Could I dare take a Facebook break?
Something has happened to me since turning the big 4-0 this past weekend. Suddenly I'm re-evaluating lots of different things in my life, and for some reason, my personal Facebook account is taking top billing in the "re-evaluation" category.
I'm trying really hard to decide if Facebook has added or detracted from my life the last few years I've participated in it. It definitely has detracted from my TIME, for sure, but I'm having the most difficult time putting all that time spent on the social network into a "positive" or "negative" category.
The biggest FB upside - - at least on the surface - - is that I get a lot of self-esteem from the interface. All I have to do is share the most mundane opinion, and within minutes I'll have positive reinforcement coming from various places across the U.S. Who doesn't want to feel as though they matter? For me, Facebook often acts as an instant ego boost. Sort of a Sally Field "you like me. you really like me!" effect.
Following close behind the psyche-building aspect of Facebook is my appreciation for how easily I can share information. Just about every blog I read, or article I check out, or sale I come across has that lovely little FB "share" button below it. Before I've even read the second sentence of the piece, I've already hit said button to share with my "friends." I may not even read the article in its entirety, but I am just sure that others will appreciate it. And yes, maybe they will even thank me for sharing....another lovely shot in my ego.
Finally, the other reason I find Facebook so hard to divorce is that it has become the only way to communicate with certain friends. It would seem that I am not the only one to hand over my Daytimer to the Facebook gods. Many of my acquaintances have even dropped their personal email accounts in the belief that everyone they will ever need to communicate with online has a Facebook account. If I don't have those folks' telephone numbers, then Facebook is the only way for me to drop them a line. (Of course, if I actually used my FB message center to invite them out to dinner, they would probably have to decline since they are too busy socializing on Facebook, but nevertheless...)
Granted, in the position I'm in, when social networking is a vital part of my day-job, I can't viably QUIT Facebook, but I'll admit I'm desperately in need of break. I'd love to experiment for a while and see what the quality of my life and connections with others turns into when my communication with them isn't only of the virtual type. I'd be interested to see what information truly resonates with me when I can't just push a button and call it "share-worthy". And I'm desperately curious to see exactly how my day-to-day rhythm is affected when I'm not stopping every thirty minutes to see who has left a message on my wall.
Anyone care to experiment with me through the end of the year???
Please say yes, or else my ego is in serious danger of asphyxiating from sudden lack of "Likes."