Facebook and its discontents
August 7, 2013 7:15 AM Subscribe
You used to use Facebook regularly, and then you quit. Or tried to quit. Please tell me about it.
It's the one place my family exchanges information. We are not great communicators to begin with, but now that it's around, no one calls or emails any more, and the way I learn about family events is through Facebook.
I have a very conflicted relationship with Facebook.
Because of all the usual negatives people identify (drama, conflict, vaguebooking, distraction, lack of real relationship, overexposure, privacy/security, corporatism) I have slashed my friends list by over half over the last couple years. I find I am still experiencing Facebook as about 80% neutral or positive, 20% strongly negative and upsetting.
Why am I still on there?
There is a public programming side to my job, and it is very helpful to the programs for me to be able to see and share the marketing of events we're doing, share photos afterward, and comment about the events.
I have a couple of prominent volunteer roles in organizations and we rely on Facebook for a lot of our communications/positioning/community building. I moderate a couple pages.
I have a professional blog that has a Facebook "arm."
I like being in on the conversations that happen with close friends and my SO, and seeing what people say about things I've recently done with them, etc. So I don't like being on there and just not reading it. Also, my friend set tends to be hypercommunicative so there's quite a bit of back and forth daily.
So I'm considering quitting, but obviously that's a little complicated in my case. What did you do in a similar situation? Defriend everyone and just manage your pages? Block everyone but family? Quit altogether? Take a break? Develop some kind of personal policy?
If you quit, what did you find changed or was harder for you afterward? How did you compensate to stay in touch with people you mostly communicated with via Facebook before? What surprised you about quitting?
If you did not quit, what steps did you take to render it less distracting and negative in your life?
The most helpful answers for me will probably come from people who were relatively heavy users and big communicators, like me, who made a change in their use of it. I know there are people who can have 800 friends of all stripes and backgrounds, not bother to read everything, not be bothered by whatever they read, and it's all a big "eh" to them. I really envy those people, but for whatever reasons, that is not me. I have already limited my reactions as much as possible, reduced distraction as much as possible, stopped participating in contentious discussions, blocked really difficult people - I think I've made all the personal fixes I can, and it's still causing me problems. I strongly dislike the feeling of addiction all this causes: "I want to be free of this thing, but I neeeeeed it."
So if you can relate to that at all, I would love to hear how you handled it. Thanks.
posted by Miko to computers & internet (32 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite