Eleven years ago, i joined Facebook. I have a love-hate relationship with the site. Back then, i run my own online community, developed by myself, written in Perl, long before Mark Zuckerberg with his “social network”. But i never got that many users on my side, and it was only available in German, which might be the reason. His trick was to make the website a exclusive thing only for students worldwide. In november 2006 i was a geography student at the University of Bonn, and i had my own university email address, the key to sign up for Facebook. But now everyone can join, it became mainstream.
This is why i never used it that much, just like Twitter. When i was down for some reasons, i occasionally removed people from my friends list, because it didn’t make me happy seeing them there. I had the people close to me on ICQ, “MSN Messenger” and other instant messaging apps anyway. It felt easy to do it. But as i slowly burned out, i cut off all these connections, till i found myself. And there i was, with only two friends on the list. I remembered former schoolmate Matthias saying that we will always be friends, whatever happens. And he accepted my friend request on Facebook again. But nothing was like before. A lot of time has passed. People change, and i changed. I wanted to say sorry for not having explained myself, and i really missed the time we played board games with Johannes and David. They all have jobs now, while i’m still trying to get it all to work. There is not much left to glue back together.
My social activities are quite limited these days, even more than in the past. But i search for the right amount within my means, by looking out for opportunities. Occasionally someone is saying or asking me something, while i’m folding my origami cranes. Just like a couple of days ago on the campus: She asked me where to find the coffee shop. I didn’t know, but we looked each other in the eyes, much longer than we needed to, till she left. It felt good to give and get some attention. It was like seeing a big bang, the birth and death of a universe.