At the end of May I decided to deactivate my facebook account. I’d been thinking about it for a while and finally decided to give it a try and see what life is like without facebook. My intent was to determine if facebook enriches my life or takes something away from it. The truth is, it’s a little bit of both.
While off of Facebook, I received way more phone calls. I think I worried less about what I looked like when people were taking pictures. I found myself more present focused and able to enjoy experiences without trying to come up with a clever way to present it on my facebook page. I felt out of the loop at times. I had to ask people more questions. My sister had to answer questions about my disappearance. I was surprised by some of the people that ‘missed’ me on facebook and let me know it. I had more time.
There are some really positive things about Facebook, including:
1. Connection to people far far away
2. Group Messages – for planning and keeping in touch
3. Quick access to old pictures & information
4. Ability to spread news & reach a large group of people quickly
5. Very easily keep people updated about your life
6. Somewhat natural way to get in touch with someone from your past
And… there are some rather negative things about Facebook:
1. Self-obsession — how easy it is to become obsessed with the image that our facebook profile portrays
2. False sense of community/connection — the idea that since I saw your recent photos and your status update I know what is going on in your life.
3. Lazy friendships — facebook can keep us from being intentional friends
4. Unnecessary irritability with others – ever find yourself annoyed that your friend posted yet another picture of her baby or her new house or wrote another status about her new diet?
5. Preconceived notions – ever meet someone and already know way too much information because you stalked their facebook profile first?
6. Wasted time — amazing how quickly an hour or two goes by before you realize you ended up on the facebook page of your college roommate’s boyfriend’s great aunt.
All that being said… facebook, like many things in life has benefits as well as pitfalls. Perhaps the best lesson to learn is how to be mindful of potential issues while enjoying all that is good.
So, I’m making a return to my facebook. This time, more aware of its uses and misuses.
Though, in all honesty, I’m getting it back because my sister is getting irritated with fielding all of my messages from people who can’t get a hold of me. Sorry for that, Sarah. Oh, and because my old roommate got married this past weekend and I just can’t wait to see the pictures! :)