Facebook Changed My Social Dysfunction

Going to see The 360s last night drove home an interesting point for me: The Facebook world and the real world are indeed two different places. And it may have made my social dysfunction worse.

Mood music:

First, I want to thank The 360s for a great show last night. When I leave a show with my ears ringing, feeling like I’ve been kicked in the gut, I know I’ve had a good, healthy dose of rock n roll. I need that sort of thing every day.

Here’s what was weird for me, and it’s nobody’s fault, really. Heck, it’s not even necessarily a bad thing: I’m connected with all the band members on Facebook. Seeing their status updates every day makes me feel like I really know them. But in person, we’re strangers.

I approached the band members, who looked at me puzzled, trying to figure out who I was. Once I introduced myself, they knew who the strange guy in front of them was and they were very friendly. Some of them read this blog, but in real life, in a dark club, I don’t really resemble the cartoon logo people associate me with. And outside of Facebook, we’ve never really talked to each other in a room.

And so I come off as the typical hanger-on at rock shows, the guy in the room who sucks up to the band so he can tell people he knows them. That’s not my goal, but I can see how I might come off that way. I can be a real train wreck sometimes.

In a way it’s kind of cool, because it goes to show that you can’t replace the real world with something found in cyberspace.

That’s actually a relief, because I sometimes worry that if I get too good at the social media thing, I’ll forget how to function when face-to-face with someone.

Actually, let me correct that: I’ve never really understood how to function when face to face. And that brings me to the main point of this post.

Even though I can comfortably give a talk in front of an audience and share my most embarrassing truths in writing, I remain socially dysfunctional.

I lose the ability to distinguish what I see in the people I share a room with from people I share a Facebook page with. So, once off Facebook and back in the real world, I forget how I should act around people.

I’ve gotten better at this stuff since crawling out of the black hole that is OCD and addiction. But I suppose I’ll always be fighting the battle at some level. And that’s OK.

My social awkwardness didn’t get in the way of what was a great night out with my wife. I had fun, and look forward to the next concert. I also didn’t need to feed my addictive side with binge eating or booze to get through the night. That’s some pretty good progress.

I just need to work on my real-world people skills. But then doesn’t everybody?

OCD Diaries


4 thoughts on “Facebook Changed My Social Dysfunction

  1. Pingback: A Personality Defect We All Share | THE OCD DIARIES

  2. I feel the same way!!!! I get shy and sometimes I am not exactly sure a person is who I think they are. Friday night I did overcome my shyness and go up to a person and take a gamble – I got the right person! Whew! I’m pretty bad at recognizing people in ANY situation- I swear I totally wouldn’t know Clark Kent was superman – the glasses totally throw me off. (one time I totally didn’t recognize a person I knew, because she was wearing glasses! Duh!)

  3. Bill, I believe most people, even people who come off as confident, are a little bit socially disfunctional. Regardless of who you are..there is a moment of awkwardness when you meet someone in person that you have only talked to through a social media. I have been in that situation and it is uncomfortable to say the least! I either avoid the situation or talk and then run it over my head 100 times how I made an idiot out of myself..when in reality … I did not!! A friend will tell me I did fine and looked and acted confident and most of all myself. Just be yourself Bill..if someone doesn’t like it..then who cares. We are always hardest on ourselves and feel judged. It is part of social anxiety. People are not judging you and you have a lot to offer. Good for you for enjoying the night with your wife regardless and having a good time..definitely a step in the right direction. You have such a positive attitude..keep it going. 🙂

  4. Bill-I wanted to talk to you-but you disappeared into the club-i was talking to an old friend-when you came over to say hi-when i turned around you were gone.Next time lets hang out and chat-im totally socially dysfunctional-too.

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