Sunday, July 26, 2009

Facebook Sabbatical

If you don't use Facebook this may not make any sense.

I'm a little bit impulsive. Those who knows me well know this. So it came as no surprise to me when Friday morning on the way to work I was struck with an impression- to shut down my Facebook page for a while. It felt like a pretty strong compulsion, so by the time I got to work I was pretty resolved. I thought it was temporary, but wasn't sure how long it would be. So by Friday afternoon I deactivated my account.

More people than I anticipated mentioned it, so I thought I might take a moment to explain why I wasn't surprised when I got the impression and chose to follow it.

First being I work in "social media." This is the Facebook, the Myspace, the Twitter... :) And so when you do something at work, it become very wearing to use it also at home. I'm not going to burn out in my career that way.

The next points are going to incorporate things I have learned through my work in social media in both professional and personal use.

I quit to avoid the temptation to get into other people's business. I think about a year ago I made the conscious decision to not snoop through other people's lives on Facebook. I find it very disingenuous to try to learn a person's life and happenings through what people are saying to them or what they are saying to other people. So even though I've stayed quite well to that personal conviction, it is still tempting. Plus, people have drawn conclusions about my life from what they may see other people saying to me or I say to other people. I don't like that.

Also, people behave online in a way that they generally wouldn't in person. I think there are several reason for this. One, electronic media let you act as quickly as your emotions come. That can lead to many unwise things said, etched in cyberspace for all eternity. :) Two, in person to person contact, there are social mores that help us get along. We change topics of conversation and tone for the person we are with. However when you are mass communicating with one voice, that can become a mess.

Finally, Facebook is a gigantic time suck. If I find myself with extra time, I find I can easily waste it by surfing through Facebook. And generally in those times I find myself violating my no-snooping rule. Already in the 2 days sans Facebook I have found so much more valuable things to do. I have read, listened to sermons, made a stronger effort to hang out with friends. It's been good.

So there you have it. I judge no one for using Facebook, but knowing myself, my weaknesses, and my tendencies, I found it necessary to take a break and re-center my time priorities. Like I said, I think this is only temporary, and will probably be back in about a month.


OK Chick said...

Facebook can take up alot of time. For instance, last night I wanted to get on for 2 seconds, well 30 minutes later I was closing my computer. 30 minutes! I could have cleaned my bathroom or done a load of laundry!

Also, I'm bad about stalking on facebook. I know it's bad, but it's so easy.

Evelina said...

I always enjoy taking breaks from Facebook (and the internet in general), but when I'm away for more than a week I feel like I'm neglecting things that need to be done. I hope you enjoy your break!

Emily said...

I decided to take a break from Facebook after I decided to break up with my boyfriend. I knew I wouldn't be able to resist the temptation of checking his Wall to see how he was coping. Both decisions have proven to be the wise ones.