I know what you’re thinking, not another post about the evils of Facebook and other social media platforms. No it’s not one of those. The negative effects of said social media is well documented as well as professed by many disciples of simpler living. So, my dilemma whether to keep or discard it is derived from a different experience than most — I think.
My position is a bit different as defined by both my use and non use of the platform, among others.
A quick rundown
First, I don’t post anything. Nothing. Nada. Many moons ago I did just like everyone else. I would post a few family photos and links to pretty much all of my freelance work. Over time I became incredibly self-critical and questioned why I was doing what I was doing. Posting updates quickly (and logically) turned into something useless to me. Like the old story goes, likes and comments meant little to nothing. It consumed my time and I found it easy to quit.
Second, my current use has dwindled down to near zero. I am connected to a school, neighborhood, and blogging pages, but that’s about it. I installed News Feed Eradicator for Chrome a few years ago to hide everyone’s politics, ads, and other crap I really don’t care about. All in all Facebook serves nothing more than a virtual phone book in case someone wants to get in touch.
I’m a borderline minimalist but more of an essentialist at heart. I have a family so these practices can only go so far. With that said, I like to take stock of what I have and am associated with. When it comes to social media sites I have a few out there: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Medium (?), and Youtube (if that counts). Here is how break them down.
- Facebook: Phone book.
- Twitter: Used to use it for freelance work, but now it’s an auditorium with everyone yelling and no one listening.
- Instagram: I follow a few accounts, but it has become increasingly boring lately.
- LinkedIn: Necessary? Online resume that I feel like I need.
- Medium: A great place to search and just read.
- Youtube: (If this counts). I do spend time here, but I’ve been curating my viewing lately and am fully aware of the Youtube wormhole.
I must reiterate that I not only avoid posting to Facebook I also do not post on any of these others. At one point I questioned if I just wasn’t all that interesting, but then I digressed and have increasingly realized that I’m in my forties and grew up in a more real social time. I haven’t adapted to social media life, and I’m fine with that.
We all know the benefits of quitting social media: better sleep, increased focus, less anxiety, etc., but since I’m not a heavy user I don’t have such a wall to scale. I’m already a “non user” so to speak so my dilemma is a bit different. In other words, I’m not so addicted that a clean break is the logical step. I’m a bit anti-social media.
But here’s a thought: if you can’t quit something does that mean you’re addicted? So for someone like me who isn’t neck deep in posts for 2 1/2 hours a day, should quitting come easy? From a logical point of view, yes.
With the growing division ever-so present on Facebook and other platforms the appeal to ever return to a more active level is becoming less attractive every day.
The old story was that if you weren’t on Facebook everyone thought you were crazy. Now if you say you’re not on it, people think you’re brave.
Most-likely I’ll give everything until the end of the year until I conduct another house cleaning of these accounts. I’m just not a fan of having stuff out there with my name on it if it’s not bringing me real value.
To be continued.
What about you? What’s your relationship with these platforms?
3 thoughts on “My Facebook Dilemma”
Like you had to ask me, Brad 😉
Hey, this post is good. Keeps the drum beating against social media. Like a continual dripping of water on rock, eventually…
I have a post scheduled about Social Media Upheaval (book review), and I have no qualms writing yet another anti-Social Media post. Yes, I like the benefits, but not for what it costs.
Anyways, I don’t know if you’d be considered addicted or not. I think not. You don’t have dependency to the point of suffering physically or mentally if you quit.
As for not being on Facebook, it truly seems that more people now wouldn’t think your brave, they’d think you’re sensible.
Otherwise, I agree with your points. I appreciate sharing your thoughts here.
Oh, maybe distill each service to a one-word category like: communication (WhatsApp), entertainment (YouTube), information (Wikipedia).
What one-word describes your use of each social media platform?
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Jason, all great ideas. Yeah, many I know would think I was brave for cutting off FB. Some would even be surprised, not because I’m active on it at all, but because they hold it in such importance — at least for the people I know.
I do have a small band of growing friends who are deleting altogether.
Regarding one word descriptions, I’m not on anything like WhatsApp or anything. I prefer text and calls. I just see less and less use for all this stuff. Man, I sound old!
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