Tweetaholics and Facebookaholics are one and the same. They are not real people. The age of information has birthed a group of junkies. I had the pleasure of entertaining one of those “cra-cras” (crazy people), who tweets/updates his status consistently.
You know what I mean. He has the cracking pages, gets the hits and friend requests. You begin to feel as if you know these people but you can never be so sure.
It was a crisp Saturday morning. The air was cold and fresh. Fall just arrived and I’m a weirdo because I love the mornings. I sat outside on the porch at my mother’s townhouse awaiting the arrival of my Facebook friend.
I admit we had never met in person. We had briefly crossed paths in the nightclub so I guess that counts for something.
Our “relationship” began online. After reading a status he had written “Black is Beautiful” conversations began. We would inbox back and forth. It was fun and I liked him so like any online “relationship,” I wanted to meet him face to face.
As he walked up to me I smiled. First I was happy that the man standing in front of me matched his profile picture. Second he was an early bird just like me.
I decided that we would go Dutch on our first date. We went to a local restaurant a block away. It’s a modern, French themed café with vibrant art.
My Facebook friend and I sat safely secluded in the back next to a humongous bookshelf and ate our crepes. I began to talk, telling him about school and what some of my plans for life include.
I looked up realizing that I was the only one talking. He had nothing to say. I could say forty words and he would respond with two. I was in the middle of explaining the concept of “leave a book, take a book” and I stopped. I could not believe what this “cra-cra” was doing. He had taken pictures of our empty plates and posted them on Facebook. WHAT?!?!
That should have been the first sign that this man had little to no interest in me but I played it cool. I shook my head and asked him if he would like to join me on the patio.
Out on the patio things began to ease up. We laughed at the fact we were the only Black people at the restaurant but we were not phased. Then it got weirder. He showed me pictures of myself on Facebook that he admired.
On first take I was flattered. Hold up.Why are you showing me pictures of me while I’m sitting here? We shared music and even spit a little poetry between me taking his phone from the front of his face.
After we left the restaurant we spent a little more time together and went our separate paths. I had to return to Louisiana and he had work. We vowed that we would keep in contact until I returned for my next break. Our communication did not cease but it began to lessen. I would receive a text here and there but phone conversations were rare. I figured he was shy or just had other conventions.
As part of my daily routine I logged into my Facebook account and was taken back. The “cra-cra” had striked again. He had gone through every single one of my pictures online. He even had the nerve to comment. I had received numerous notifications detailing the ones he “liked.”
Once again I was flattered. This could be how he should affection, cyber love. Whenever we were simultaneously online we would chat. This non-verbal relationship continued for roughly two weeks. I could not take it. I began to feel fake. This was not me or the type of relationship that I wanted. It wasn’t genuine. It had been birthed on Facebook but is that where it stopped.
This was my first time encountering someone like this. I talked to my mother about him. “He’s cool though and maybe he’s just not use to expressing himself,” I pleaded to her. “You’re making excuses for him,” she would respond. My mother, as expected, was correct. I was making excuses for this man.
He had no problem expressing himself according to his Facebook wall. I hit him up on the phone and he would not answer. My Facebook friend had created this character based on statuses, profile pictures, and uploaded videos. This arrogant, narcissistic, I’m so handsome mystique was a facade.
In actuality he was a shy, mild mannered Black man with too much time on his hands. He is just not that into is what I told myself. That might be true and its ok.
“Conversation Rules The Nation,” a friend explained to me. Let the truth ring. I’m not anti-technology but there has to be a balance. Technology has advanced my generation but are we too advanced for face-to-face conversation.
Twitter and Facebook are social networks that have become crutches for the socially awkward. At one time in ancient history, the ’90s, there were no cell phones, emails, or social websites.
Communication was not instant. There were no computer screens to hide behind. Twitter and Facebook allows users to “express themselves” with no consequences. Users become so intertwined in a virtual world and their online identities, real or fake.
Interpersonal skills have seemed to fade away and been replaced with instant messages. The opportunity to look into someone’s eyes as they speak to you can never be replaced.
Engage in more contact conversation. Yes, social networks are here to stay but they are not they only means of communication.
As for false cyber, identities and improved self-esteem based on multiple friend requests and liked statuses. “Be You!