Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why Facebook Has Ruined My Social Skills


I can’t help it. I've spent large stints of my life on Facebook. First it was for “academic purposes”, then it was for “communicating with family while abroad” purposes, and then there was the “keeping in touch with friends abroad” purposes. I always have an excuse to justify the fact that I've just spent three hours of my time scrolling through pages of others and clicking through their pictures. I may harbor a small addiction or a large one. But luckily it only manifests when I am bored.

The problem is not the actual addiction.

Oh no the issue is my memory.

I remember pretty much everything I ever read see or about anyone on Facebook: even when they are just a friend of a friend. A friend of a friend whom I've merely seen a post about due to the fact that my friends commented on their post and it’s gone viral.

This is what I hate: things going viral. Even semi-viral, so that I am forced to witness them and then become curious about the person and spend a minute browsing their page, which generally has only enough privacy settings to deter a semi-blind person. So that in moments you get a quick scan of their entire lives.

It wouldn't be a problem or at least not a social problem if it wasn't for my inability to small talk.

What generally happens is I’m introduced to some person that I shouldn't know anything about. What then occurs is that I manage to be normal for about ten seconds and then we run out of the introductory “hi’s and my name is”, so more often than not and without my common senses permission I say something along the lines of:

“Oh you’re that guy that went to Korea to teach English, but then came home to start a band with your secondary school friends because you missed your dog. How is he, the dog? Was it worth it?”

At this point people start backing away; in fact at this point I start backing away from myself.

It’s come to the point where I try not to look anyone in the eye in case I recognise them from Facebook and spout their life history as told by social networking. 

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