“Absolutely not.” It was the same response I always gave when asked whether I had joined the latest social networking Web site. Friendster, Facebook, Bebo, MySpace — I simply didn’t see the appeal.
As the years passed, friends remained perplexed by my adamant refusal to create my very own online counterpart.
It made perfect sense to me. I was tired of being plugged in, tuned in, and connected. With four e-mail accounts (thanks to work, grad school, college, and a basic personal one, of course), a daily blog routine to follow, and the ever-present aim buddy list on the top right-hand corner of my computer screen, I was already a cyber-junkie.
So no, thank you. I had no desire to design a profile, summarize my personality in one paragraph, and reconnect with people from my past. (If we haven’t spoken in 10 years, there’s probably a good reason, right?)
Then three months ago it happened. I finally gave in. Almost every friend I knew had abandoned traditional e-mail for the newer features offered by social networking services. Whether adding comments, sending private messages, or posting bulletins, they were all linked to one another — and not to me.
After years of protest, I am currently one of 50 Lauren Bergers on MySpace. I must admit: I hate myself a bit for it, but I couldn’t let my friends go without a fight. Oh, well — the real world will just have to wait a little while longer.