I have a twitter and a facebook, and a little bit afraid to admit it, but I spend about 60% of my time on them both, during work and on my blackberry at all other times. I am also doing other things at the same time, but there it is. Twitter and Facebook makes me feel 'in the loop' somehow. Every day, every minute, I am inundated with the latest thoughts and going-ons of my peers. Some things are trivial, some things are personal and some are monumental. Yet knowing all these things do not make me feel closer to the person. The overflow of facts and day to day mediocrity that I skim through only makes me feel disconnected to the person even more. What purpose do these broadcasting of trivial facts about ourselves serve but to only feed our ego, and to reiterate our existence to ourselves in an ever increasing world of instant gratification and tweets that disappear in mere minutes, depending on often our friends update (some more than they need to). Some need to constantly see their name in lights....or in this case, on the top of the updates feed.

And I begin to feel that facebook and twitter are the expression of the ego... a social showcase of our vain existence, in a sense. I'm sure there are others who use it for more altruistic reasons, but the friends I have and the people I know, they seem to be using it in a very self-serving sort of way. Which, by the way,doesn't say a lot about me.

I begin to see my friends not for who they really are, but as this projected image that they present of themselves; that they are attention whores...needy, selfish and conceited.

I won't say that I am as bad, perhaps I am worse. My updates are sometimes bragging, vain, and pointless.

But who wants to see their friend this way? Who wants to compete with their friends for an online presence?

After work today I took a stroll down to the local bookstore. The past few days have been a bit jarring, having to deal with the sudden loss of a friend and in contrast, having an amazing weekend with the lover. I don't know how to be. And I'm trying to be OK with that.

Perhaps it's my birthday looming in the distance that has me feeling sort of, detached from everything.

But perhaps its the realization of my own mortality with the loss of a friend that's made me realize that that online world is a whole other entity in it of itself. It exists in the realm in which it exists but hardly does it translate into the real world. All the friends you acquire on facebook and the @ backs that you get on twitter...what does it all amount to at night, when your computer is off, when you are alone with your thoughts in your own bed?

Where does all that kinetic energy go? That's the strange thing about online networking. As much as we'd like to think it all adds up to something, at the end of the day, all the effort we put in just disappears as soon as we press that 'update' button. We become old news as soon as we submit our latest status. It is the one realm where, for as much effort as we put in, we get almost zero output within the real world. The world where, if no one read your tweets and no one knew who you were online, you would mean nothing to them other than who you were in mere physical presence. And sometimes that's a scary thing.

People have now substituted real substance for an online persona.