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Bah, Facebook....

I kinda got fed up with Facebook last night, finally.

It's been coming on for a while now. I read an article a couple months back about Facebook's disturbing side, and the sort of things expressed in the article--a concern about Facebook taking up more of my thoughts and time than Bible study, and the frivolity of most of the website's function--have been my own thoughts on the subject for some time now.

Facebook's unique purpose, as I understand it, is to re-initiate contact with long-lost friends or friends who have moved away (or friends who didn't move away with you). And sometimes that works. But what is the main function of Facebook, practically? It's used to keep up with friends you see every other day anyway. And when you're home for the summer--the time in which it ought to serve its greatest purpose, if you intend to stay friends with your college acquaintances--instead of being somewhat useful, it degenerates into a way to waste time (i.e. take quizzes and fill out Notes surveys).

If I want to get in touch with my friends from college, I turn instead to IM or my cell phone, because Facebook is far from the most efficient way to keep up with them. My long-lost friends, on the other hand, remain just that--out of touch.... I have short-lived conversations with them over FB message or wall post, and then proceed to lose touch (effectively) again.

I could remedy this if I wanted to--I could use Facebook more; but what purpose would that serve? Facebook is a means, not an end. And if other means serve the end (long-lasting friendship) better, then so be it. So I decided last night, and posted on Facebook (the irony, I know):

"Sarah is disenchanted with Facebook. Again."

And on Twitter:

"So, I'm seriously considering a semi-abandonment of my Facebook account."

I had three people comment to me in non-Facebook means about my Facebook status update--a friend from college, one of the elders at my church, and my pastor. My pastor, incidentally, knew exactly what my frustration was before I told him a thing more.

So far, my semi-abandonment amounts only to a quick check not more than once a day (more like once every other day), rather than the several minutes I could spend on it. I'll use it less and less... I won't completely abandon it, as it can serve as a sort of first contact, but I'll transfer my FB contacts to e-mail, IM or phone. Those means are much more... communicative than Facebook has been.


da_baum said…
One of the biggest reasons for me that I still use FB has been people who don't even use email/non-FB chat IM much anymore, so FB is the most effective way to communicate. I don't do apps/quizzes/etc., I just use it to talk to people, basically. It's helpful when not overused, though it often is. I definitely understand the frustration. I've been trying to cut back on it for a while, and it works sometimes...

Funny related story... One of my best friends basically got to know his now girlfriend through Facebook chat over Christmas break. We all go to the same school and are all in band, so it made it rather amusing when our band director said, "You can't make friendships through Facebook" to make some point that I can't remember cause I was laughing to myself, since that's how those two started getting to know each other...
RS said…
Yeah, that's basically why I'm not deleting my FB account entirely. :P There are a few friends on there with whom I'd be out of touch without Facebook, so it's helpful in certain cases still. I cut back on it a lot this week and hardly noticed the difference.

Wow, that is funny. I would tend to agree with your band director, though!

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