Present Tense

Reality doesn’t bite…

I made it through a week without Facebook.  I also cut back drastically on my surfing, emailing, Blackberry and iPad use.  Here is what I learned:  my time on Facebook is driven by a need to be heard, to be seen, to be accepted, to educate, to manipulate and a healthy dose of needing to stir the pot.

Secondly, the changes to Facebook DO suck.  There is now too much information, too many comments, too much activity, much of it inane.  I feel like a voyeuer now that I can see all of my “friends” activities on FB, from comments to tags, etc.  It’s worlds colliding; like a party where everyone you’ve ever known shows up and each one of them knows a different slice of you.  For instance, the “Jane” from work is not the same as the “Jane” from high school, but now everyone is privy to EVERYTHING that you post.  Yes, we were right in our initial gut feeling: the changes suck.

The things I love about Facebook are the posts containing thought-provoking articles, irreverent and smart status updates and the way that FB breaks news.  I learned about Michael Jackson’s death and the killing of Osama bin Laden via Facebook.  By the same token, I’ve read countless bits of nonsense that are completely untrue, that are then disseminated by idiots who rush to re-post without fact checking (my personal pet peeve about the internet in general).

The question for me is this:  Do I have the time and fortitude to sift through the nonsense that unfortunately outweighs the good stuff by at least 3 to 1?  For actual friends, not virtual friends, that answer is probably yes.  I will also cop to the fact that I use Facebook to promote my radio show and this blog.  Which kind of makes my FB jones that much more pitiful; I talk to hundreds of thousands of people for four hours everyday on the radio and share my additional thoughts via the blog.  How much more do I need to be “heard”?

Facebook has it’s place.  Social networking has become part of our culture and a way to stay in touch, stay informed, to advocate, to join the conversation, to waste some time, to be entertained.  What I learned from my self-imposed FB exile is that social networking is to my life, what junk food is to my diet; they are welcomed in small, judicious amounts. Balance, Jane……balance.

October 1, 2011 Posted by | Musings | , , , | 3 Comments

   

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