by Giselle Renarde
No, you can't be my Facebook friend. Sorry.
Was it here or on Twitter that Annabeth Leong and I were talking about not having a Facebook account? I don't remember. I don't remember much, these days. But yes, it's true, I am a (relatively) young person (or, at least, I keep telling myself I am...) and I don't have a Facebook account.
How did I become a Facebook resistor? I remember having reasons, but I can't recall what those reasons were. I think I always felt like I didn't want my whole life on the internet but, honestly, if you read my posts here or at Donuts and Desires, or if you follow me on Twitter, you know I tell the internet everything.
Oh, and my life is in my work, too. Duh. There's a reason my writing has been called "scary honest."
There are lots of little reasons I still resist setting up a Facebook account, despite pressure from those who care about my marketing efforts. Thing is... I'd feel sleazy establishing a social media account for the sole purpose of selling stuff. People with low self-esteem shouldn't be allowed to run businesses. My self-deprecating brain is always thinking, "It's going to bother people if I keep telling them about my new book." (Although, to be honest, it does irk me when someone's Twitter feed is a steady stream of book ads. I usually unfollow them. So I don't want to be that guy.)
There's an obvious solution: set up a Facebook account and don't be a dick. Ta-da!
But, you know, it's just one more thing to babysit. It's one more password to remember. One more goddamn online presence. One more thing I need to remember not to forget to sign into and keep up with and provide content for on a daily basis.
It's exhausting, all this, isn't it?
I went to a St. Vincent concert last week (See? I told you I was young! I go to concerts... just like young people!) and a lot of the songs on her new album speak to the digital experience. In Every Tear Disappears, she sings, "Yeah, I live on wires. Yeah, I've been born twice." Every time I hear that, I'm like tell me about it! I spend most of my life as this internet incarnation. I miss the days when, if you wanted to know something, you had to read about it in a book... or experience it, first-hand.
Anyway, I'm swerving a little off course. I came here to talk about why I'm a Facebook resistor. And now that I've talked about it, I realize that none of my reasons sound all that convincing.
When it comes right down to it, I just don't want an account. I want to hold on to what's left of my privacy.
And as I write this I realize these concerns about the online sphere extend seamlessly to my personal life. Why would I invite Facebook friends in when I can't even invite flesh-and-blood friends?
I've always kept people at bay because I'm still afraid (after all these years!) someone might get a little too close and see a little too much of my ugliness, my messiness, my unsavoury-ness. It's funny how there are some things you never quite get over. This pushing people away is a blatant leftover from growing up in an alcoholic household. You know (or can imagine) how it is: we were all too ashamed to bring friends home. My family was so insular because we had a secret to keep. As open as I seem to be, I'm still haunted by a wide variety of demons.
Sorry, potential friends, but I'm just too psychologically damaged to join your social network.