Tag Archives: Social Network

Social [network] Experiment

18 Jan

Sunday morning. It was not my day. The kids were sick and less than impressed, and things just weren’t going the way I wanted them to. On my way to the shower I quickly hopped on Facebook. I had an update, a comment on something I posted on my wall. I responded, and my snotty mood seared through my fingers into my comment . Oops. Probably should have thought about what I was truly pissed off about and paused before replying there. Too late. It took me a bit to realize that my retort was both unnecessary and rude. That’s it! I know what I’ll do. Still peeved, now more at myself than my initial problem I deleted the Facebook app from my phone, and the iPad. I removed the quick link thingy from my google chrome home page. How badly do I really need Facebook? I am going to find out.
I am about two and a half days in. I intend to look at it again on Sunday sometime after lunch. A week. That seems like enough time to break the habit, to see if I’m addicted. Pretty sure I am.
The thought of deleting my account all together crossed my mind, but it felt brash. I use it as a storage utility to some extent. There are pictures on there that I am not totally sure of the location of otherwise. I know I have thought in the past, “I’m never going to delete this account so I know my pictures are safe here even if my computer crashes”. My addiction to the site tugged at me, do you really want to start again? Will a new account ever be the same as this one? No. Will you actually go through the process of finding all the pictures, sites, likes that you did before to compile them back in one place? Nope. So, it’s staying intact I’m just pretending it’s not there for a while.
I have read those comments about the evils of Facebook and social networking sites in the past. How they diminish real relationships. How people spend less time talking to one another in person, or on the phone then they would otherwise. How they instill a false sense of connection to community. All that scary business of how bad bullying gets in the younger crowd. The inappropriate pictures kids post of themselves. The boldness some people feel while sitting behind their screen that can sometimes remove otherwise appropriate inhibitions. Like my snotty comment. Would I have said that in person? No sir-ee.
Of course there’s a pile of positives. Keeping up to date in one convenient place. Finding groups and pages where that bring together people of similar views and beliefs together. Easily organizing events and keeping track of guests. Sharing everything from pictures to movie likes with the world, or just your friends. I feel like I’m reaching a bit to find exactly what is so great about it. I look at it so many times a day you would think there would be a super great reason. I know a lot of my reason is because I spend so much time at home, with my kids. It keeps me feeling less alone. That feeling it provides is a false one though. And it’s stopping me from actually seeking out the connection that really matters.
All this makes me think I should just delete it all together. The inner pack rat can’t let go. So my goal is to find some balance. To check less often. To be less invested. I want to share with friends and family. I enjoy finding articles and posts that intrigue and inform me. I like knowing that if I ‘like’ or ‘share’ something that strikes me it will be forever stored on my timeline so I will be able to find it later to reference it, or finish reading it, since sitting down to read anything more than a blurb usually results in my kids special mommy is preoccupied radar peaking.
Many self help sites will tell you that it takes at least 21 days to break a habit or retrain your brain to kill an addiction. It may be the addiction speaking, but that seems a bit long. I don’t have an addictive personality usually. If I decide to quit something I usually can pretty quickly and easily. So one week. I will not go to Facebook.com. I will not download or re-install the apps onto my other devices. I will suppress my what if someone is trying to reach me through Facebook feeling, because that’s dumb. If something is truly important people are not going to use Facebook to reach me.
On a side note I have this order in which I think the importance of what you are trying to communicate dictates the method you use should go. The ‘hey what’s new?’ is for a fb wall. A slightly more personal but not needing to be read urgently message belongs in the fb inbox. The communication that needs a more timely response is for texting. The still wanting a timely response but lengthier thought belongs in email. And of course the need to convey right away one belongs to the voice call. Obviously these are not the only ways I use these things, and not the only way I expect others to use them. I don’t post personal or intimate notes on peoples walls. I don’t send emails with nothing but hey what’s new in them, unless the person doesn’t have Facebook. I do however make phone calls for any and all reasons. I think this is becoming less common though, for me, for the people I know. I go to call a friend and sometimes stop and wonder if I should just message them in one way or another. Do I need to bother them right now? Of course if I think about it flipped around I am always happy to hear from my friends. It’s never a bother to know that someone was thinking of me or wanting to talk to me. If I am busy it’s not hard to say that and call them back later. That concept seems obvious. Before texting, Facebook and routine emailing that was what we did. We are not so futuristic and ‘modern’ that using a telephone is passé, are we? I mean, I know when you look at your phone your like so how do I make calls with this thing anyway? I know when I first got mine I was like where’s the dial pad? How do I access my contacts? They no longer serve a single purpose, which is lovely, but I kinda miss the joy of chatting away on the phone. Of playing with the cord or bouncing down the hallway because we got out first cordless phone. Sitting beside the phone full of anticipation hoping that boy I gave my number to would call. Snarling at my little brother for trying to listen in. Maybe even hanging up in a hurry because I was so excited and nervous that someone I liked answered the phone. Memorizing phone numbers. Seriously, I have to think about it before I dial Scott’s number on some else’s phone. That’s bad.
Just in case you were wondering WordPress is supposed to publish my posts to Facebook automatically for me. If for some reason that doesn’t work I won’t know so I may not post this until I return to the world of fb on Sunday the 22nd sometime after lunch.
Ciao for now!

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