Or, “I’m Starting to Get Nostaglic for Web 1.0”
This is my blanket apology to all of my friends who invite me to join Facebook or LinkedIn or Tagged (whatever the hell that is). Many years ago, I joined LinkedIn with my work email address. I quickly realized it connected me to people I never wanted to see again, as well as people I wouldn’t mind seeing again, but if we hadn’t kept in touch maybe it was best left that way. It seemed like too much hassle and invasion of my virtual personal space, so I canceled my account–which actually required a few emails with LinkedIn to get my info expunged from their system. I will never join a social networking site again, so please accept this blanket apology:
Dear friend who I actually like and wouldn’t mind getting emails from,
I cannot accept your invitation to that particular social networking site. I feel guilty clicking the button that outright rejects your invitation. I know you would take my clicking that rejection button, not as a rejection of the social networking site, but as a rejection of you personally. It’s nothing personal. I like you. Please continue to email me. I am incapable of joining social networking sites. They just seem goofy and a waste of time for anyone over 22. I know social networking sites somehow make money off my (and your) personal information. I’m sure my free email provider does that too, but I’ve come to accept that. I’ve used the same free email address since 1997. Your social networking site preferences seem to change every 18 months. First it was Friendster, then LinkedIn, then MySpace, then Facebook. I can’t sign up for that many accounts. Also, it takes up too much time to stay “connected” to all my friends and I am very lazy in that regard. No offense, but I’m not automatically interested in everything that happens in your life, just because it happened to you. This is my way of saying I won’t be subscribing to your Twitter feed either. I know you probably feel the same way about me. I won’t take it personally if you don’t. Judging by my web counter, you don’t visit my website very often anyway. It’s better that way. I’m hoping that if we don’t follow every arcane detail of each other’s lives using technology that culls data from our interactions, we will actually have something to talk about next time we catch up, which I hope will be soon.