Friday, May 06, 2011

Simple Living - Could you give up Facebook?

I am truly impressed with this blogger who is working to take back his time from all the timesucks and have a Simple. Organized. Life.

He took a sabbatical from Facebook, then realized, he kept checking and checking again each day wasting precious minutes of his life with people's "I had spaghetti for dinner!" statuses.

So he canceled his account and now lives a Facebook-free life. (I've linked the full blog post here.)

I completely admire this.  And in my "best life," I do not have a Facebook account.  But in this life, I do and I'm not sure I'd want to delete it fully as I like being able to connect with people quickly (instead of digging through my email addresses), and I like seeing what's going on in their lives sometimes (not all the time, hence my "Facebook Fridays," which seems to have morphed into Facebook Thursday and Fridays, a bad habit on my part.)

But there are things I do like about Facebook.

There are definitely things I don't like--

1)  The crazies.  This can be defined in so many ways.  It can be a real life friend who has a Jekyl/Hyde personality online, the bigots, or friending someone to only discover you've friended a writer-version of satan.  It happens.

2)  The peacocking.  This is my husband making love to me.  These are my clean kids.  This is my new designer kitchen.  This is my new arse after a good workout.  It's the people who post not to share, but to show how spectacular their lives are.

(Note: What's interesting about peacocking is that I actually like seeing kid photos and remodeled kitchens on my friends' statuses, however, there's always one or two friends on my low-tolerance level who come off as peacocking and not just sharing.  I'm not sure how they've crossed the line from one to another, but they have.  I can't exactly say how, but I know it when I see it.  And it never seems to be my poetfriends who do this, btw.)

3) Just the Garbage -- Friends defriending friends.  Constant status updates.  Revealing bikini photos as profile pics. It's the welcome to your life in high school again.  It's probably the reason many people never get a Facebook account, they just do not want to deal with garbage and the not-so-good-side-of-our-humaness again.  And honestly, I don't blame them.

But I think when I keep my limits on Facebook and use it for good, it's worth it for me to keep an account.  For me, someone who does *not* remember names especially if we've only corresponded by email, Facebook allows me to put an image with who you are.  Yes,  this I can remember (um, mostly).

And I like to see what writing news and successes people have had to share in the celebration.

I think for me, as long as I keep Facebook as the nice the photo album I only take out once a week or less, it's worth it for me to deal with all the nuttiness.  Though when I'm away from it (like on my writing residency), I do not miss it in the least.

It can be a bad habit, but I kind of like a few bad habits.  So, for now, as much as I look at this guy with is non-Facebook life and think, "Now that's how to do it!" - I don't think I will.

Happy Facebook Friday, Friends...


  1. I don't mind facebook that much- I like being connected with folks far away- it's the local ones that make me nutty- you can't beat it for a platform to remind people of readings or books coming out- publications.

    sometimes I do fiddle at FB when I should be doing other things, but I'd probably be playing solitaire or watching crappy TV.

  2. In the future...maybe there will be ways to filter updates and information by genre. Like, "Facebook Lite," "Facebook Politics (I'd avoid that one)," "Facebook Birth Announcements."

  3. Facebook has been wonderful for me, as I now live overseas. Makes life so much easier. I can stay in touch with everyone back home with ease. It probably SAVES me time. Mind you, it certainly serves me well to promote myself too ;o)

    Nice to 'meet' you. I just stumbled across your blog!

  4. Hi Kelli,

    I appreciate all you've said about Facebook and I agree. I suppose I do waste time out there, but, mostly, my FB friends are writers and I love being connected. I've also met and actually befriended (in real life) several poets this way. I see this as a wonderful tool when I move into my twilight years. Think of what the internet will mean to the elderly in the future--they may be shut in, but they'll be connected in a way they never were in the past. That's the upside.

    Two perhaps paradoxical things: I love hearing about my FB friends' acceptances and awards. I sometimes hate it when all people do is post their poetry--I don't see FB as my personal poetry journal. Occasionally, I'll post a previously published poem (for a reason), but I don't really care to post unpublished work on FB. The people who use it this way often annoy me.

    I do think writers who have not embraced social media are missing out on one more important conversation.

  5. I don't have a desire to give it up permanently, but I've taken Facebook fasts. I leave an update that I'll be off of Facebook and then depart for weeks at a time.

    The problem is that--because I do not delete my account--people send me messages and expect answers. That can be awkward.


  6. Shann-- yes, I agree it also helps me stay connected with family (and faraway friends), so I won't delete it. I'm glad your FB time is just replacing crappy TV-- that's actually better! ;-) Thx for the note!

    Hannah--I love that idea-- Facebook lite! Or FB No Politics.

    What's weird is I kind of feel as if I'm on FB LIte because when I check my newsfeed it's always the same folks. I can almost guarantee I'll see Susan Rich and Oliver de la Paz, and I have quite a few friends. I think FB has somehow figured out my real friends and filtered out the others. It's quite weird. But I like it!

    Jessica-- Yes, I can totally see how it can useful if you're out of the country. I'm sure soldiers find it comforting to check in with their friends and family from afar. And yes, the promo part is good too! ;-)

    Nice to meet you as well! Thanks for commenting.

    Hi Susan-- I agree and feel similar. I like to see and read what's been published, but I don't want it to be a workshop with strangers publishing their poems.

    My mum (77) has found FB a great way to stay in touch with her grandchildren that have moved around the country. So I do think it's an excellent resource for our elders.

    I like the FB fast. I knew quite a few people who have given up FB or Twitter for Lent.

    I'm liking my FB fridays when I am truly doing it and not checking in earlier in the week.

    Thank you all for your thoughts on this!


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