Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tagging Ad Nauseam

The other day a dear friend commented on how Facebook is both wonderful and evil. I can see her point - there's something extremely gratifying about locating old friends (or even simple acquaintances), seeking out a friend request, waiting for its arrival and then holding your breath to see if they'll comment on how you haven't aged a bit in the fifteen years it's been since you last saw each other.

There is a flip side, however, to this giant virtual reunion. It can get a little dicey when former loves are found, especially for people who currently reside in a state of existential crisis. So much more can be said in an email than on the phone or in person. Mouths and telephones don't have nifty delete buttons like keyboards do. There's something inherent with email that allows people to be incredibly daring, to seem infinitely more cool than they ever would face to face. And this can spell trouble.

But what really interests me is that my generation will undoubtedly be the last to have this unique experience of googling old flames, former best friends or incommunicado relatives. We're all so tune in now, so open to sharing every aspect of our dull lives online that it will be nearly impossible to remain anonymous in the years to come. Six degrees of separation has been chunked in half by the advent and popularity of social networking sites and it will make the old adage "keep in touch" obsolete.

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