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Not ready to Face the future

On Wednesday, the social-networking Internet site Facebook passed 200 million users.

I am not one of them.

I also do not have a space and I don't tweet. Or twitter. Or chirp or whatever the heck you call it.

But everyone else does, it seems. My wife is on Facebook and so are my friends, along with my boss, my co-workers and apparently nearly everyone else I know or have known in my entire life. But not me.

Clearly, I am uncool.

My rejection of social-networking sites started with simple middle-aged technological ignorance. My stepson showed me his MySpace page and those of a few of his buddies. After my flashing-light, scrolling-message, multiple-background-song-induced seizure ended I vowed to never be a part of such madness.

Then along came Facebook. It was low on flashing, beeping, whirring, scrolling insanity and high on social updates. And people my age were using it.

My wife showed me her page, and I'll admit that it was kind of neat - for a few minutes.

In just moments, we surfed from one page to another, seeing co-workers, friends, college buddies and old high school classmates. For a minute or two, I was nostalgic. "Hey, I always wondered what happened to him." "Man, I haven't seen her in years."

For a moment I thought about putting my face in that book.

And then it dawned on me why I hadn't seen some of these people in so long.

He was a jerk. She was mean. He's weird. She smells funny.

Then there's this: I spend all day with this person in person every day. Why on Earth would I want to go home and check their "status" just to find out that they're thinking about going into the kitchen to eat the last piece of chocolate pie?

I'm sorry, but I just don't care.

I will admit there are a select few people I would "be friends with" - which in itself is a dumb phrase because I'm already friends with them in reality. But then, I'm told, there are all these other requests from people, and you don't want to offend them, so you end up "accepting" them.

And that's where jerko, meany, weirdo and stinky come in.

I don't want to hear about the modern-day exploits of the high school bully. You say the girl I had a crush on in the seventh grade just had her fourth kid with an NFL quarterback and won the lottery? Awesome, but I don't care. And it works both ways. I'm a newspaper columnist, so by cosmic law I must have at least a little bit of an ego to think that other people care what I have to say. But just how much do you really care?

Do you care that I just mowed the grass? Or that I bit into a burnt potato chip while watching the game? I got a lot of junk mail today, so set up an e-mail alert to see if I won the sweepstakes. And check back later, I might just post a pic of that ingrown toenail I finally dug out.

I don't begrudge people for using these sites for their intended purpose. People are able to keep up with friends, find out about births, look at pictures from parties and reunions, and my wife has reconnected with a pal from high school. So I see the usefulness and the draw, but some take it too far.

And I'm not completely cut off from cyberspace. I sometimes visit a message board where people talk about music. But that's all they do, and I need a little simplicity in a complicated world.

So until I'm dragged kicking and screaming into the Facebook cult, I will stay blissfully ignorant of your youngest kid's booboo or how your casserole turned out. I will remain uncool.

But I'm uncool on my own terms, and, to me, that's kind of cool.

E-mail Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays.