I signed up with Facebook some 18 months ago out of curiosity and because of the popular buzz surrounding it. I quickly learned one could enjoy the everyday happenings of family and friends, and pictures (always the posted pictures). Facebook has found many of my old friends and has reconnected me with family members that long ago traveled a different path than mine. It has been more fun than not catching up with those folks. With that promise, I had hoped it would truly be a “social network”, but alas the Facebook allure has lost its luster with me.
That spit and polish Facebook luster, whether intentional or not, showcased the personalities of “friends”. Getting to know those “friends” via Facebook enlightened me of their life, humor, ideas, joys, concerns, frustrations, troubles, and in some cases, talents. For that, I have found the status updates interesting, annoying, irritating, and enjoyable – many times all in the same day. They never are a dull moment to say the least. But again, Facebook has lost its appeal.
I still try to understand the many quirks of Facebook. I find it interesting that family members can only be “friends” on this social media – what’s up with that? Are we still “friends” if something is said by family that causes other family to “unfriend” or “hide” them? And do “friends” know when the “hide” button next to their postings has been punched? Is that really a “friendly” thing to do?
Businesses now advertise with their own brand of networking. This so-called “like” option, of which I’m guilty of doing, de-personalizes the whole “friend” concept. I think they should institute a “dislike” button for those business that really deserve a piece of your mind (yeah, be tough on the internet…that’ll teach ’em).
And is this not a “social network”? The politics I’m reading is more fear-mongering, truth stretching, and intelligence insulting – not any where close to my ideas of being “social”. I have “friends” that frequently post and comment to political philosophies. I have tried to be educated and impartial to the spewing of facts (a term with a loose definition in this context) by politicians wanting re-elected, networks and talk shows wanting ratings, and activists that think the sky has, or will soon fall if everyone else is idiot enough not to agree with them. I “like” the conservative pages, I “like” the liberal pages, I “like” the libertarian pages…all in hopes of filtering through the BS rhetoric now incessant in our everyday lives. Those annoying what’s-on-your-mind moments when you say to yourself “OMG now what?”…it is then that much of the Facebook enjoyment dissipates. I expected “social” relief from the everyday truthful/untruthful news through Facebook, but instead it smacks me in the “face” there too. Perhaps only to me is the mix of politics and a broad range of Facebook “friends” (and their “friends”) about as favorable as British oil companies wanting to anchor off the coast of Louisiana these days (look at me getting sucked in and all political now).
So now I try an experiment. I am quitting Facebook for the month of August. I will not “socialize” on Facebook for 31 days. I will not log on to, read, or chat with anyone of FB. I will surely miss the photos being posted of family, trips, and cartoons. The kiddo funny happenings will cause painful withdrawals and will go without acknowledgement for a while. The political debate will refleshingly come to a screeching halt through that internet media. I hope this experiment will restore “face” with me by revealing a few realities;
- Life will go on productively and with meaning
- Daily existence will be with relief, if only for a few hours per day, from all the forewarning of political doom and buffoons
- “Like” businesses will remain viable without my support
- “Friends” will get a refreshing break from my annoying ways, comments, habits, and suggestions
- I will no longer be a slave to Facebook.com and that stupid iPhone app
- My lunch hours will allow me to eat properly; my brown-bagged lunch might actually be digestible while reading other media resources (ok, maybe not so much with that one)
- Blogging ought to get more interesting and entertaining
Instead of Facebooking, I’m going back to my networking roots (if they really are there) with my blog. Other media like LinkedIn.com, Ping, Twitter, text pal-ling (OFD, OFS, OFNi Whitney, OFNi DaniC, and OFGaP JaiJai are the frequent ones…Whit not so much anymore, must have made her mad) will hopefully continue. IM through Yahoo or MSN, Skype, and even the now old-school communication of email will be exercised. Replies to any Facebook related comments will have to wait a month.
I will again “face” my “friends” on September 1st…I hope they’re nice while I’m gone. I trust they will have fun, but wishfully not too much without me :) . Come say hello at limeyfish.com if you’re so inclined.