It’s been 15 months since I pulled the plug on Facebook. You may have seen my post about that, listing many of the reasons I did it.
Today, I’m signing back on.
So are my reasons for leaving no longer valid? No, I think most of them really still hold true. So why am I back?
Well, there are several reasons. To be honest, I haven’t really been completely away from Facebook in the first place because part of my job involves monitoring and creating social media content for my employer. When I’m logged on it’s tempting to browse a little and try to take a look at what my son is posting, for example. It’s a bit of a relief to see that his profile settings are private, meaning that not just anyone with a log-on to Facebook can see what he’s up to. But that also means that I can’t see it either. Does that mean I don’t talk to him regularly and therefore don’t know what he’s up to? No, but despite conversations about what he should and shouldn’t post, I still would like to be able to see if he’s been paying attention.
A couple of my photography clients have asked if I’m on Facebook. They wanted to show their support for me by posting and recommending me. Sounds great, but I can’t put my business on Facebook without having my own account. On a similar note, there are some small local businesses that I would like to check in with, interact with, and show my support for as well.
So let’s take a look at my reasoning back in November 2012:
- Facebook is an addicting time-waster and I should quit.
- I’m wasting time that could be spent in many other ways.
- I’m sharing too much information and losing privacy.
- It leads to jealousy, whether it’s on my side or someone else’s.
- It’s too easy to be a casual observer of life instead of an active participant.
- It’s divisive.
- It makes it easy to avoid communicating directly with my friends and family.
So how do I justify to myself going back if all those things are still true? I’ve actually been struggling a lot with this decision, partly because I think it makes me feel like I’m giving up on a real resolution I made for myself. Does this make me weak? Have I given up membership in the “Too Cool/Smart/Independent/Mature (insert your own adjective here) for Facebook” club?
I’m going back fully aware that I need to be conscious of all seven of those reasons. I’m not signing on in order to share every detail of my life, nor do I feel a need to see every detail of the life of every single person I’ve ever met. I’m not going post status updates every day. I’m going to respect my husband’s need for privacy and not share every detail of his life. And while I did start on a letter-writing campaign in 2013 which didn’t exactly yield the results I was looking for, I’m not going to give up on my efforts to communicate with my friends and family on a more personal level.
I’m going to continue to be an active participant in life. My efforts to lose weight and be healthier have already pushed me in this direction. I hope to continue along that path. I’ve been slacking quite a bit on the photography aspect of my life but now that the weather is getting warmer I hope to be inspired again. Not being on Facebook obviously hasn’t meant that I’m writing here regularly either. So I need to make a conscious effort to get writing and taking pictures part of my regular schedule.
My Facebook presence is going to be limited. I will choose my “friends” carefully. I will converse and participate, but will not share every detail of my life. (I’m sure my friends don’t really care what I had for dinner. Although sometimes it is so tempting to share a photo of a gorgeous dinner. But that’s what Instagram is for, right?)
Wish me luck as I see if I can successfully navigate the Facebook world without getting completely sucked into its vortex.