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A blog about dating, meeting people, being social and everything in between.
(and occasionally some geek stuff)

The Death of Estrangement

Posted on 06/13/2007 in Random by Matt

Everyone uses social networking sites:  Teenagers, adults, seniors - even my mother has a myspace account.   Anyone can find and connect to anyone, all they have to do is know how to search for a name and submit a friend request.  I've always used a fake name on myspace to keep people from my past from finding me.  I didn't do this necessarily because I'd rather not speak to them ever again (although there are certainly a few of those), I did it simply because I wanted to decide if and when I'm going to be found.  I'm asserting control on how easily I can be reached; if someone from my elementary school wants to find me it's going to be on my terms.  No surprises, damnit. 

Several months ago my brother added me as a friend on myspace.  He uses his real name and we're very close in age, so anyone who knew him probably knew me as well.  This has resulted in a swarm of friend requests from long-lost schoolmates, family, and old friends who found me vicariously through him.  The renewal of these connections is a good thing in some cases, in other cases I've been hitting the "deny friend" button quite a bit.

To be estranged from someone is to be alienated from them, either through circumstance or just lack of communication. We're in an age now where it's not only difficult for estrangement to occur, it's becoming nearly impossible.  Myspace bulletins, facebook walls, livejournals, email, classmate finders, and even craigslist are mediums in which relationships can be revived, renewed, or dragged along.   I'm not going to call this out as simply good or bad, but I will say that sometimes I kind of wish I could have an identity online but still have a shield of anonymity that goes along with it.

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