‚ÄúEr, Facebook was it? Tell me now and I‚Äôll put it straight in my diary.‚ÄĚ
I have to confess that I‚Äôm not on Facebook. That is not the boast of a social media refusenik, someone who manages his life very well with no more technology than a pencil and a wall calendar. I was on Facebook until a couple of years ago but it wasn‚Äôt a force for good in my life and I had to log off. I deleted my account and I know that if I put my email address into a Facebook page now it will all be horribly reactivated. I‚Äôm staying on the wagon.
I‚Äôm not sure how many significant birthday parties I have missed since I quit the social network ‚Äď probably quite a few. I do know that I have missed an infinite number of funny videos, lots of fake news, plus the announcement of my sister-in-law‚Äôs pregnancy and the birth of the child, because my brother-in-law only used Facebook to share that information.
What are you supposed to do if you aren‚Äôt on Facebook? You can‚Äôt call people ‚Äď no one answers the phone any more ‚Äď and there‚Äôs no point in writing a letter. Australia Post hasn‚Äôt delivered a letter to my house in weeks.
The other day I was clearing the junk mail out of the letterbox and I came across a handwritten card inviting us to drinks at a neighbour‚Äôs house on Friday the 12th. The card was buried quite deep in the supermarket flyers and I quickly figured out that there were no more Friday the 12ths in 2018: we had missed the neighbourly drinks by a couple of weeks.
I got straight on the phone to apologise, of course ‚Äď and got a recording: ‚ÄúYou can leave a message, but send a text if you really want to reach me.‚ÄĚ
But no one reads texts these days, I thought. I‚Äôm going around there right now to knock on the door.
Matt Holden is an Age columnist.