Saturday, October 13, 2012

Facebook - Why I love/hate it

As I've mentioned before I was a pretty early adopter of Facebook.  I started using it when we were getting most of our babysitters through a nanny service and I wanted to know a little bit more about the people who were taking care of my kids before they actually arrived.  In the days before all the privacy settings, I could see the persons full profile, and it always put me at ease.  I never delved too deep in their private stuff, I just liked to know basic stuff, age, primary occupation, stuff like that.  Ok, may did I did check out some of the photos but I never saw anything crazy.

Little by little the privacy settings changed, and I couldn't get as much info but my friends started joining, so I stayed on it.  In many ways I love it.  I finished high school at an international school and after graduation lost touch with lots of people as they moved away or back to their home countries.  Many I have reconnected with over Facebook.  My cousins are all on and fairly active so I get to keep up with them and their kids (who at this point I haven't met yet).

Also it's the perfect social crutch for an introvert.  There is no doubt in my mind that Zuckerberg came up with the idea, not those Winklevoss twins.  I mean really, their social life was probably fine, but I would think the computer geek needed some help interacting with people. I hate small talk and now I can skip it with anyone I'm FB friends with.  If I see someone I haven't seen in a while, I already know about recent vacations, proud moments they shared, silly things their kids did, whatever.  Jumpstarts the conversation. I have noticed that after the initial fun wears off of posting constantly it really is the introverts who post more than the extroverts. 

So what's the problem?  I'm addicted.  I don't post that often (maybe once or twice a week these days). I don't get into long discussions on other peoples threads, but I do find myself checking it more than I should.  I keep my phone with me at all times, I use the app and check it at spare moments.  Do I need to?  No. I mean honestly my friends' lives aren't that exciting that I can't wait to get whatever status they post. It's an addiction, which is why I hate it.

Having said that, I do feel that using my phone less for other apps has definitely cut down my FB time, so that's a good thing.  I also like that now when I open it up, it tells me how many new stories there are since I last checked.  I've noticed as the days go by there are more stories as I tend to go longer between checking.  I check it in the morning when I first wake up - my morning "news" and then I try to ignore it til after kids are in school.  It's those little idle moments in the middle of the day that get me though.  I've started keeping my phone in my bag so I don't check it when I'm at red lights like I used to.  My main checking time is actually when I'm cooking, those brief moments when you're waiting for something to heat up, stir or whatever. Again just like reading blogs in one or two chunks a day if I don't check in as often, I end up spending less time on Facebook over the course of the day, leaving me more time to enjoy life instead of living it vicariously through my friends. 

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I love all your comments, but admittedly have been a slacker about replying to all your kind words. I've recently received a bit of spam on my posts so will now be moderating any comments - and not allowing anonymous commenting. I hope that will help me stay on top of replies.