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29.05.10; Sweet Saturday; 17:46

Current workplace: Eastwood City. Duration: 2 looong months! Please take me back to my beloved Makati City! New officemate AND Facebook friend: John Cohn. Yeah, I feel smarter already!

Dear Niwee,

In response to this call out for blog entries, I sat down and reflected on my online activities. Admittedly, the first websites I visit can be any of the social networking sites like Plurk, Facebook or Twitter. It sometimes felt unnecessary to log in on my e-mail accounts since I’d see the notifications on these sites anyway. I’d eventually check my e-mail accounts when I ran out of interesting status, photos and videos to react on. Sometimes, I’d scratch my head at the end of the day, wondering if I’d been productive at all.

In my estimation, virtual life is the new social life. We announce what’s in our heads, we share our current location or what’s served on the table, we try to update our profile photo as often as possible and we even reconnect with old friends and make new ones online. I even use such websites for marketing purposes: to promote my t-shirt business and traveling dolls and to invite people to attend my events. Not that there’s anything wrong with those. It’s the extent.

However, it starts to get unhealthy when the tool begins to shape us. It happens whenever you feel this pressure to do something to uphold that image you decided to present to your contacts. It happens when you clamor for wi-fi when you are with the people who matter the most or when you’re in a new setting you just can’t appreciate. It happens when you sign up for extra services like SunAlertz to update and be updated even if you have too many expenses already.

Damn. That just reminded me of my outstanding bills! I better stop specifying instances.

Know what’s funny? Even if we managed to convince ourselves our interest for a certain networking site had waned, something else with similar function with possibly additional feature/s will surface. We start all over again with or without much gusto. The addiction goes on! 

I remember myself complaining that I have my hands full with maintaining Multiply and Facebook that I don’t need another sites like Plurk, Twitter and Tumblr. Guess who has an average of 10 plurks and tweets now per day? Do you have the same story? I bet you’ve neglected or deleted your Friendster account and migrated most of your Multiply content to Facebook. You may or may not have a Twitter account yet but it did cross your mind to sign up.

Recently, I am contemplating on quitting on Twitter and Plurk so I can focus and resurrect my inactive blogs. If my friends Anahata  and Sheng can do it, then I can do it, too, right? I plurked about it here and, instead of support, I was greeted with doubt. It didn’t hurt that much as I can’t convince myself that I can. After all, some good happenings took place, thanks to my online presence.

Still, something has to be done! Any ideas?

***

I’m grateful that it’s almost effortless to find people at this age. I managed to locate good friends I’ve met way back in elementary days. Even school mates I never engaged in any conversation with before and second degree friends now appear to be my contacts on the abovementioned social networking sites. Plus, my colleagues and cousins are now friends with my other friends in real life, making my world pleasantly smaller.

So why did I stand in the way for my own mother to experience this kind of enjoyment? 

Don’t worry, she now has an existing Facebook account. For the longest time, her requests to sign up fall on decidedly deaf ears. I panicked at the thought she’d investigate on my activities and chastise me for the world wide web to witness. Besides, I don’t think she’d appreciate it when she sees my close friends take liberty on calling me Porna Doll. 

To my relief, she’d rather spend her Facebook time sending messages to her former colleagues and relatives abroad. She’d only ask me to approach her when she needs some technical assistance, not to nag at me for my insane posts. Give her 2 hours and she’d end up ranting about her eye discomfort and headache. Unlike our generation, she can’t stand long hours in front of the computer. Phew!

Assuming there’d still be social networking sites by the time I have teenage kids, I will try NOT to stalk on them. After all, it takes days for me to delete spam messages on my business e-mail. Where will I find the time to research on the recent ongoings in their lives? I’d just try to have open communication with them so they won’t feel compelled to tweak their privacy settings.

Wait, did I just convey I want to raise kids?! Oh, no. I have a public image to uphold!

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