In response to the Facebook Fatigue, Friends, Friendship and Focus blogpost by The Extinct Existentialist, I think it is time for this romantic idealist and paper-and-pen loving girl to reconsider her Facebook addiciton. I do spend countless precious minutes on that social network that could be better spent elsewhere. It is by far my favorite go-to when I want to procrastinate, as well as my sleep-deprivator. The benefits are great in that I can communicate with friends across the country or across the ocean anytime of the day without costing me a penny, but then I wonder how much more efficient and meaningful my communication would be if I had to call them. Even email has turned into the snail mail of the future, and I only email people when I have time to write them a thoughtful message, or I it is too important for the trivialness of Facebook. I cringe to see businesses using Facebook for their work. What happened to it being a “social networking” site?
I have decided to limit my Facebook time to 5-10 minutes a day, usually in the evenings, because that is one of my winding-down the day methods, but I wonder that I don’t need a different course of limitation. I could not eliminate it completely because so many of my friends contact me about important stuff like rehearsals or meeting times on it, nor do I want to.
What happened to writing letters? I ask this question along with the anonymous author of the above tracked post. Letters are more personal, and I am scared that if I switched over to letters or phone calls, personal modes of communication, many of my current infrequent correspondents would altogether stop Facebook messaging me. Some of those I wouldn’t mind losing the semi-“personal” contact with, but others I am afraid I would; I want to cultivate our communication, but am I limited to the popular technology-driven options of our culture? It is tricky thing to consider…Would some of my friends overseas, for instance, continue to correspond with me if I was suddenly no longer online? We would have to be intentional about it. And I would have to make time and effort to write them. Somehow, I feel like the trade-off would be much more satisfying, however. Remember when you were a kid and you got a letter in the mail, how exciting it would be? Or anticipating a letter from a friend? Now all I have to anticipate in the mail is bills. I call for a return to letter writing and expecting good things in the mail!
I find that I relate and can speak for many others that we can relate and agree to what he had to say about Facebook(and technology) addictions:
“Facebook is an excellent way to stay in touch, but forgive me if I also think it the scourge of society. It seems to me that if we spend less time updating the world about our lives and reading about other people’s lives, we spend more time actually living. We can cultivate friendships face-to-face instead of maintaining superficial, virtual acquaintances. I would rather have a few strong relationships with friends I visit on a regular basis than 500 “friends” on Facebook. I realize this is not an either-or situation. We can have both. But I can’t shake the notion that somehow we might be better off without Facebook.”