I really enjoy reading TIME magazine when I get it in the mail and sharing the best articles with people around me, whether it's a feature article like The Case for National Service or You Are Not My Friend by Joel Stein featured at the end of this week's magazine. He makes a really good point: we say that sites like Facebook help us connect to people "but really, these sites aren't about connecting and reconnecting. They're a platform for self-branding...We're not sharing things we don't want other people to know. We're showing you our best posed, retouched photos." At some point that is understandable, but if we are deleting links to others' photos of us so people won't see them or we are afraid to say what we really think that starts to get a little ridiculous. At that point we start to run the risk of not being ourselves online. We might be too elusive or elitist, or we might be way more enthusiastic and positive than we really feel about a subject or message. "We are, as a social network, all so awesome that we will soon not be able to type the number 1, because we will have worn out the exclamation point that shares its key," warns Stein. He might be right.

I am definitely guilty of this myself and I would like to cut back on it. I think Facebook can be a very good way of connecting to people who you can't get a hold of easily (through phonecalls, e-mails or god forbid actually visits) but I don't think it should be a replacement. We all have people that we are close to in real life (irl) and I think it should stay that way. If you have close friends, keep them close and spend your time accordingly.