Well, of course I am, but in what passes for the 'real' world, the world I can see, albeit through a cataracted eye. I can smell it, taste it, touch it and generally experience life.
Vicarious knowledge of societal issues is acquired through my voracious reading. The lives of others offer lessons in one’s ever-evolving passage through the world, which is why I read well-written blogs which range over the gamut of human relationships, but not those with excruciatingly boring tittle-tattle gossip-laden details.
I really don't have the time, let alone the interest, to soak up the minutiae of the daily existence of folk I barely know personally, if at all. And I’m not the only one prepared to say it: a minimal cull of newspapers produces gems such as this one.
Footballer Alessandro "Derek" Del Piero is threatening to sue Facebook over a fake page with his name on with links to a Nazi propaganda group. His representatives wish to make it clear Del Piero has never had a profile on Facebook, because he has proper friends and a life.
Georgina Hobbs-Meyer has a cautionary tale. Mind you, if her husband had exercised precautions, such as using passwords and not leaving his Facebook page open, they might not be getting a divorce.
G.H-M has noted that "the monster of Facebook feeds off our ids with all the charm of an overbearing town crier on a caffeine overload."
And now Facebook intends to capitalise on the wealth of information it has about its users by offering its 150 million-strong customer base to corporations as a market research tool.
At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Mark Zuckerberg, the company's 24-year-old founder and chief executive, said 2009 will be Facebook's "intense" year as it tries to justify some of the mammoth valuations that have been placed upon it by making some serious revenues through advertising.
So, as G.H-M notes, not only is "the pursuit of letting endless idiots become (my) friends ... draining" but now these idiots are about to become the prey of corporate marketeers.
I have similarly ranted about handphones. I can see that whilst stuck in a traffic jam having one to let loved ones and business associates know that you’ve got the by now established excuse for non-appearance could be of value. I also recognise that wandering along mountain tracks and getting caught by bad weather or amateurish navigation, assuming that your battery is sufficiently charged, could be a life saver. I also know that being on the scene of a train wreck or terrorist outrage could be of value to those authorities charged with dealing with the situation.
Having a conversation, concert or meeting disrupted with poorly amplified pop songs, babies crying or chickens clucking is, I contend, the height of bad manners. Nothing important can be decided in a Stupid Message Sending, so why interrupt a personal encounter?
I must have said this before, but with sincere apologies to all who have invited me to be their 'friends' on Mugshots, Dribblings, Matey, Lewd Loves and other similar online networks, anyone wishing to leave a comment if they fit within the remits of my various blogs wherein I express my concerns. These are where I pass on titbits of my personal life and interests for those who think they ‘need’ to know me. Better yet, take the time to write me an email in plain language and, computer technology and bandwidth permitting, you’ll get a carefully composed reply.
No offence is intended, but I do value my privacy. And yours.
That’s enough twittering from me. I’m off to ‘celebrate’ my birthday with family and a few friends in convivial surroundings where we can look each other in the eye and have no need to …... hang on ….. I’ve got to answer the phone.