So I deleted my facebook account.
Yes, sites like Facebook and Bebo are very useful - Facebook helped me keep in touch with people I knew in school, for example - but it was also driving me up the wall.
You see, at the time I said my last goodbye to Facebook, I was incredibly lonely. I could go for literally days on end without speaking to anyone apart from my teachers and my family. Everyone I knew had simply vanished......a few people did tell me that they had too much work to do, but only a few.
Here's where I'm going with this: The people I know in real time? I was their friend on Facebook. You know how Facebook works - whenever your friends write something, it appears on your homepage - so I would go onto Facebook, and on my homepage I would see these supposedly hard-working friends in pictures taken in the pub; at the weekly parties the unions in my university throw; in nightclubs; in each others houses; out shopping.....they were everywhere, apart from the places they were supposed to be.
What happened? What happened to community? To paraphrase Wendy Shalit in Girls Gone Mild, I'm sure that people would willingly link to me online, but I want more.
When did we stop going on walks together?
When did we stop visiting each other?
When did we stop greeting each other as we walked along the street?
I want these things. I want to go on walks, I want to see someone face to face - I want to greet random strangers, and maybe brighten their day.
I want what a real community offers - I want to know I'll never be alone, that there will always be someone there for me, who I can be there for in turn. I want to reach out and feel the touch of a flesh and blood person, not the coldness of a computer screen.
I just don't want what Facebook offers anymore. Their "community is a soulless husk," a shadow of what we had, and what so many people want back.