To Facebook or not to Facebook… that is the question.

Some of you may have noticed my disappearance from facebook. This is not my first time taking a break, but my account has actually been deleted now. Facebook sometimes felt like such a complicated world and although there were some great things about it, there were also some negatives as well. Obviously I felt like t he negatives were outweighing the positives… thus the reason for closing my account. Here are some the pros and cons for me on facebook:

Cons:

  • It had the potential to be a time sucker for me. Sometimes I would get one meaning to only take a quick break, and 20 minutes later I would still be on. At the end of the 20 minutes, my house was still dirty and I weirdly didn’t really feel more rejuvenated. There were times when I felt like it kept me from being really mentally present with my kiddos. And that no es bueno.
  • For some reason the whole friending thing sometimes stressed me out. I never could quite figure out who I wanted to have as friends on facebook. Should I just do close friends and family? Okay friends and local acquaintances? The lady that I met at the park one time? The person who I never was friends with or interacted with in high school but now wants to “catch up?” Should I just accept everyone? Ahh….. I don’t know why this stressed me out, but it didn’t.
  • So much of facebook just doesn’t feel genuine to me. Yes many of the people on facebook are people that I know well and care a lot about, but there are too many superficial relationships for my liking. I don’t like fake. A girl can only maintain so many friendships in a genuine sort of way. I will admit that a few “friends” on facebook would post way too often and in an obnoxious sort of way. I know that there is the option to “hide” these people, but why in the heck am I facebook friends with someone that I would want to “hide?” Again… just not genuine feeling.
  • I know that I am not the only person in the world who has had some sort of facebook anxiety. I have talked to many friends who were hurt when someone “unfriended” them or never accepted a friend request in the first place. This facebook world can sure be a strange one. I’m thinking that they are going to have to have counselors in the near future that specialize in social networking:)

Pros

  • It sometimes was such a wonderful place to connect with people. It is fun to know what my old good friends from college are up to and to see the cute pics of their families.
  • Speaking of pics.. I have totally gone on facebook under Chris’s account to stalk some of your life updates. For example, my friend from growing up is pregnant with her first baby, and I just have to go on and see her adorable growing tummy.
  • Facebook ┬áis so convenient. It is a great place to network. I remember the time that I asked for advice on a good mechanic or pediatrician. I had tons of answers within an hour. That was super helpful.
  • I am a social gal, and I really do like being connected to people.

So, really, what is a girl to do? I would love to hear from people who feel like they have found a great balance with facebook. How do you use is so that it works well for you and doesn’t stress you out at all or suck too much time? And for those of you who have facebook issues… please share too what you like and dislike about facebook. Gracias.

Kelly - June 17, 2012 - 4:11 pm

I think I’ve found a happy medium though it is easy to lose time on facebook… the key for me was deciding who I would accept friend requests from in advance and have a response prepared for people I know but don’t want as a facebook friend. For example, I do not make facebook freinds with people at work and I do not have friends from high school that I didn’t really know then. When they send me a request, I send my prepared response and have gotten universally positive responses and understanding in return. I use facebook to keep up with my cousins and people I’m friends with in real life but perhaps wouldn’t communicate with on an individual level. I also have local friends. The new “groups” on facebook – where you can limit posts to a class of your friends – makes even more possible. Now, I can post just to my family, for example, and not feel like I’m polluting other peoples’ feeds with info on our reunion…

adrienne w - June 18, 2012 - 9:11 am

I have no advice, but I feel the same way as you. Sometimes I get on there and I just get annoyed by the drama some people (GROWN-UPS!!!) create with what they say or by someone’s political rant or, of course, the dumb “re-post this status if you have a heart” causes (because I’m sure my status on facebook is creating social change or actually doing anything to make the world a better place). Somehow, there are days when I let it put me in a bad mood. But the main reason I keep it is because of family and very close friends that are far away. I have so many family members (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc) that I have been able to keep in touch with and in some cases become way closer to because of facebook. With my parents far away and my in-laws even further (on a mission in India)I know they appreciate pictures and posts about the kids. And of course, my college friends that are far away! (I miss you!) One of the positives AND negatives is, that it is an easy way to be friends. Sometimes I don’t like that people have to make very little effort, but it is definitely an easy way to connect to those REAL relationships as well. I’m interested to hear how other people balance it.

Amy - June 19, 2012 - 12:58 pm

Thanks for bringing this up, Kara! I definitely have “Facebook issues.” I love it because it’s probably the only way I keep in touch with a lot of people, and I love seeing pictures of everyone’s kids. I also feel like it kind of keeps me in the know about events that are happening, when the farms open for berry picking, things like that. I hate it because I feel compelled to check it too often; I sometimes feel bad about myself and/or my family’s challenges because of the way it can make others’ lives seem “perfect”; and I have been unfriended by several people and not understood why, and been hurt by that. I have unfriended some people, too, but mostly I just hide people.

I have been thinking about deleting my account but haven’t decided for sure yet.

kara - June 19, 2012 - 9:58 pm

Kelly,
It sounds like you have really good boundaries. My family does have a little group, and I like the idea of focusing on that. We shall see what I decide.
Adrienne,
You are another pregnant woman I have stalked. Your profile pic is so cute! You are a real relationship that I for sure miss on facebook and in real life as well :).
Amy,
The unfriending can be hard to not take personally as you have no idea of what the intent/reason is behind the person who did it. I have unfriended people, but mostly just people who I had never even really connected with on facebook. I really do hope that in the future that I am able to find a balance and have better boundaries with it.