You have one, I have one, my grandmas even have one.
When I was pregnant with Norah I gave serious thought to "Why do I have a facebook?"
- To waste time in between class/work/sleep and play games with my friends.
Not to keep in touch with family. Not stalk anyone I went to high school with. Just to play and waste time.
During the time I got married [and then pregnant]
- To keep up with friends from college.
- To keep up with friends from high school.
- To get advice from other pregnant/married friends that I actually knew. [not random strangers on forums]
- To keep up with family.
Now that I have two babies running around the house, all of the reasons above are still the only reasons I have a Facebook account. BUT. This is what it looks like.
- I talk about myself all day. How awesome I am, how much I suck, whatever I think will get the most comments at the time. I even mention how much other people suck, and every now and then how awesome they are. Once in a Blue Moon I talk about how awesome God is.
- I have become a horrible listener. At the beginning of my marriage Eamon said I was such a good listener, and for someone like him, that was a God send. Now I feel like I only listen to "comment." I listen to add my thoughts, give my two cents. I spend my time thinking while I'm listening to what I'm going to say instead of giving my full attention.
- I keep people on my page for appearances. I don't really care about what they have to say, their kids, what books their reading, or how rad they look in their new jeans. I don't want them to be mad at me for not adding them, so I just hide them. [And what the hell is up with that?! So what if someone doesn't add you! I guess because the culture has made it to where you add anyone and everyone, that if you don't add someone, OR WORSE, delete them, that means you hate them! It's absurd!]
- Which, for me, leads to stalking. Say I add someone, but I don't want to make them mad, so I hide them. But every now and then I want to see what nonsense they have going on in their lives. I even joked with a girlfriend "I just keep her on there so I can go and look at the stupid shit she says sometimes." Wow. I'm not that person, but I've become that person.
- I'm a very passionate, opinionated person. That and 420 characters don't always result in a pretty outcome. For instance, I recently said how I'm sick of the back handed comment "you're so brave for having a homebirth" because it doesn't encourage the mom in anyway. I've actually talked about it here before. But somehow, it got turned into a huge "Home-birth V Hospital birth V planned C-Section" debate. NOT what I wanted. How dumb am I to think that a what I say can be interpreted properly on the internet [including my blog] but especially through a filter that is the "type what you want when you feel it" of the Facebook status?
- I judge people. All day long. I have less than 200 friends on facebook. On purpose. So [nearly] everyone I know on there I have met in real life. These are not just strangers! I think things like "Or you could put a shirt on for your profile picture that all of my friends see when you're on my page" and "If she went with doctor so and so, she wouldn't be having that induction" and "Good Lord, she's gained a LOT of weight since high school" and the list goes on.
- I ignore my kids. True story, my kids, my household, shoot, MY BUSINESS all get put on hold when I'm keeping up with the latest vaccine debate, plot summation of the office, or waiting to see what someone said in response to my utterly hilarious comment. As a matter of fact, while I was watching the video below, deciding on what I was going to say when I posted it on facebook, Norah pooped on the floor, I covered it up with a cloth diaper, and cleaned it up when I was done watching it.
- I scope out my photography competition. It's too easy. Let's be real, NO. ONE. was offering full sessions for mothers and their nursing babies as part of their business, certainly not in the DFW area. Then all of a sudden BAM. It's everyone's brand new, oh so creative idea. Suddenly other photogs in the area were getting props for ripping me off. Shoot, I've even seen photographers out there shoot my EXACT pictures...just, out of the blue?! But instead of being mature about it, I go to their page, I get fired up because of so many people talking about how gorgeous their picture is and how creative and original they are. It festers in my head like cancer, growing.
Now facebook doesn't DO any of these things to me, it doesn't make me this way or force me to do anything, but it does bring these things out in me like nothing else.
So it comes to this: I quit.
If someone gets pregnant or has a baby or needs prayer for their surgery, and really wants me to know, I'll find out. If God's doing something gut wrenchingly beautiful in my life, I'll let you know here. If Lily teaches Norah to ride Rusty with assless chaps, I'll take a picture and post it here. But it's going to take some discipline. Here are my ground rules:
I am keeping my business account because, let's face it, most of my clients love to share their pictures on their facebook pages!! : D So, Only get on to upload pictures for my clients, I can update the status there and reply to any comments up to 3 times a week.
I don't get a twitter feed on my phone, so taking the time to tweet through a text is still fine for now, but if it becomes obsessive, that gets the ax too.
Only update my blog up to 3X a week.
Only check my email in the morning and the evening.
What I can already predict is going to happen is that my friends who I love will see this and think that I'm judging them for keeping their accounts, think I'm pretintious, or just taking it too far. I will loose contact with some people, and my business may not grow as quickly.
I'm hoping that maybe I can encourage at least a few people to re-evaluate why they have a facebook. If it's working, then it's working, no need to defend yourself! If any of the above mentioned "side-effects" sound familiar above, maybe you should rethink how you're going about things :]