Friday, July 23, 2010

Reasons Why I Should Divorce Facebook (But I Probably Won't)

OK, so I will be the bad guy and say what I am sure many of us are thinking about Facebook. I, for one, admit, that I have this love/hate, addictionto/disgustwith Facebook. At the same time I am both annoyed by it and magnetically sucked into it.

So, here are some reasons, in no particular order, why I should divorce Facebook (but I probably won't):

10. Annoying Attention Seekers: These can be both positive and negative, but their status updates scream, "Everyone! Hey Everyone! Yoo -hooo! Look at me!"

It could be positive attention, sounding like: "My husband wastes so much money! I got flowers again for the 10th day in a row! (heart). I wish he wouldn't spend so much on me!" I mean, come on - what is the purpose of this? We are all smarter than that!

Or, it could be negative attention and sound something like this: "Why doesn't anything in my life ever go right? I must be cursed because my life just could not get any worse." I legitimately feel badly for this person, but what is the purpose of putting it on Facebook for everyone to see? Calling a good friend might be a better option? Now, this leads me to my next point:

9. Obligatory Commenting: Now that I have seen these above-mentioned posts (or birthdays or whatever), I usually feel obligated to comment. Even though that person might not know I have seen it, I know I have seen it - and I feel the pressure to say something. This can also be applied to people who comment on your wall or send you messages. Now typically, people who comment and whose comments we see are people we have 'friended' - but sometimes the source of this problem is this:

8. Awkward Friend Requests: Someone found you. And you didn't necessarily want to be found. What do you do with that??? Do you become friends with them out of obligation? Decline? Ignore? I admit, I usually take the cowardly way out and just do nothing. I don't accept, ignore, or decline; I just keep the request hanging out there in cyber FB. But honestly, I don't really want to invite anyone into my personal world that I am not comfortable having in there. Not that I am hiding anything, but you just never know. And as a teacher, I get a LOT of friend request from kids in my school that I do not even know. Don't want to hurt their feelings, but sorry...

7. Useless Minutia:

Status update - "Hey, I am going out for a run!"
30 minutes later: "What a great run! Now I gotta feed the dog!"
4 minutes later: " Junior is such a cute pup! I'm so lucky to have him!"
2 minutes later: "Going to make myself an egg-white omelet."

Do we really need to know about every.single.detail of a person's life in minute-by-minute intervals? Can I just say what most of us are thinking : "Who cares!!!!!!"( Is that mean???)

6. 700 Pictures of the Family Vacation: I am all for sharing pictures, but is it necessary to include every.single.shot. from Disney World? Do you think people are really going to look at all 700? Just a few of the highlights will suffice. Which leads me to my next point, which is even more annoying:

5. Endless Array of Self-Portraits: I mean, what are we doing here? If not for everyone to look at us, why - not only just take a thousand shots - but post them??? Does everyone need to see every picture a person has ever taken of him/herself? With every slight variation possible? 'Here's one of me with my head to the right, smiling.' 'Here is one of me with my head to the left, smiling.' 'Here's one of me with my chin tilted up, just slightly...' etc, etc, etc. The one that drives me crazy: that pucker-face-bad-girl-pout-with-slanted-peace-sign-across-the-chest-look. Don't mean to offend anyone, but grrrrrr!! I can understand if you are a teenager- maybe even a college student- but you are 45!!!!

4. Obsessive Profile Picture Changes: I don't understand why people change their profile pictures every other day. Have you really changed that much? I am fine with updating pictures in your album, but does everyone need to see a new picture of you every day?

3. Colossial Time Waster: Enough said. I am so guilty of this. My night usually goes something like this: "OK, it is 9:38 pm. I am only going to stay on Facebook until 9:45" (it has be an easily-rounded time, of course). And, typically, one page leads to another... and then I am saying, "OK, just until 10pm. I'll give myself 15 more minutes and then that's it!" Repeat this process several times through out the day, and I am frightened to see how much time I've wasted.

2. Creepers: These people just seem to know too much about people's lives. It's true, there are some people I've accepted as friends that I probably would have preferred not to, but it seemed harmless at the time. However, there are some people that sort of have this creepy-stalker-quality to them and based on conversation (or messages) with them at later points, it just seems they were a little too interested... In their defense, yes - I put it out there, and I accepted the friend request but...OK, fine, this one is probably my own fault, then.

1. Too Much Information: This could be in wall posts or pictures - but some details of life should really just be kept private - or at least only revealed to those who know us best. Some things are just better left unsaid - and some pictures (both mental and actual) are better left unseen by the outside world. I would say my students are guilty of this alot. Did you forget that you have teachers as friends? Did you really want your teachers to see that? Or know that? Especially when you are soliciting answers for tomorrow's homework. And more often than not, seeing my students' - both current and former - FB page has made me sad at some of the directions they have taken.

So, these are reasons why I should divorce FB. So, why don't I? Well, even though I have been guilty of some (or all) of these at times, maybe I'm a little nosy? Don't want to be out of the loop? And honestly, I do like it to keep in touch with far-away-friends - and close-by ones who I can't keep in touch with the way I'd like to.

I have even been able to re-connect with some old friends I never would have otherwise. I actually just had an ice-cream date with my best friend from 3rd grade who found me on FB. Hadn't seen her in about 25 years. And that was awesome.

It's nice to be able to keep up with people. I like being able to message my sister here and there through out the day and know some of the little details of her and my nieces. Sometimes some posts are thought-provoking. And sometimes it is a very fast, effective way to communicate quickly and to a lot of people.

And sometimes, I think God can use us to encourage or pray for some of those posts we see, annoying or not. And sometimes, someone will post a thought or a verse that we really needed to hear.

The downside is ...well...all of the above... And sometimes, it can take the place of real, face-to-face relationships with these people - or even the people who are actually in our lives because we are consumed with FB.

Overall, my biggest complaint is the narcissicism it can breed. Sometimes, I feel like people use FB to just scream, "LOOK AT ME!!!!" The sad thing is that I feel like that is so indicative of our culture. We are so self-obsessed. Me, me, me. As much as I loathe it, I sometimes find myself getting swept into that current and guilty of some of the same things I hate.

If anything, FB sometimes forces me to keep it real with myself. Katie, be careful not to look at the speck in my FB friend's eye while I have a big, fat plank in my own (yes, I even did that pucker-bad-girl-pose with some of my students a few years ago, now that I think about it).

Maybe I should re-read my own list and I'll get back to you later...

PS - Don't forget that today is New Friend Friday at my sister's page- The Girl Creative!


  1. Hey! I'm visiting from New Friend Friday. I like your blog. My husband and I just got married in May, and we had a whirlwind of engagement too:-) I agree with your facebook thoughts, I think those often myself, but can't seem to pull myself away either.

    Following you...

  2. I told myself I'd never lower myself and join facebook, then I had a had to for a job, then I ate my words, and got sucked in. A few months of experiencing your fabulous points and that's ALL I COULD STAND OF IT. Then I "put my foot down". I unfriended all but the necessary family members who threatened to kill me if they couldn't see my baby (some have never met him in person) and I haven't been back. I moved the email notification to an account I never check. Trust me, if you do "quit", you won't miss it. ;)Great post!

  3. I agree with everything you just said.

    I also leave friend requests hanging. I like to pretend I didn't see them. I always feel bad saying no.

  4. Hahaha so true! It's got it's advantages and disadvantages, but I think it's more on the good side as far as being an easy way to keep in touch with people.

    Never except a friend request from someone you don't know. There are too many creepers out there! They could be downloading your pics and stalking you. I'm not kidding.

    Oh, and I hate annoying status updates, but at least it gives us something to make fun of later :-).

  5. I totally agree, especially with the awkward friend requests and 700 family vacation photos. My personal favorite is when chicks take pictures of themselves from way above their head. It's called the "fat girl angle shot".

  6. First, thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.

    Now, I agree with everything you've said in this entire post. Another one of my blogger buddies just posted about Facebook, so you may be interested to view her post:

    I really don't use Facebook all that much to actually talk to people, so in a sense you could ask me what I'm even doing with a Facebook page. When I was still in high school, yes, I would talk on FB, but since I started college (which, you would think would prompt more talking as I'm away from my hometown most of the time), I haven't used Facebook for talking so much as I have pictures, status updates, recording books I've read, and the like. I keep up with a professor from my Freshman year of college and that's about it. I've just had FB for so long, it just seems pointless to get rid of it now.

  7. Absolutely! I completely agree with everything you said! I have a hate/like relationship with Facebook, tending toward the former. I seriously think that in 10 or 20 years (after we don't have any "real" friends) we'll all look back at the massive amounts of time we spend on social networking and say, "What were we thinking?!"

  8. I just disabled my Facebook page last week. Too much wasted time! I got annoyed with everybody's silly games. I don't care how many farm animals you have or how many jewels you found today. Anybody with that much extra time on their hands needs to find some volunteer work!