Last week, I finally upgraded my first generation iPhone to a newer model (that would be an iPhone 4, now “free” with a two-year contract). It was a necessity of sorts because my smart phone had become…well… dumb. I couldn’t download 90% of the Apps I wanted, and it took forever to pull up Facebook.
There we have it: Facebook. I pay $89 a month for an iPhone to spy on others? How pathetic.
I gave my vintage Apple gadget to Ava, who learned that without phone and texting services, she still inherited an iPod Touch. She then asked the question I had been dreading more so than where babies come from.
“When can I have a Facebook page?”
Not until you’re 14…and then, we’ll talk about it.
What a hypocrite I am! Ava and Maryn are on Facebook every hour on the hour because of me. By that I mean I post comments about them, I upload photos of them, I blog about them and paste the link onto three different pages — one of which is the Daily Mail. They have no idea how well known they are.
But do I want my daughters on Facebook? I’m not sure. Part of me thinks it’s the only way to find out what’s going on in the world, and another part of me worries that it’s an advertisement for troubles they don’t have. Stay out of the ring and nobody gets hurt.
However, in the corporate world, staying out of the ring means you just might hurt lots of people. Following the Batman premiere shooting in Aurora, Colorado, a management consultant stated on a morning talk show that people who don’t have Facebook pages (like the killer, James Holmes) are persons of interest. What do those folks have to hide? Why don’t they want to connect and share with others? Do they not have any friends? The lack of a Facebook or Twitter account is a red flag in the personnel file: People who avoid social media may suffer from deep psychological and emotional problems. They might have an unsound mind! This argument is interesting considering that Facebook is an excellent way to find out what people are really like; what they’re really into. Just ask any college admissions director.
As I tossed all of this around, I started to think about Facebook by way of pros and cons. The truth is that I love looking at pictures (maybe I should join Instagram), and some people’s posts make me laugh until my sides hurt. Most importantly, Facebook is company. Working from home gets lonely sometimes.
But my friend, Facebook can become a foe in no time:
- It’s wasteful: Keeping up with 800+ people takes hours!
- It’s energy draining: No one “Liked” my post. Why not? Was it something I said?
- It’s emotional: We’ve become so sensitive and so…insensitive.
- It’s acidic: Comments and reactions fuel arguments that make people mad enough to “unfriend” their BFFs.
- It’s worrisome: I suck air every time I get a message that someone has tagged me in a post or a photo.
- It’s lazy: Instead of doing my own research, I’ll pose the question on Facebook.
- It’s dangerous: Out of those 800+ people, how many of them do I really know? But they know me now. And my kids. And our address.
- It’s risky: Just when I start to feel good about myself, someone loses 10 pounds or wins $10 million. Woe is me.
- It’s fake: Is everyone’s life really that perfect? Most certainly not.
Isn’t it fun, though? Well, it should be…but sometimes it feels like a second job.
Yet, I’m hooked on Facebook like a Marlboro cigarette. It’s the equivalent to a two-pack-a-day habit.
Why would any parent what to pass on such an addiction? As I fire up my iPad like one of those cigarettes and I inhale the happenings of “friends” near and far, I think…what’s so bad about it? Everybody does it.
No, not everybody does it, and no, they aren’t psychopaths. One of the primary reasons men and women avoid Facebook is because they keep in touch with people who mean the most to them by telephone, via email or at social gatherings. They prefer to connect in person…not online.
So, I’m going to give up Facebook for 28 days to see if I can kick the habit – or at least cut back. It may be impossible to run a business and promote a book without social networking. I may need a Facebook patch to kill my noontime urge to see what everyone is talking about. As for this frequent user, detox means I won’t be posting grumpy little comments about standing in line at the grocery store 24 hours before Thanksgiving, and I won’t react to the election returns. Giving up Facebook also means I won’t be breaking news about my barking dogs, angry cat or elderly aunt. I won’t be sharing my frustrations with 4th grade homework or adding pictures of our 1st grader’s latest artwork.
I will, however, blog about my withdrawal symptoms here in The Mommyhood. Approximately 28 days from now, we’ll be getting ready for Christmas and other religious holidays. But for the next month, my fellow Facebookers will have to celebrate the Airing of Grievances without me.