It’s strange to be back, back, back on Facebook

My virtual life has picked up right where it left off eight months ago. Aside from an obnoxious format change (the nth, dammit), the Book of Faces is exactly as mundane, tantalizing, and largely irrelevant as ever. Typing “fac” into the URL field and letting autocomplete do the rest is still a quick fix for stress, boredom, or basic blue-feeling. Clicking the little red thingies still brings the familiar rush and the familiar disappointment of finding out that you’ve been notified of nothing important at all.

But eight months away did show me something. It showed me that real people still exist and that I could still relate to them the old-fashioned way. It taught me that “keeping in touch” is really a poor excuse for an addiction to digital voyeurism. It taught me that it doesn’t really matter how I look online, because how I treat people who are standing in front of me is way more important. It taught me that my imagined digital circles of relevance were just that–imagined.

This may be the complaint of an old fuddy-duddy, or it may be a your revelation of the day. The degree of numbness you’ve incurred with repeated Facebook abuse will decide for you.

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