will miss reading status updates, but my hope is to get to know some of you better by not having you reduced to the soundbites and instead know your whole story. I hope you want to know mine.

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