Oh Facebook, what was the world like before you? Does it sometimes seem like the world would not exist without this crazy social network? Over the last few months I have been so torn about my Facebook relationship. I went on a strike awhile back because the negative was far outweighing the positive for me. After a change in attitude and some changes in FB friends and settings I thought I could step back into the social network world without too much drama. But after only a few months of returning I’m back at the same Love/Hate Relationship. I decided it was time to finally just weigh the pros and cons of my Facebook life. I’ll start with the cons as I always find it better to end on a positive note. These are the things I hate about Facebook:
- Creepers. The people that have an account and you know they are looking at everyone else’s stuff but won’t post anything of their own. I’m sorry, but this has to be a give and take sort of relationship. If you want to see all my photos, stories etc. well you have to give a little as well.
- Negativity. It seems there are certain people that find the need to blast only negativity on their page. It’s very draining to log on and have your newsfeed full of people constantly complaining about their first world problems. I mean honestly…is it really that bad? Does missing a bus, bad weather, being tired or catching a cold really need to be the one thing you find important enough to share with all your friends? Have you ever just gone to your wall and read the last 15-20 statuses you’ve posted? Try it. What is it saying about you? Are you a Negative Nelly? If so, STOP IT! There are SO many things to be grateful for. Post about some of those things for a change. Because really, if you only talk about the negative, the negative will just keep following you around. What you think about will come about!
- Friends who aren’t really friends who get mad when you unfriend them. (Did ya follow that one?? :)) I have been clearing out my friends list lately because I just felt I was sharing certain things with too many people. Some of these “friends” were people I wouldn’t even recognize on the street. Others I would probably avoid if I saw them on the street. And still others were friends in my life that just aren’t part of my life anymore. There are certain people I will probably never hang out with in person but they are great Facebook friends and I would never delete them. But if I have not seen a comment, received a message, or hung out with you in months and don’t see us hanging out in the foreseeable future…well it’s time to let go of our Facebook friendship. This does not mean I think you are a horrible person. I’m not going to be using my voodoo doll on you. It just means that it’s time to move on. But to some people it’s as though cutting this social networking tie is like stabbing the person in the eye. I mean really…why does it matter to you if we are Facebook friends if we don’t actually connect anyway? Which leads me to my next point…
- Gossip. I know there are the people who have certain Facebook friends not because they are really friends with them. Not because they even like them. But purely so they can keep tabs on them and gossip about what’s going on. Sometimes I find that Facebook brings me back to the high school mentality. I HATE being back in that place. I’m a 30 year old woman. I have an amazing husband, two beautiful children and some fantastic friends. I don’t want to go back to high school, physically or mentally.
- And lastly, it’s a time sucker. I mean really, I spend way too much time checking in with other people and not enough time checking in with my family.
And then there’s the things I love about Facebook. Those things that just keep sucking me in and that keep me coming back for more:
- Reuniting with old friends. I have made a few reconnections that I don’t think would be possible without Facebook. And not just the occasional snooping reconnections, I’m talking the kind of reconnections where you actually do get together and genuinely get to know each other again in real life. One person in particular comes to mind and I’m so happy that she’s back in my life.
- Humour. Whether it’s a funny quote made by a friend’s child, a hilarious picture, video or article, I just love being able to get a good laugh.
- Being able to easily connect with my friends without using the phone. Until I was a mom I never realized how hard it is to talk on the phone with children around. In all honesty, I wasn’t much of a phone person before children. But now that I’m a mom I know the phenomenon that happens when a mom picks up the phone. You can have happy, occupied children, but as soon as that phone hits your ear they turn into very loud, very needy, screaming monsters that NEED your attention NOW. I avoid the phone at all costs.
- Sharing photos. Seeing photos of my friends and family that live far away. Being able to easily share my photos and stories with loved ones. Though it’s not always possible to visit those that live hours away, it’s so nice to feel like you are still a part of their lives through photos. To still be able to watch their children grow and share in their adventures is important to me. I love that I can still be connected though we are miles and miles apart.
- Information at your fingertips. Need a recommendation? Reviews on a product? Post a question about something and you’ll get at least 10 responses within the hour. (sometimes within a couple minutes)
- Uplifting quotes. I love seeing the encouraging words of wisdom posted. Many mornings I will log on to see an awesome quote that really will set the tone for the day.
- Deals! People love to post when they’ve found a good deal or a great product. I do love a good deal so it’s great to see everyone’s tips.
- Encouragement from like-minded people doing great things. I have a group of friends that love to run as well. Seeing their posts about running, watching their progress and just getting feedback from them is very encouraging to me.
So there it is, pros and cons. In the end I think the pros are too great for me to give up Facebook completely. But I do need to cut back big time and cut out the negativity. I’ve really learned this past year that I need to be surrounding myself with people that have a positive influence on my life and just let go of those that only bring negative. I need to make sure I’m applying that to my online life as well.
So I’m nixing the Negative Nelly’s, avoiding the online debates and just focusing on what brought me to my Facebook addiction in the first place: friends, family, health, happiness and humour!