Today Is Somebody’s Birthday

Facebook would like to kindly remind me that today is somebody’s birthday. I know that person. We worked together. We didn’t talk much, but still, we added each other on Facebook, because that’s what people do. I’d like to say I’ve watched his life unfold before my eyes, but that isn’t true. He does what he does, sometimes I see pictures of that, and it’s pretty cool. But I’m not one to wish someone else happy birthday just because we worked together for a little while. I mean, it’s weird. Facebook is this huge collection of old acquaintances you don’t care about anymore, but still you’re reminded to wish them happy birthday, even if you won’t write a single word to them for the rest of the year. I’d rather not. I’d feel like such a hypocrite doing that.

The problem with social networks is that they add so many unnecessary people into one’s life. Who do we know? Who do we know for real? Who would we really talk to, given the chance? I’ve had real life friends tell me I must be so popular because of the replies and favorites I get on social networks. But almost none of those exchanges translate into real-life interaction. Besides, I somehow keep getting all these updates on people I’d rather not hear from again.

Life in the 2.0 era is quite lonely. I should’ve finished that story I was writing when I was like 14 years old where everyone was connected to this thriving virtual reality but in real life they all lived isolated in the desert, perpetually seated on comfy chairs in front of desks with big screens. We’re currently isolated in crowded cities, which might be even worse than the desert. Me, the teenage sci-fi prophet. Ha.

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