A few days ago I looked down at my Blackberry and threw my hands up in the air. I had just about had enough! Flinging my phone to the ground, I declared: “Facebook must die!!!”
Okay, fine, so it was slightly less dramatic than that. What really happened was that over the past few weeks, I had been frequenting my personal Facebook account less and less. I just didn’t have anything much to say. I found myself browsing my newsfeed purely out of habit.
Sometimes I did come up with things to share with the world: “The TTC should burn to the ground.” “It is freezing like a biznatch out here.” “Watching Alias makes me want to drink red wine.”
But after instinctively reaching for my Crackberry and hitting the Facebook app to spread these profound thoughts far and wide, I paused and asked myself: “Does anyone really care?”
Yesterday, I had been chatting with my cousin about potentially disabling my Facebook account for an indefinite period of time. An hour later, I came across a Freshly Pressed post, Are you Being Squeezed by Social Media?, that asked the readers what justified us staying on Facebook and what would it take for us to leave?
Then today, I was scrolling through my WordPress Reader and came across Mooselicker’s post. It really didn’t matter what it was about (I don’t mean it like that, Tim) — all I saw were the words “Soul Sellers” and “Facebook” together and my mouth dropped open. My God, it was a sign.
What did justify me staying on Facebook? What the heck did I do on there anyway? I decided to take a browse around my page to determine this answer.
I found that I used Facebook to broadcast urgent requests:
I used Facebook to update my friends on what had become of me …
… and about my vacations and crazy new adventures.
My Facebook page was the home of many a football game commentary, where friends would take the opportunity to diplomatically discuss their thoughts on my favourite team.
But Facebook was also where friends would send me links to interesting videos and news articles:
And where I could easily connect with family who lived in different countries:
So at the end of my search, I was nowhere closer to figuring out the answers to my burning questions:
Would shutting down my account actually lead to more meaningful communication between my friends and I? Nevermind if others would make the effort, but would I?
Or would I simply lose connections with people I did care about, but who choose to mainly communicate through FB?
Are emailing and texting actually more meaningful ways of communicating? Do we give FB a lot more flack than it deserves?
Would I be more productive with the time I was using to mindlessly browse my newsfeed? Or would I at the very least feel less like a FB automaton?
WOULD MY LIFE CHANGE WITHOUT FACEBOOK? OR WOULD ITS DEMISE BARELY MAKE A DENT?
I’m curious to find out. But I’m not completely convinced just yet. Thoughts, people?
Photo Credit: Facebook stats