When you spend fifteen minutes discussing emoticons at dinner…
When you debate the relative merits of “Live Feed”, “News Feed”, and “Status Updates”…
When conversation includes telling everyone else what your Facebook status is…
When you learn of your friends’ friendships, dating relationships, and engagements via Facebook and consider a “Facebook official” relationship more real than one that is not “Facebook official”…
Life has become just a bit too Facebook-ified.
Do you remember the days before Facebook?
Do you remember when if you wanted to catch up on somebody’s life, you’d call them?
Do you remember when you used to spend hours talking with actual people without a keyboard mediating?
Do you remember when you didn’t know what each of your “friends” ate for lunch and (horror!) what color bra they’re wearing?
Do you remember when you used to actually laugh out loud, rather than just “LOL”?
I remember those days, and I miss them.
Remember when Facebook first came out and you spent hours procrastinating homework while spying on all your friends?
Remember when said spying meant you had to actually click on their name and visit their page, where you could read what they had written and write a comment?
Remember when you started to get tired of Facebook, realizing it was a terrific time waster?
Remember when you started checking Facebook less and less frequently?
I remember those days. But then Facebook changed.
Now the progression has changed. People don’t grow tired of Facebook and log off anymore. Now they’re inundated with constant stimulation in the form of a feed of some sort. They’re offered countless opportunities for procrastination through games and “boxes”. They don’t have to actively stalk their friends anymore–they can do it without even thinking. Just log in and stay on.
You don’t need to talk to people anymore. Just Facebook chat them.
You don’t need to write a letter. Just send a Facebook message.
You don’t need to catch up on the news. Just check your news feed.
You don’t need board games or card games, just play on Facebook.
You don’t even need to send gifts anymore, send a cow or a cactus or a cupcake on Facebook.
I miss my life before Facebook.
But I doubt I’ll ever get it back.
So I do what I can to take advantage of Facebook’s strengths while minimizing its negative qualities.
I get status updates but not “news feed” or “live feed” items. I don’t need to know what you’re playing or whether your relationship status has changed (unless you tell me).
I turn off e-mail alerts so I have to actually log on to Facebook in order for it to inundate my life.
I choose to not add applications or join groups (generally speaking).
I don’t do the “poking thing” (except for my little sister and my out-laws).
I don’t give people birthday greetings on Facebook.
I try to be judicious about “liking” things–and never write *dislike* under someone’s status update.
I don’t do the “copy and paste” status update thing. I love Jesus, I want a cure for cancer, and I support the troops, but I’d rather not post meaningless drivel on my status.
I don’t tag people in notes. If they want to read what I’ve written, they can come find it. If I really want them to read what I’ve written, I can take the time to let them know personally by sending them a link or telling them about it.
I try to keep Facebook from taking over my life.
But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t try just as hard to resist my defenses. Facebook is an everyday companion. It loads every time I open my internet browser. I don’t check it that often, but it’s open in a tab. Because it’s open, my friends see that I’m “online”. My tab starts blinking when a friend wants to Facebook chat. And while I generally ignore it, I’m still sucked in on occasion (thankfully, my friends know that I don’t like the chat feature, so they tend to NOT open up chat communications.) People still send me invitations to groups, causes, and games. Most of the time, I decline.
But like it or not, my life, too, has been Facebook-ified.