• Why Facebook is Not My Friend.


    Why Facebook is Not My Friend.


    Dear Facebook,

    I really hate to tell you this, but we can no longer be friends. Well, at least not in the way we used to be. You see, I’ve spent way too much of my precious time reading through my news feed, taking fun quizzes, and just generally getting sidetracked from what I needed to be doing.

     So, from now on, I’m going to have to limit my interaction with you. I cannot afford to waste any more time. I’m sure you’ll understand.

     Love, Jennifer.

     Likes, shares, and comments have been a huge part of my life for several years. I love being able to connect with old friends, family, and new people I meet through Facebook.

     Over the last few months I began to realize how much time I was taking to stay current with Facebook. It turns out that I’ve spent too much time.

     A couple of weeks ago I read a blog post that got me thinking about how much time I’ve been spending on Facebook. It also made me realize other negative effects Facebook was having on me. Here are five lessons I’ve learned:

     1. I have been spending way too much time on Facebook. It’s no wonder I can’t get anything done. Not only was I spending a lot of time first thing in the morning, I was also checking it whenever I had a small pocket of time. I began to feel like an addict.

     2. Being on Facebook left me with a feeling of discontentment. Often I would read a post by someone and immediately feel jealous. It could be over a success they had, a success their child had, a new item they received or purchased, or really just about anything. I often felt like a failure because I hadn’t accomplished those things. If I didn’t feel like a failure then I was thinking about what I needed to do to be more successful or to accomplish more.

     3. I felt anger a lot of the time when on Facebook. Facebook has become a place where we can share our thoughts and opinions with little regard to the consequences or who we may be affecting. I found myself getting worked up over these opinions. Finally I just had to turn off some people from my feed. I was thinking bad thoughts toward these people that were not consistent with being a Christ follower. And most of the time my anger was over things of which I had little to no control.

     4. Not only am I being affected by what I see on Facebook, I have to confess that I am a contributor to negative feelings. By that I mean what I post may cause others to have the same feelings of discontentment, jealousy, or anger. While I never intend to cause such feelings, it happens. People may read one of my posts and think I’ve got it all together when that is not true. (See #5 below.)

     5. I’ve discovered that what I see on Facebook is not always the true picture of someone’s life. It has taken me a while to grasp this, but if someone is only posting happy things on their feed, they are not showing the whole story of their life. I have to realize that these people have negative things that go on in their lives and for some reason choose not to share those things. It’s too easy to come across as someone we are not. It is hard, though, to balance the positive and negative. I don’t really know what the solution is.

     So, what am I going to do now? Facebook can be a great tool to connect with people and even use it to further the Gospel. I feel that Facebook has helped me to see more needs and ways I can help or pray for other people. I really don’t want to give up this potentially useful tool completely.

     I logged back into Facebook earlier today and saw where you can create different lists such as close friends and acquaintances.  They are a couple of drawbacks to this plan, though. One is that I would not be able to see pages that I follow such as other writers or bloggers. I’d have to go to each individual one to see what I missed. That could take a lot of extra time. Also, when you create a close friends list, you get a notification when they post anything. I have not found any way to turn that off without going to each person’s profile and unchecking the get notifications option.

     I guess I’m going to have to go through my friends list and hide from my regular news feed those I don’t care to see what they are posting. That will take some time. But I think it’s the only way to get my newsfeed to be manageable and workable for me.

     I am also going to limit my time on Facebook. I’ll allow myself 5 minutes in the morning to scan through my close friends feed and to acknowledge any birthdays. Then, I won’t check that feed again until lunchtime. If there is some free time in the evening, I’ll give myself 15-20 minutes to look things over.

     I want to be friends with Facebook again, but on my own terms.




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