I've been a Facebook member for about 8 months. The part that I've really liked about it is being able to reconnect with old friends and connect with fellow enthusiasts of Romanian gymnastics. But I find a lot of Facebook to be rather silly. For example, several of my friends like to tell the world what they had for dinner. I just don't get that one. My life is not so dull that my only excitement is dinner. Maybe I'm just an old cynic, but I really don't care what other people have for dinner unless it's a super spectacular, one-of-a-kind meal. Others like to give minute-by-minute updates while they're traveling. They have mobile phones with Internet access and take full advantage of it. What happened to reading a book while waiting at the airport?
I leave tomorrow for the USA. Here is what you won't be hearing from me during my trip:
* Reports from the airport. Does somebody really have the need to know how I'm spending every second at the airport? I figure that people will know that I made it to my destination when they don't see any plane crash reports on the news. Is buying a magazine at the book shop, eating a meal, or using the toilet at the airport really that newsworthy?
* Food reports. OK, I'll give in a bit on this one. The usual choices on an overseas flight are (inedible) chicken or pasta, so I'll have one or the other of those. A few years ago my brother flew on Aeroflot, which is obviously an airline that wants to make things easy for the Facebook crowd to report their in-flight meals. Aeroflot offered a meal choice of beef or beef. I'm flying to the States on Lufthansa, which likes to continuously serve food in order to keep the passengers seated and docile. Passengers who are busy stuffing their faces are less likely to bother the flight attendants or "go postal."
* Restaurant reports. My Facebook wall won't be covered with, "I went to (insert the name here) restaurant with (insert all names here)" postings. I eat to live and don't live to eat. Food to me is fuel for my body and not something that is a big production. People in the States love to entertain visitors and friends by going out to dinner. I'd rather spend the time with them talking in their homes or out and about somewhere. A simple barbecue in the backyard is more enticing than going to a restaurant. I like to know what's in my food. Restaurant food is loaded with a lot of hidden fats, sodium, and sugars that I really don't need, especially when I won't be exercising as much as usual.
* Up-to-the-minute photos. Since I'm leaving my laptop at home, and won't be bringing a phone with Internet access (it doesn't work in the States anyway), downloading photos from my camera will have to wait until I'm back home.
* Reports about every place that I went. I may mention when I'm in a new city if I happen to have easy access to a computer. But I won't be posting, "Went to the zoo, then to the beach, then went to Paco's Taco Shop." If I go someplace very special, I'll probably end up writing a full blog entry about it later instead of taking away from the moment and pausing to post it on my Facebook page.
* If I come in late from somewhere, the first thing that I'll do when I get to wherever I'll be sleeping is getting ready for bed. I'll be tired and will have sleep, and not Facebook, on my mind. I won't be coming in and typing, "It's 2 a.m. and I just got home from (insert the place here)." That's another thing that I don't understand about Facebook users. Why not just wait until waking up the next morning to post something on the Facebook wall?
Will I continue to use Facebook? Probably, because I can find out what my friends are doing. As I said before, it has helped me stay in touch with friends. Most people don't use e-mail anymore, they use Facebook. Also, I'll be able to know what my friends had for dinner, where they went, and what time they came home.