Last year around this time, I gave up Facebook for Lent. While not particularly religious, I liked the idea of a personal challenge. Easter rolled around and I never reactivated my account. Why would any normal young person choose not to be on Facebook, you’re probably wondering?
Well, first of all, I suppose part of me enjoys being a non-conformist. With everyone else in the world on Facebook, I liked seeing the stunned looks on their faces when I said I wasn’t. I derived pleasure from using old-fashioned methods of communication to get in touch, like email or even a phone number!
Second, continuing along those lines of old-fashioned communication, I’d gotten sick of the half-hearted connections that go on via Facebook. People drop in to check out photos and gossip, leave one-line messages saying they’re thinking about me, how am I doing, and that’s it! We don’t take time to actually ask what’s going in our friends’ lives. Strange thing is, a few months after I deactivated my account, I began receiving lengthy emails and lovely phone calls from friends who were checking up on me, wondering what had happened to me. It was so refreshing! If I’d been on FB, these friends would have not bothered contacting me.
Third, it creeped me out. Though I was never one to publicize a ton of personal information, seeing so many others displaying their entire lives online bothered me to no end. I felt that many of my friends had no discretion. I’m not calling for full-out secrecy about one’s doings, but way too much info was being divulged on a regular basis. I didn’t want to read about it.
So, after explaining all my reasons (that still make perfect sense to me), I’m rather embarrassed to admit that I reactivated my account last night. Yes, I logged on and, scariest of all, everything was still there – photos, profile info, the last posts I’d received on my wall before deactivating. It was like I’d disappeared off the face of the earth and suddenly returned to exactly where I’d been a year ago. I look a bit younger in the picture, but I quickly changed that. (When you’re 24 like me, you want to look older, not younger!)
My return to Facebook is for professional reasons. Oh, the things we justify in the name of professionalism! You see, this blog has become my new passion, and I want it to grow even more. After researching blog promotion extensively online, I realize it’s time to take the next step, using the very social media I tend to avoid. I’ve already promoted it within the limits of email contacts, other acquaintances, word of mouth, and within the WordPress world. Now I need to tap into the vast world of Facebook contacts and see where that goes.
I shouldn’t have done it so late at night, because then I went to bed and had Facebook-tortured dreams involving encounters with long-lost friends that were less than pleasant – people whose names I’d glimpsed briefly, but hadn’t thought about in months! My conscience is weighing on me heavily. My promotional ideas had better work, or I’ll deactivate again in a fit of diehard traditionalism.