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Freedom on a String

Freedom on a String

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Published by Victoria Evangelina
"I have to confess I am a Facebook junky. Not to say that I throw lots of cows at my fellow co-Facebookers, though I am a big fan of “group hugs”. But I do bear the responsibility of “converting” many busy people, who sometimes remain very traditional and devoted, using the Facebook profile just for checking out my new photos and leaving comments… yes, they do not even add other “friends”."
"I have to confess I am a Facebook junky. Not to say that I throw lots of cows at my fellow co-Facebookers, though I am a big fan of “group hugs”. But I do bear the responsibility of “converting” many busy people, who sometimes remain very traditional and devoted, using the Facebook profile just for checking out my new photos and leaving comments… yes, they do not even add other “friends”."

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Published by: Victoria Evangelina on Dec 26, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/14/2012

 
Freedom on a String
© Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya
2.05.2008
“Are you on Facebook?” asked Martin, looking out into the maze of the 1,696 big and smallislands of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. Our bout was cruising towards one of the islands, hosting acanoe rental spot.“And how many friends do you have there?It was… hmm… I think about 120 then. Today I am 162 friends “rich” but I am very proud tosay that with the exception of three people I have met all of them personally.Martin’s reaction was classic: “What?? Get out of here, I have just 75…”Making friends and “poking” people seems to be an essential part of socializing these days, andnot only for teenagers but for their older siblings and even parents. There are several CEOs, thehead of a very famous PR-group, the head of a wide-ranging TV-network, many politicians, businessmen, lawyers and so on on my Facebook; not to mention several very famous writers,actors and singers. My math skills are very modest, but I estimate the median age of myFacebook friends to be 40-42 years old, with the youngest being 22, and the oldest: 70+.“It gives me a good opportunity to see what my kids are doing,” a friend once told me. He is intouch via Facebook with his three kids, aged 18-22, all going to colleges in different countries.When the same man started repeatedly “throwing cows” at me I recognized the familiar patternof “spying” intentions layered with getting sucked into the addictive maze of easy interactions.I have to confess I am a Facebook junky. Not to say that I throw lots of cows at my fellow co-Facebookers, though I am a big fan of “group hugs”. But I do bear the responsibility of “converting” many busy people, who sometimes remain very traditional and devoted, using theFacebook profile just for checking out my new photos and leaving comments… yes, they do noteven add other “friends”.The “Fun Wall” on the profile of another “Facebooker” of mine consists of my failed attempts tointerest him in acquiring more friends. “I’m at 98! When will you start using your Facebook?” Iwrote at the end of December. “I am at 115…” read the January note. “I am at 120,” read thenext post. He stayed with two friends on his profile, and is still making fun of my “collection”.About half a year ago, he asked me: “Why do you need so many people in your life?” and eventhough I had never before thought about the reason, I knew the answer: “They are the strings thatkeep me afloat.”Though I still doubt my answer, I accept that this is a part of the reason. The dependency of  being needed by someone, of being of sincere interest to someone is what keeps many interestedin life at least to a small degree. “I live for the children,” “I live for my parents,” how many aremature enough to live for themselves without getting depressed? The security of pseudo-intimaterelationships online minus the risk and vulnerability of a tete-a-tete meeting is the freedom of akite, flying in the blue sky covered with puffy gorgeous clouds in the rays of the sun, gettingready for the night. Freedom on a string and attempting to connect while loneliness grows…

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