All your life are belong to us

102 weeks ago, I spent way too much time assembling a list of the folks we wanted share our “hey, our inside baby just became an outside baby” email.  This was not a fun process, but we did it anyway and I’m happy we did.  I also blogged the entire hospital -> labor -> birth from the tiny, craptastic “keyboard” of our long since gone, original iPhone.   In short, I worked to get the message, a message I was very, very excited about, out.

Today, not even two years later, things are different.  With my role at my new startup (+ dad of the aforementioned 2 year old, and husband of a super patient wife), I just don’t have much time to fart around online.  While the world has transition on to Facebook, I’ve slowly transitioned off.  This hasn’t been a big decision – no, I’m not taking a stand against the Rube Goldberg machine that is Facebook’s Privacy Settings.  Rather, it’s been a consistent string of small decisions – decisions not to open the app on my phone or site in my browser.  Decisions to not consume the little blips of my friends and family’s lives.

Missing out

You see, I have a serious issue with status updates.   I must consume them all.  This was easy when FB was small and I could count my “friends” on a couple of hands and feet, but now, even with very managed growth of my friends list and an iron “Ignore” finger for new requests, I just can’t keep up.  Since I can’t handle just a snack of my friends’ lives, for the fear that I’ll miss out on something, I’ve stepped away almost entirely.

In doing so I’ve missed two births and a tenure award/promotion.  Three life changing events that used to merit phone calls and emails blasts are now owned by Facebook.  When I found out the other day that friends of ours had their first child five days earlier I was floored.  Floored that I didn’t know, that I hadn’t somehow heard.  I *never* miss an email (note: this is not a guarantee that I actually reply, just that I never miss even one).  I was told “it was on Facebook”.  The same thing happened last week when my brother-in-law was awarded tenure and a promotion.  I missed it.  It was on Facebook only.  Sure, eventually I got a call with the info, but I’d missed it when it was news.

This seriously bums me out.  Not that I didn’t see these when they happened, or that I wasn’t personally notified, but that these really amazing, important, life-changing events have been dumbed down to a Facebook status update.  That the care that goes into an actual email, a call, a blog post, is gone.  Now that everyone is on Facebook, you can just carpet-bomb your life’s best moments into the stream that will get lost below the fold before you know it, and way before I know it.

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