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.
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.