For many years, the internet divided its time between being a wonderful research tool & an efficient pornography delivery system. Everybody had their own little corner of it & pretty much stayed out of each other's way.
Then, someone got the bright idea that everyone on the web should know everybody else. Thus, "Social Networking" was born. And, like all cool things, it was actually only super-cool for about a year.
But you're saying, "Chris...aren't you involved in social networking & isn't it a wee bit hypocritical to bitch about it?" The answers to those questions are "yes" and "no, it's not a wee bit hypocritical. It's hugely hypocritical, but I can live with that."
Look, I love (most) of Facebook & (much more) of Twitter. I can keep up with friends & family without having to make the effort to actually see them (don't look at me like that, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about,) plus it gives me a forum to spout off at length about pretty much anything that crosses my mind. I'm all for anything that enables my narcissism.
But there's a lot of pressure there too. Any friend request I get, if I haven't seen them in the past, oh, 10 minutes or so, I've got to wrack my brain trying to remember just how I know him (and it's always a him. Women get a free pass because I'm a man in my 40s & the instances of women wanting to associate with me are getting slimmer every day.) Plus, there's the guilt of the ignored friend request.
I also spend an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with funny things to say so that relative strangers will like me. There's a pathology there that unnerves me sometimes.
Look, social networking isn't going anywhere anytime soon. People have figured out how to make money off it, so it's here to stay. But remember...it's supposed to make life easier & more fun. It shouldn't feel like work & it damn sure shouldn't feel like high school, even though it sometimes does.
Remember, there are real people out there who want to hang out with the real you. Maybe not me, but definitely you. Balance in all things.