Monday, August 15, 2016

Facebook, FACE-to-FACE experience - what has Facebook done???

Posted by Daring Delightful Digital Diva at 10:46 AM
I have recently stopped using Facebook, when I was a daily user.
WHAT?? I stopped?  YUP!! 
And I am LOVING IT!!!!!
And by daily use, I don't mean creeping, playing games, living no life except through Facebook, or stalking.  I would cut games out of my feed faster than anyone and wouldn't post political rants, etc.  I did use it as my original intention: to connect with people - to share photos, articles, and funny things that happened, and to comment on people's posts. I tried not to air any dirty laundry, wouldn't speak ill of an ex (that IS my child's parent now isn't it?), and kept things clean and positive.  One daughter jokes that I am all "sunshine and rainbows"! 

I could live on the notion and defend that I used Facebook for sharing photos, and that would be true! It is easy! But, did I need to be on Facebook while out for a drink with my husband, before going to bed, when I wake in the morning, or while I waited at a doctor's office?  Do we need to hop on the smartphone with the immediacy of having 30 seconds of free time or silence? Can we not sit with our head up and accessible to other human beings around us?
NO! It got to be tooo much! 

I had several recent happenings over the last few months that have changed my opinion of Facebook -

  • LIKE/LOVE? Since when has it become so difficult to comment on someone's post?  Now we can simply click WOW, SAD, MAD, LOVE, LIKE, or HAHA on someone's post, without actually typing a comment. Facebook actually made "interacting" easier, but fed the busy and "interactivelessness" of a society we've become.  I've done it tons, I confess. If I go back on, I want to comment. Only. Take the time. To write a personal message. Simple.
  • OVERSTIMULATION - I do feel that I have ADHD, and would have been diagnosed if I were a child. I have to manage that!  The absolutely constant notifications for many apps, including FB got to be too much.  If my phone lit up at work, I would check!  I would interrupt myself and my thoughts to see what someone needed!  Am I really that important?  NO! Oh I got an email, better check! Oh, someone liked my FB post! Oh, oh, oh! It never ends!
  • LIMITING - So I started limiting.  First, I cut many apps notifications to not sound.  Then I realized my OCD side would want to clear the notification numbers!  Right?  Are you in touch with this?  Do you see the number 5 on your email app and feel the need to check them and deal/delete?  You are not alone!  Did you know that you can simply turn those notifications OFF?  YES!  It is freedom, I tell you, freedom!  Since when did I need to check my emails more than once a day anyway? 
  • PRESENCE - Attended a wellness conference designed to connect us when I stepped off FB - result?  It felt GREAT!  I genuinely connected on a deeper and better level those that I was physically present with.  I was in essence MORE PRESENT!
  • FRIENDS vs ACQUAINTANCES - Who is a "real" friend or family from the hundreds of acquaintances? Did you know there are settings within FB to limit who sees what? I  unfriended hundreds of people, and FB makes it easy!  If you go to your friends list on the app, do you realize that they are in order of frequency of interaction?  Well that made weeding through easy!  I went to the bottom and began unfriending people I honestly might not have even remembered being friends with!  How is that a friend? Since when did we get HUNDREDS of friends anyway? I could choose to make most people acquaintances and leave others as close friends.  Now this took a lot of work with a large list, but I wanted to clean it up should I decide to hop back onto FB in the future. 
  • UNFOLLOW - Whatever your "schtick" is, find it.  You can follow or unfollow people depending truly on what you want to see in your newsfeed!  And let's be honest, it IS your news feed to do with as you wish, right? You get to choose what to see! Again, freedom! I personally want to see positive, joyful, hope, good things, and things that make my life better, richer, and more positive.  I unfollowed people that are negative, make political posts, complain, etc.  I unfollowed comical groups or pages that were sarcastic, cutting, cruel, or generally crass.  It have seemed funny, but does it make me better, or are there other forms of humor that are more positive? Cut it, moving on! Less clutter in my news feed! 
  • FAVORITES - you can select TWENTY people to be a favorite on FB and set your feed to see those people first! I felt this also made me be very selective as to who those 20 people are! 20 friends that I could hop on and in less than 1 minute "catch up" to what was going on! This was GREAT!  Hard to do, but great!  And it is easy in your feed directly to change that person to close or not close! BOOM! Click! DONE!
  • ETIQUETTE - While I try not to partake in drama, we can be thrust in it even by society's terms or these new habits and protocol, if you will. I found myself at my first anniversary with my husband and I got UPSET that 109 people could like, love, or comment on my post for our anniversary, but HE couldn't!  Really???? That's what we've become as a society?  That life isn't official until it's #facebookofficial and #hashtagged ? WOW!  It was an eye-opener!  I saw other announcements that I might see, or even harder, be told by others - that I was no longer worthy of even a text, but the general FB public announcement only. I was done. People can't let you know personally on the big things?  Then perhaps we were not as good of friends than I thought. My mistake. Clarity. Or how I explained FB "etiquette" to my husband at his birthday to make a post thanking everyone for the birthday wishes at the very least, possibly "liking" people's wishes on his page. He didn't know he was supposed to respond at all! It has become silly! I too, posted a Happy Birthday to my sister on her page, even though I called her, so it was #facebookOfficial OY! Etiquette of when, how and to whom we post for things...again, too much!
So I simply decided to be off for a while, while I sorted my feelings, habits, friends list, and feed. I changed my profile picture and cover photo that I was on a break, and OFF Facebook.
Now, I don't think I am the only one who thinks this, or sees that this is how we've become.  I solved the problem, or a piece of it. I am not on FB anymore, and I will wait for real interactions, phone, text, face to face, even if they are less often. I think I will prefer a smaller group of friends with deeper and more meaningful relationships.
Here is a clincher.  Facebook with all of it's possibilities and hopes of changing the world - has. Not all for the good though. 
  • Facebook has changed how we keep in touch.  A dear friend that I took photos of her daughter decided to go old fashioned and order prints and mail them with a hand-written note to her family.  She felt great and they LOVED it!  Like it or not, Facebook has changed how we stay in touch, some better, some worse!
  • Facebook has changed how we consume content - skimming, scrolling, following news feeds, people, friends, stars.  Choose wisely.  I unfollowed tons of people, groups and pages. I believe it amplifies our instant-gratification, need it now, ADHD society.  We need a snipet, not an article. We need it fast, and now! Twitter limits you to 140 characters!  Really, we can't read more than that? How many times do you click on the article, link, or read your friends' full post? Slow down, get the content, read it, click to know more, seek knowledge.
  • Facebook has changed how we view privacy.  I decided that not everyone in my feed wants to, or needs to see everything I post. If they want to see more, they could go to my page, call me, text me? I do not have to post to the world what I made for dinner (nor did I!).  Nope, I don't have to! I can opt to share my dinner that I made with loved ones around the table and actually enjoy it! YUP!
  • Facebook has changed the way bullying/judging happens too and how our teens interact. Any stranger behind a keyboard can slam anyone. We've likely all heard of body-shaming, and more terms!  What happened to the adage "don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all" and as Amy Poehler says in her book Yes Please!  How about we build each other up and support the good things? Be less judgmental, more kind?  YES PLEASE!  (an amazing little fun read by the way!)
  • Facebook has changed relationships. Have you been out with your partner and been on the phone, checking FB among other things?  Set it down, look into their eyes, you'll enjoy it! Have you seen Facebook break-ups, drama, and comments?  No need to bash someone there.  Take it offline, be classy not crazy. Nobody wants to be remembers as the girl who commented nasty on his photo when they broke up.  And what's with all the blocking, unblocking, don't reach me, reach me?  Either break up or don't, decide to be friends or not. Move on. Simple. Mature. Remember that CLASSY NOT CRAZY? Yup, follow that! 
  • Social Media as a whole has changed DATING - How many ways can you talk to a person or ask them on a date? Texting, IM, Instagramming, Poking, Tweeting has changed how our teens DATE - and not for the better. I would love to ground one of our kids for accepting or asking via text!  How about call for that date? How about wait until he/she calls you for a date?  TEXT? UGH! Say your feelings, don't text a difficult conversation. Once it is written, it's out there. Classy, not crazy, remember?
I challenge you - try even ONE of these things above to make your Facebook experience better - if you choose to stay on it. Make your feed more meaningful, valuable, positive, full of life. Do anything! I may....or may not, be back on anytime soon!  I am busy as ever and enjoying my free time - being with my husband, kids, self, listening to audiobooks instead.  I am looking up, fixing my smartphone bad posture, anything! I'm kayaking, mountain biking and enjoying the sights.  Maybe I take a photo for my memories, my enjoyment, my future scrapbook or frame.  I don't have to share it with the world. 

My goal is to reach out to people once a week - a text, email, letter, note, card, phone call. More personal interactions. Period.  I did receive an email yesterday from a lovely gal who saw that I was not on Facebook and emailed me a photo, which then opened the door to a few emails back and forth, and it was lovely!  Get off Facebook and in the faces of loved ones, partners and yourself.  You might like what you find!

Daring, Delightful, NON-Digital Diva!

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