i’ve spent a year away from facebook and people still like me

Posted on Friday, June 15, 2012

Facebook.  For me a love, a hate.  The debates are everywhere.  Bashers eagerly point their fingers to facebook as a culprit to cheating and divorce, time spent searching virtual profiles is time away from concrete friends and family, and the list goes on.

But what keeps people coming back?  Clearly, facebook reaches hundreds, thousands, and millions of viewers daily.  It changes lives.  It reconnects lovers.  It seals career deals.  It allowed me to spread the news about a volunteer trip to Guatemala and collect thousands of dollars in donations.  It allowed me to share news of my engagement, to connect with friends from lifetimes ago.  But in all this glory, I desired to close my account.  I preferred to live a bit more mysteriously, to wonder a bit more about those close to me, to force me to reach out in other ways and to take time away from the internet.

While my aim is not to spark a moral debate about facebook (ok, well  maybe a little), I want to share how, as a rebellious non-facebook user, I have managed to still survive in the world.  Here are a few things I learned.

Those who do not change are not doomed.

We are living in a society of technology.  For the older generation, they’ve seen a sky rocketing growth.  So, let’s see how they’ve handled it.  We’ll take my grandmother-in-law.  At times, I think she’s more technologically savvy than I.  She’s a master facebook user, she forwards the best email jokes and plays some great online games.  She’s a victorious adapter.  My grandfather, on the other hand, is still set in his old ways.  But is he really doomed?  In my opinion, his stubborn, old-fashioned, slow-paced lifestyle has been a blessing.  He and I still hand write notes.  And I love that.  He and I have been sharing favorite poems.  It’s romantically sweet, intimately special, this bond my grandfather and I share.  So, while it may be a bit of an inconvenience for some, it is what keeps me and my grandfather connected.

In the know.

Ok, I get it.  I understand Darwin’s theory, “adapt or die.”  Luckily, I haven’t died yet.  And ironically, friends have adapted to me.  For instance, my friends know I do not use facebook.  While some grumble that it’s a bit annoying, they’ve grown use the to fact that they email me a recent baby photo or laugh when they see my surprised face when yesterday’s news finally came to me via face-to-face conversation.  Darwin would be very proud of their flexibility and understanding, which has in turn, kept our relationship alive.  And because of it, I am still “in the know.”  Just because I see a photo of a friend’s baby a few days or even weeks later, doesn’t mean I miss out on the element of excitement; it just happens in my own time.  So, although facebook is a leader in social connection, I still rely on email, text messages, phone calls, letters, postcards and simple conversations.  Be creative about how you want to stay in touch with friends and family.  Believe it or not, people are more understanding to your needs than you think.

It’s fun being different.

As children, I can fairly assume we did not like being bullied or teased for being different.  As a twin, I never felt different.  I looked like someone, dressed like someone, and still to this day, sounded just like someone.  But I desired to be different.  As adults, we still carry this feeling of feeling like we need to “fit in” with others – not wanting to be too different.

 

But being different, in my opinion, is ridiculously sexy, crazy cool.

 

Let’s recognize that whether we can agree on facebook or not, your choice to use it is up to you, no matter what others think.  Those who dare to live courageously are admirable and beautiful.  Listen to what it is you want.  So catch up with friends, or take a few days away from facebook.  Whatever you decide, chances are, you’ll still find that you are still very likeable.  Thumbs up to that.

 

Articles about facebook that make me giggle

Facebook threatens to ‘Zuck up’ the human race

When did Facebook Become so Uncool?

What I learned when I Quit Facebook

 

feature image provided by John Andre Aasen

 

There comes a time when one realizes the cage was unlocked all along. Learn More

Copyright © 2012-2016 Rowdy Prisoners. All Rights Reserved.