My life is different in 2013 as I have been a part of the social network Facebook for all of 2012. I told my daughter years back I was abstaining from Facebook as it would steal your soul if you joined. My soul is in tact, but I will still leave the option open that Facebook, if allowed, could steal one’s soul.
I joined as a curiosity and with pressure from my Aunts. Each month at our bunco game they would know all this information and talk about pictures they saw and it was all through Facebook. Let me be clear that my pressured to join Facebook was from a group of 60-ish year old women. I felt that if my 20 year old daughter was as into Facebook as my Aunts then the demographic appeal was quite large.
Can miles truly separate you from friends… If you want to be with someone you love, aren’t you already there? ― Richard Bach
Facebook reunited me with high school friends, my large extended family, some former work friends (more socially than LinkedIn). It was a little like being back in school to see who would approach you and who you could approach and be accepted into their circle of friends. Similar to school friends one’s Facebook friends have many layers and are a part of your life in many ways.
I studied Facebook’s privacy settings and I was comforted that with diligence I could share with the right groups of people. Interesting that you can also filter a person out rather than stop being their friend. Remember in school when there wasn’t a place at the lunch table for you? I was able to subtract a chair from my lunch table metaphorically and turn their posts off my timeline (which sounds equally metaphoric).
The good has out weighed the bad. Just the interaction with all my Aunts/Uncles, cousins and my sisters has brought me back into the loop. More good that I saw my sister join Facebook so I was not the last person on the planet to join. I am able to converse with my daughters more since there is a messenger on Facebook. I can also observe them in their natural surroundings amongst their friends.
The bad came with the amount of time I was spending watching my friends and family. I became one of those people who was spending more time observing how other people lived than living myself. It happened, games hooked me! I played some game named Slingo like it was meth. Denial set in. I even hid my compulsion by not sharing my status or inviting others. There came the point I quit cold turkey and I haven’t looked back.
Call me a pawn Facebook’s game. I am a ‘user’ who by feeding on the ads served up to me is allowed to socialize amongst other users in a similar fashion. I am at the mercy of Facebook’s whims and changes to their terms and privacy settings. At any time I am free to leave the community and return to more traditional methods of communication. I can talk face to face, text and hold random encounters with friends once removed to get the latest gossip. I will continue to play the Facebook game and socialize. There is a balance, my soul can exist in harmony with my values.
“Like” being on Facebook – Michelle