I’m leaving Facebook. Well not really, but I said it didn’t I? In the past few weeks, several of my friends have made this comment and have followed through with either deactivating or deleting their account with the popular social media site. The reasons they give have merit. They are not limited to but include:
1) Time Waster. Yes, Facebook can be a huge time waster. The internet in general can do this to you!
2) Priorities. Time on FB leaves less time for the more important things
3) Drama. This one I more than agree with. Too much drama. People putting their lives out on the ‘net for all of us to know about including alleged mistreatment and abuse, infidelity, and any number of bad choices.
4) Refocus. This one could be tied to priorities but it includes the desire to put online energy to work in things that will pay dividends to the user.
These are some of the main things I read about. All have merit but for me, NONE of them are worth deleting my account. Why? Well for one, FB is still the largest social media network on the internet. Google Plus is my personal favorite and is climbing but it’s value is more in the specialized networking it offers to its users which I love. The best features of Facebook are available on G+ but are not being utilized as yet by many, probably because of the drama issue I mentioned earlier. Many who live on drama just want exposure rather than actually using the tool for bettering their lives and the lives of those they connect with. Which is another reason I will not drop Facebook…yet. The network gives me a chance to talk with friends, share my thoughts, and if necessary, to serve others. People who I might not know are in need otherwise.
So for those of you who want to drop your account, go ahead if that’s what you really want, but here is my own advice on the issues I listed earlier. As to time, limit yourself. I’m on Facebook a lot. But it’s many times in very short bursts to see if anyone has messaged me. I receive more messages through Facebook than I do email these days. I communicate with people across the globe with the ‘Messenger’ app on my smart phone. These conversations are important to me and I can make them a valuable part of my life. I can also limit myself to just browsing to about one or two times a day. It’s self discipline. If you cannot do this with a social network like Facebook, what are you doing with all the other distractions in your life and how is dropping your account going to help those?
Drama? Easy, if you have a friend who is just constantly posting nothing but laments about their spouse, their job, their parents, their neighbors, and their life in general, BLOCK THEM. You can still connect with them but you can block their posts showing on your wall. That way, they can still see what you post (Unless of course they block you!) but you can choose what to view on your feed. Simply click on the person’s latest post in the options area and tell Facebook that you either want to limit this person’s postings on your wall or block them altogether. I’ve done this with a number of my friends who I dearly care for but whose personal lives I do not need to know about unless they private message me.
To me, Facebook’s value far outweighs the negatives. I can limit and control them just as I can limit my time spent on it. If you feel you have to let it go, fine…It’s just an online site not replacing real face to face interaction. But perhaps what you really need to do is take that refocus issue I mentioned and apply to all of your life and not just this one aspect. Then, you might yourself less tied to FB and more in touch with the world around you!.