Thoughts on Facebook

I deleted my Facebook account around Christmas and was very proud of myself for killing one more time-sink. Although really, psychiatrist when you kill one time-sink you just fill it up with another one (hello, cheapest Pinterest?). For the most part I haven’t missed Facebook except for the handful of people I actually stayed connected with through it – mostly friends I met through blogging who, health for one reason or another (kids) don’t blog anymore.

These days it seems that some people only want to stay connected through Facebook and so I have no idea what is going on in their lives. I don’t have a problem with Facebook really but I found that I was trying to keep in touch with too many people – too many people who obviously weren’t fussed about keeping in touch with me. When I decided to leave I sent a lot of people an e-mail and told them I was leaving and where they could find me online. For the most part though I find that if I don’t make the effort no one makes the effort and this is a theme in my life. I don’t know why I try so hard with people who obviously don’t care. I think a part of me is that awkward short-haired little kid who still wants to be liked by everyone. I mean, Facebook has that big “Like” button which might as well say “Like Me Please” for those of us who are constantly seeking approval. I no longer feel like I am seeking approval all the time but some habits die hard and the Mister and I are still the ones who put out more effort than we receive (that, in itself, is a whole other post).

However, have you noticed how many organizations & business go through Facebook these days? There are a couple stores in town I like to frequent and all of their specials are now hosted or advertised through Facebook. There is an artist collective that I never hear about anymore because I’m no longer following them on Facebook. I haven’t won a single movie pass or book since leaving Facebook (and I have been relying on winning movie passes since high school – no joke, I’m lucky/cheap that way). It’s all rather insidious isn’t it?

So for a while now I’ve toyed with the idea of starting up a new page just for blog related things and so I can “like” the business and organizations that I can’t keep track of otherwise. (I have gotten some really great deals through Facebook – let’s face it, social media advertising works.) I can’t decide if I should start a page for this blog or just a personal account or both. I know I need the personal account to start the page so I have already done that although it is pretty hush-hush and I’m friends with three people. I don’t really feel the need to be ‘friends’ with every one I met once in the last 35 years but there are certain people I do miss hearing about (my sister, for example, makes me laugh with her status updates). I’m thinking maybe I should do Facebook and get rid of Twitter? I’m still undecided on the whole thing and I guess part of that is because I’m undecided what I am doing with my life/career/blog and if social media is going to be as big a part of it as it was in the past. I don’t have to figure it all out tonight though.

What are your thoughts about Facebook these days?

(It rained all day today so I couldn’t take any photos of the garden, hence, no garden post today.)

  11 Replies to “Thoughts on Facebook”

  1. Mika
    June 16, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I was thinking of this last night! And also, I am bad at staying in touch with internet friends.

    I would love to quit Facebook, but then I would never know what is going on in anyone’s lives. Seeing as I live in Regina and have exactly zero friends here, I think my life would be completely devoid of human beings except my co-workers and James.

    I often think how I would like to pare my friends list down to about twenty people. Then I worry that people would be upset with me when I unfriend them. The whole thing is ridiculous considering the people I would remove from the list are people I haven’t seen in over ten years, have almost never interacted with on Facebook, and wouldn’t go out of my way to hang out with in real life. Why do I care about this? Facebook makes me feel the same way I did in high school. Plus I find I censor everything I say on there because I don’t want to seem like I am bragging about anything, complaining, or rubbing people the wrong way. It stresses me out.

    On the plus side, Facebook has greatly improved my Scrabble game.

  2. June 17, 2011 at 4:03 am

    I rely on Facebook to keep in touch with the different communities I have. I like the fact that you can use it when you have time and share what you want to share. I have had a lot of positive response to my “OAST” etsy page and like to be able to share photos to those who want to look at them without clogging anyone’s inbox. You know, I think everyone thinks they are the friend that puts out more than other people. Always instigating the first email or what have you. The truth is, you are doing the same to someone else somewhere. In my personal life (outside of the computer) I just stopped being an instigator to anyone who didn’t reciprocate. It narrowed down my social field a lot but no one ever called to say they missed me. So now the friends I have are tight and the peripheral friends I have can keep in touch with what I choose to share on FB.

  3. Jen
    June 17, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I agree with what you say about one time suck being replaced by another. Before Facebook, I used to spend a good portion each day (even at work) on the weddingbells/babybells chat boards. I think it took the all the H1N1 riciculousness being posted to just stop reading. I find FB good to keep in casual contact with many friends/cousins that you don’t quite have enough to talk about to call them up, and a “hi how is it going?” is nice. I liken it to going to the small town post office. While you are there to send/receive more detailed letters to/from close friends, you might bump into an old neighbour, and a little greeting and conversation can add some light to both of your days. (That is what it is like in a small town – lots of small talk and not necessarily deep or meaningful conversations, but you still feel like you are part of the community web. And like Facebook, conversations between your friends can be based on your “status updates” to a third party, even though they didn’t hear it themselves from you!)

  4. June 17, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I love it for keeping up with family in a way I *know* I wouldn’t otherwise. Not my sister, but my dozen cousins, and now David’s multitude. I find it helps me both figure out who these people are (in his family’s case) but to get to know then quicker than the twice a year wedding/Christmas visits.

    And, I’m not going to lie, I love facebook for allowing me to post my vacation pictures. And for seeing others. In this day and age, you’re not allowed to force anyone to sit through a slide show from your trip, but at least this is close. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. June 17, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Ah Facebook…how I love thee. I hear ya on the time sink thing but I couldn’t live without facebook. I’ve cut way back on twitter (although I still check it close to daily) and am in the process of weeding down my personal page to those I actually know in real life (or at least converse with, read their blogs and feel like I ‘know’ them) and I started a fan page just for people who want to network. It seems to be working so far! I hope you can figure out what will work best for you.

  6. June 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I’ve waffled on this topic also.

    About Facebook – resisted getting an account for the longest time, until last year when my class reunion was being planned through it. Then a bunch of people I had never even really been friends with “friended” me, without sending any personal messasge. I thought that was so strange. Then I was astounded at the inane things people actually post as updates.

    I never used my account until after Jane was born, then I found out how useful it was to share pictures with people, and also joined a La Leche group that’s been really helpful with asking quick questions. I de-friended anyone who I wasn’t *actually* friends with, or “hid” their status updates.

    About Twitter – have never had an account, still don’t really get how this is different than facebook updates?

    About having to be the one to make an effort – I totally hear you on this. I wrote a post about it awhile back, about how it seems we are now the ones calling people every weekend…. don’t know what else to say, just that I empathize!

  7. June 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    i love fb because, what with being so far away, and everyone being just as busy as i am, it is really the only way i am aware of what’s going on in other peoples’ lives (and vice versa). i don’t have to look at it if i don’t want to and i don’t have to post.
    and i have an addiction to wordscraper ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. jac
    June 17, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I hide people. Hide ’em all the time. Boring? HIDE! Post daily about how much you love your hubby? HIDE! Whiny? HIDE! Games? HIDE! Sometimes good but posts seven times a day? HIDE! You can also get your status updates as an RSS feed and I put that in Google Reader, so that gives me updates without having to Enter Facebook. But mostly… HIDE!

  9. Jen
    June 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I’ve waffled too. There was some family drama not too long ago that happened as a direct result of FB and I decided to just stop participating. I removed it from my phone, I set it up so that absolutely no notifications come to me, and I log on to FB when I feel like it or want to kill some time. It’s crept back onto my phone (but still no notifications) and I’m required to use it for work for the market. But right now, Twitter meets all my needs for community. New West has a tight Twitter community and I love it.

  10. June 19, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I don’t like Twitter because it seems so one-sided: people see what I post, and I only see what others post on someone’s feed if I am also friends with them. Heck, I get enough one-sided conversation as I talk to myself all day! I like Facebook, but it isn’t really about conversations, either: there will be some back and forth, but sometimes the character limit stops me from explaining my opinion in detail. I have completely ignored my blog for the longest time, partially because there is only so much time to sink, isn’t there? And because my blog is anonymous, I have been a bit freer there than FB. Of course, I am super-political on FB, which means I have had to unfriend some whackos, and some whackos have unfriended me. No big loss, but I wish we could have talked things out instead of pigeon-hole ourselves into smaller and smaller subcommunities. (Because I am not as whacked out as they are. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  11. erin
    June 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Hey, former blogger turned MIA due to my MAOC (Massive Amount of Children).

    I miss seeing your updates on FB. There have been times where I’ve wanted to post something specifically to you, then remembered you no longer have an account. However, I completely understand why you deleted your account. If it weren’t for the fact that I have family and friends (that I care about and still talk to on a regular basis) far away, I would delete mine too. It is a convenient way to share pictures and updates on the family (Moira wants to be like Mother Theresa).

    A while back, I did “unfriend” (I don’t like to say “delete friends”, because they still exist) a whole host of people. A few took it personal, but then understood when I said “You live down the street, if you care so much about my life, GIVE ME A CALL!”. A few requested to be friends again, I accepted. Mostly, I became tired of one who made the same not-funny joke everyday, the one who liked to flaunt how perfect she is (she became REALLY upset about the unfriending and even accused me of unfriending her unfairly), the one who complained about her life all of the time, the one who only played FB games and updated every time she leveled, the multitude of friends from HS that, quite frankly, I never planned to seek out, and then the very large number that log on to accept friend requests but never post anything. Oh! Then there was the one who was consistently looking for a may-un (“Putting on my slutty clothes and going to the bar!” “Who’s ready for some S.E.X. tonight?!”).

    The ones I kept? Family and friends who lived quite a distance away. There are still a few that don’t fit into either of those categories, but I enjoy seeing their updates and while I talk to these neighbors regularly, it’s fun to see the pictures of the in-between times.

    As for twitter, eh, I gave up. I could only update so many social media pages.

    So while I miss seeing you and the girls on FB, I understand why you did it.

    Maybe one day, I’ll start blogging again instead of using your comment space…

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