Introspections & Retrospections

The Social Elusion and the Social Illusion

After reaching a personal high of having 1,071 social friends from being a member since 2007, I finally deactivated my Facebook account. Whether it will be permament or not remains to be seen. Not that anyone bothers. (Haha drama!) But kidding aside, I could say that my action was probably a by-product on my idea about calculated spontaneity.

Yet, why the rash decision?

So okay – primarily, I got pissed off by Facebook’s latest update: the news ticker. Not that it was the first time; I actually had the misfortune of encountering it a few weeks ago when Facebook tested it for an hour. It drove everyone I know nuts – negatively.

I usually don’t complain about changes. But there comes a point when you have to realize that some changes just aren’t right. So yeah, Facebook was a free service. And I knew for a long time that Facebook is using my personal private information for its profit. But to blatantly disregard my privacy by making the news ticker mandatory was something that just made something click in my head.

So I considered leaving Facebook.

But wait: how about all those friends I made there? How about all those important connections I’m maintaining? How about the potential to make an impact to the online crowd within the sphere of my own influence? How about all those random people who would suddenly chat me up, and I get to share about my faith in God?

Wait.

I just celebrated my 30th year of existence. I have lived through my childhood and adolescence with only a Nintendo, pocketbooks and a handful of weird but faithful friends. I have survived the manic chatrooms, Friendster and Multiply eras. Yes, Facebook brought a lot of changes to our current culture – but should that mean I should be entrapped in it?

How do social networks work, anyway? Well, I’m not an expert on social media – but as I played around with the thought, it made me hypothesize about two concepts which I refer to as “social evolution” and “social revolution.” As I theorized on Google+:

The theory of social evolution teaches us to passively accept the ever-changing environment. Those who cannot adapt to it are pretty much considered socially dead or inexistent. Thus, the struggle for social domination ensues thru fervent attempts to increase social presence and influence. I, however, believe in social revolution – that which in the face of an unacceptable social paradigm, chooses to be alienated rather than succumb to the virtual social pressure, or when given a chance – cause a social unrest in the prevailing consciousness.

A social evolutionist explains society, how it changes and why it changes.

A social revolutionist questions society, how it can change, and why it must change.

Evolution and revolution. Both depict change – except that the other requires a heart of a radical.

I just started reading Craig Groeschel’s book entitled “Weird” – which I chose out of whim and amusement (it’s not easy to find a Christian book that’s quite unconventional nowadays;  besides, the title itself reflects my life statement). And in the few pages I managed to read, it stirred in me the challenge that God had placed in my heart a long time ago.

Being a radical requires having the courage to do something that everyone else is hesitant to do. In fact, being a radical is not simply about ‘going against the flow’; it’s seeing where the waves bring you and turning back to stay ahead when you sense the changing tides. You can’t always explain it by logic; you just need to trust your instincts – or in my case, keep the faith.

Yes, I still am missing Facebook. And frankly – I am tempted to reactivate it. But had I not done it, I would have not learnt to enjoy Twitter, find time to really read a book, or even have the motivation to write this blog.

As for 9gag… ah, that’s a different story.

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2 thoughts on “The Social Elusion and the Social Illusion

  1. Ahahhaah nuuuuuu I'm actually enjoying this vacation from Facebook!!! XD but seriously – maybe I'll reactivate it on November or December, but no promises. I'm finding G+ and Twitter more comfortable nowadays :p

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