With the addition of the Facebook chat-toolbar-make-it-easier-than-ever-to-stalk-your-friends-thingie, I've now come to the conclusion that its completely impossible to NOT communicate with your friends anymore.
Cell phones are one thing. Calling, texting, hell I call people from my purse sometimes without even meaning to do it. (Has that ever happened to you? The background noises ALWAYS make it sound like one of your dear friends is being kidnapped and shoved into a trunk or something. Its always somewhat alarming.) Texting is handy when you have things to say but don't really feel like actually talking to someone, or are in a place where actually having your phone to your ear is not the best plan of action. But now, with the plethora of social networking sites and instant messaging applications, I almost feel like I work for some secret government agency tracking those fondest to me at any given moment.
Myspace and Facebook alone offer the abilities to blog, comment, chat instantly with your friends, and be "cryptic" and "mysterious" with status updates, as well as updating everyone you know, wish you knew, knew ten years ago and can't remember why you stopped talking to them in the first place, or don't know at all but didn't want to offend by denying their display of cyber friendship the opportunity to be notified whenever YOU update something. You can spill your soul, pimp your favorite artists *cough* Matt Nathanson *cough*, and look like you have way too much free time by posting obnoxious glittery kittens and unicorns all over your friends pages. Its fun, I swear.
Sites like Twitter take it a step further. Twitter offers you the opportunity to type or text update to their site that you can then post on your other social networking sites of choice. The problem here becomes that some people abuse the privilege (I'm looking at you, Matt Morris), and will sometimes post so frequently that its nearly a minute by minute feed. I don't really need to know you that well dude, just get the album out already. K thanks.
There are sites like LastFM.com, Goodreads.com,and Dvd Profiler, which allow you to meticulously track the songs you listen to, the books you read, and the movies that you watch. There are also sites that allow you to go so far as to keep a record of what you consumed that day, or keep track of everything from what medicines you took, to your menstrual cycle.
A quick Google of the two screen names I use the most often brings up my recent message board posts, my LastFm and Twitter accounts, and a host of links to online friends of mine, among other things that I either participate in, or signed up for and long forgot.
The point is this - I'm a solitary person by nature. Luckily I have the type of friends who understand for the most part that its exhausting for me to be with people in a social setting, and every now and then I just have to isolate and take some me time, plug in and recharge my batteries. With the advent of constant communication, this has nearly become impossible. Dropping off the radar for a day or two is no longer an option without a barrage of messages, emails, texts, etc - all wondering where I am and if I'm okay, and if I've thought about contacting someone for the obvious depression that I must have going on if I simply haven't felt like talking to anyone for a few days.
I'm an open book by nature. I'm obnoxiously outgoing, I'm definitely not the type of girl to have secrets. This is probably a good thing, because in this day and age its simply not possible anymore.