I was not going to post today because I had another very long work day today but since I skipped yesterday, I did not want to miss another day. I have a feeling missing two days in a row of blogging is the same as postponing going to the gym. We all know how that story goes…
The other day I was reading an article about the negative psychological effects of social media. On one hand, the idea is to connect us to old and new friends who we typically would not get to see on the daily. On the other hand, by seeing all of their “amazing” lives, it lights up our envy and insecurities – some we did not even realize we even had until seeing that perfectly filtered life.
I slowly withdrew from Facebook in 2014. Mostly because my work was ever so consuming at the time and before I knew it couldn’t keep up with my friends’ posts. They were just too many to genuinely keep up with so I just stopped bothering to even look. To the point where I just turned all my notifications off on my phone. Which probably was in hindsight the way I actually forgot about Facebook. I would meet up or speak with friends on the phone and they would always say “I sent you a message.” or “You still haven’t RSVPed.” etc. Months would pass and then I only started logging into Facebook once or twice a year if at all. This lasted until last November when the Zimbabwean “coup lite” was going on. I really wanted to get regular updates on the situation and since mainstream Canadian and American media were not really covering the story, I decided to get back onto Facebook.
Another reason I had stopped using it was somehow my Facebook was no longer a space for just my old school and university friends. I had former and current colleagues, former students and clients, random conference acquaintances and so on and so forth. I am not too sure how or when this all happened exactly. I do know the blurred lines concern has always been at the back of my mind, yet I never actually sat down to device a way forward to rest this concern. Well in some ways I did. You know how Facebook has those “lists” you can add your friends to? I think I still have those. Different people see varying degrees of my profile. It was not that I do not like professional or all those other connections on there, but more that I just was not sure what the implication could be. I still don’t quite understand but then again I seem to care less about compartmentalizing my life these days. There are many unusual connections as well that have bloomed into a more meaningful friendship outside of the original work or formal environment.
The last reason why I stopped using it was that I was (and still am) a somewhat disgruntled Facebook user. What I mean is I still believe that Facebook should have a revenue generating/ sharing model for their users because just like without the platforms of the world like Facebook there is no online community, the same is true for the opposite. I still can not understand why Facebook still doesn’t allow every user to benefit from the platform too after all, they use our data.
For now I’m back on there. I probably log onto it once a week at this point but still deciding if it is necessary for my regular life. I sometimes think about doing a reset and only having 50 to 100 friends on my profile. This would probably make it a more meaningful platform for me.
Have you ever or would you ever stop using Facebook? What are your thoughts about online privacy? Do you feel more or less connected to your friends online as a result of Facebook?
live & love,