Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Feel Cheated On

Lately, I've been seeing posts on my friends blogs apologizing for being "gone so long". Friends that have been "missing" for quite a while. They've been off socializing with others, using other networks, and they've left me and all their other faithful blog friends behind. (kidding ya'll!)

I tried FB. But after finding myself in a sticky situation, had to cancel my account. Although I found that it consumed quite a bit of time, only to accomplish so very little. I just don't see the value of it like I see the value in maintaining a blog.

My blog is a journal of sorts. An online scrapbook. I write about mundane things in life, I write about my experiences living in another culture, I post pictures for all of our friends and family Stateside that are missing out seeing my kids grow up. This journal of mine will be something my kids will have one day. Something to share with my Grand kids. Where my Grand kids will learn more about the childhood of their there's value to that. What I wouldn't give to know more about the everyday life of my mom when she was 10.

So with all that's the latest from my Guest Blogger, Michael Andrzejewski

Turn It Off

Do you really want to know what I'm doing at this very moment? What about ten minutes from now when I am doing something both terribly mundane and wildly unrelated to you. Maybe I'm mulling over the Biblical and/or grammatical difference between good and perfect with my feet on my desk, while staring across corn fields and vineyards.

Perhaps I'm about to stop and help my wife unload groceries? Happy? Does that get you through the day? I'm sorry. Not even my own mother has an interest in that sort of vapidity.

Twitter? Nope. Facebook? Forget it. LinkedIn? More like FedUp.

All of these Social Networking Sites are driving me insane.

I've tried to connect. Sincerely, I've tried to want to get back in touch, but my life is different now. I'm all grown up and my social circle is already more than I can adequately manage.

On top of deadlines, appointments, meetings, services, and classes; I care nothing about the pressure of feeling like I've got to send what amounts to an electronic Christmas card four times a day to Johnny who played right field with me in little league.

If you would like to talk, call me. If you don't have the time, email me. I'll do my best to call or write you back before you forget what you wanted in the first place.

Think with me for just a moment. Sir, do you really think that given your recent marital problems it is profitable for your wife to accept an invitation to look at pictures of her recently divorced ex-boyfriend on the beach in Maui? I don't.

Neither do I want that creepy, obsessive “old friend” cyber stalking my wife under the guise of “needing someone to talk to through this difficult time” in his life.

Without being downright rude, I have absolutely no interest in the fact that two days ago Sean Sebastian was packing for a business trip to Las Vegas. Who's Sean Sebastian? I barely remember. We were classmates in college and haven't spoken in over twelve years. I'm glad he wants to keep in touch, although methinks there's a lot more to it than just keeping in touch. It's like some sort of petty race to procure the most contacts or writings on one's wall.

In today's society of constant – no longer instant gratification, we have created a culture of busyness without productivity. We do things but never accomplish very much. We spend countless hours building empty relationships while neglecting the important ones.

How about doing something novel. Bold. Start a trend. Be electronically anti-social.

Disconnect. Right now. Turn off the computer and go read a book to your daughter. Take a walk with that almost estranged wife. Quit trying to connect with those that really don't matter and simply connect with those that should matter. Have a catch with your teenage son, just like in Field of Dreams.

Remember, you didn't like all of those people that you're trying to reach out and touch when you talked to them every day or you would have kept in touch with them all along. What makes you think you are going to like them now?


Pam--in Estonia said...

Very well said, both of you.

Becka said...

All I can say to the both of you ,,

Dani Joy said...

Yep! That´s how I feel and have felt. Who in the world needs to know that some of his/her close friends in college are getting divorced and are not walking with the Lord. It saddened me and I have had to estrange myself again.
But I do look for the positive. Like my friendship with Nina! That has come of the blogging and I am extreamly thankful. As all those "friends" of the past didn´t have eternal treasures at heart, I have lost them even on FB.
Great post! Great Rant! WE need more out bursts!

Tracy said...

Oh my! Why can't you live in Tennessee!?! Here I'm the oddball for not having a fb.

I tried it for about a month...
Honestly, I think it's just an escape from responsibility and an avenue to get into some mischief.

I have friends that spend hours on it at a time chatting and looking up old friends. Then the next day they are argueing with spouses cuz they got a friend invite from an old girl friend or over something they read on their wall that some guy in church wrote to their wife.

Seriously, I have enough drama in my life without creating more for myself ;o}

With that said~I will not leave you! ;o}

Amrita said...

like what you say hear. Although I am on FB, I take it easy

TCKK said...

I love my blog the most. But for various reasons I enjoy FB too. There's a game there I'm playing and I love to keep up with watching my cousins and their kids growing up. They live all over the world. Some of their kids I've never seen. At least now I see pictures. But mostly my blog is my favorite for the reasons you said. It's a journal of our life.

Sean said...

Hi Mike,

I was fascinated to read your mention of me in your blog. First, I have to say that I think it is well written and straight from the heart. It's certainly been a long time since our days at West Point. But there's nothing we can really do about time except for making the most of what we have.

I don't want to come across as defensive here. But I do want to take a moment and write a bit about what purpose Facebook serves in my life, since you mentioned it. Like you, I've lived in and traveled to many places in this world. And many people have touched my life, as I also hope I have been able to do the same. I have quite a few links on FB, as I'm sure you noticed. And I actually do want to know as much about my network as I possibly can. True, ninety percent of the time it's trivial - sometimes maybe even inappropriate. But every once in a while, someone needs help or maybe has a perspective that is really unique. The other day, a friend of mine lost a loved one. Since it was a high school friend from over 17 years ago, I would never have known about it. But in an instant and across vast distances, I had the chance to offer whatever I could. And that one simple thing made it worth all of the trivial and sometimes inappropriate comments and status updates. Like you, I believe in loving my neighbor as my own. And with FB I have a wonderful and diverse neighborhood, though it be only virtual in many cases.

Through FB, I have found a wonderful sense of humility. All around the world, life goes on in earnest. And through FB, I am reminded constantly that my troubles or triumphs are small compared to what is going on in the world. Through FB, I feel connected though not necessarily in the presence of my friends. And I think this is a good thing. I'm trying to imagine what the Iranian election may have looked like without Twitter. Personally, I am glad Iran's citizens had the chance to communicate directly with the outside world. I think this is also a good thing, though it's not for everyone. And yes, there probably are some people who simply want to collect "friends." But I'm not one of them. I especially want to know what my USMA brethren are doing who, like you, are out in the world making a difference through dedication and sacrifice.

It sounds like a hectic and busy life is an uncomfortable certainty for both of us, as well as so many others in this world. Yet in spite of that, FB has helped me stay connected with many people with whom I may have totally lost contact. It may not be perfect, but I'll take what I can get.

Yours from Las Vegas,
Sean Michael Sebastian

Starla said...

I went a while here lately without coming on my blog or reading your blog and everyone else's blog that I enjoy. Shame on me!

Betty said...

Ok, I understand where you are coming from, but I agree with Sean too.
When I first joined fb it was to be in contact with my daughter who lives in Canada and she´s a terrible "writer and caller". So this gave me a little insight into what she was up to. Then I started adding friends and it got out of hand, like you described. So lately I have deleted many friends that I knew I cared nothing about and that I did not need to "catch up on". I don´t play all the games and such and for me it´s just a place to connect and get updates from friends. For that I love fb.
So I guess to each his own.

Jendi said...

I'm not against Facebook, but it's not for me. I deactivated my account. It is nice to come across someone else that's not on it. Peer pressure doesn't go away as an adult.

O Pregador said...


Thank you for being such a good sport about the article. I meant not one ounce of offense in mentioning your name, and I believe that you fully understand/understood that. I am equally fascinated that you happened on Nina's blog at such a surreptitious time as this. She told me that you could possibly read the article online, but while I thought it very unlikely I felt it necessary to convey with specifics the point I was trying to make. Let the record clearly state that barely is a relative word that gets worse and worse as the years roll on. I remember from our days at the Academy (especially time spent in the "plebe" locker room before and after practice lamenting our manifold problems) your infectious laugh, quick wit, and desire to pick others up when they were down, which are all qualities for which to be admired.
About the subject of the article itself: In the process of writing it, I thought through many of the same valid points that you make. Twitter and Iran, regardless of what takes place in the future will be forever "linked" and I do praise the Lord for this. In all things we should strive for moderation, yet the addictive nature of all the social networking coupled with the neglect of true personal contact and "real live" conversations birthed my thoughts. With your permission, and for the sake of balance I am considering writing another article from the opposite viewpoint.
Thanks for your willingness to share. Keep doing good.

With respect, I remain LinkedOut,

Michael Andrzejewski

Melissa Wertz said...

I like blogging too! I keep my fb for people I actually know face to face. Old friends and such.

You have been tagged!

Stonefox said...

I think this needs to be a little more loudly spoken! I RARELY twitter or FB because I just don't have the time and frankly, people aren't that interested! Recently, I've not even been around the blogosphere much because my priorities and goals even in that are changing. It's a good thing...but not what's expected in the social trends amongst bloggers.

Bah! who cares? If life is "more than clothing" as Jesus said, it is certainly "more than FB, blogging, and the rest."

Now I have to tell you that some folks do think highly of you! You were mentioned a couple times on my blog comments to the Beautiful Feet post. Hope it blesses you to know how you bless others.

Anonymous said...

Thanks brother Michael, for your wisdom. My husband and I have a rule, "no driving with a member of opposite sex; no lunching either; if spouse is not present." It keeps the devil at bay and removes appearance of evil.

You two are a blessing. I am sure it is not always easy being far from the mainland. But that is God's doing of His plan! We both feel like fish out of water most of the time!! LOL
Give a hug to Pamela!
Margaret from salty disciplines (not posting anymore).

Tammy said...

Thoughtful, wise post. Thanks!