The No Facebook Experiment : Day 4

No Facebook For A Week: Day 4: Thursday, July 1, 2010

Text Contacts with FB Friends: 0
Email Contacts with FB Friends: 2
Telephone Contacts with FB Friends: 3
In-Person Contacts with FB Friends: 1

So this Facebook isolation has been going on for four days already, and I realized one major thing: Like buying books in your pajamas, Facebook makes interpersonal communications languidly convenient. Meaning you can effectively approve of a friend’s statement, laugh at their joke, offer a witty retort or wish them a happy birthday — all with a few keystrokes and the click of a mouse. Then you really don’t have to deal with them again, unless you decide to repeat the process.

In terms of productivity, I was successfully able to file the disorganized mess that is my business card collection, placing them into various slip-folders: one for musicians, another for non-musician friends, one for restaurants and businesses and a large one for my community-related contacts. I also successfully discarded the invalid ones — especially for people whom I knew no longer worked at those positions.

In perhaps a stroke of chance (or mental telepathy), minutes after filing the card of a musician friend (who is on Facebook), I receive a phone call from him, asking if I can cover for him on bass guitar at church next weekend. Not a problem. I also got a call from another friend (not on FB, by intention) who wanted to know if I can acquire a videotape copy of a movie I scored many moons ago.

I also contacted a (FB) friend via Twitter which became a phone conversation, asking for assistance converting some old video footage into digital form. He told me he’d help out by lending me some equipment, which needed to be done soon but not urgently, so I told him I’d pick up the equipment next week (after my experiment has ended). I did learn that he bought a condo in West Los Angeles.

On Thursday night, I went shopping at a local Michael’s craft store for paint and glue supplies for my model railroading purposes. Afterward, I stopped by Revo Cafe and had a nice chat with my good friend Israel, one of the co-owners. We did have a good talk about a personal matter he had been going through in the past few months, and we hung out until after the cafe closed.

Interpersonal communications take time, energy and effort, but there’s nothing like communicating with people on a one-on-one basis. One of the things I hoped to achieve through my experiment was to fortify the quality of my interpersonal relationships with people. They just don’t fall into your lap (or flash on the screen), they require investment. Call me an old fart, but I do think an entire generation of people is starting to lose that.

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