I was planning to write an upcoming post discussing why I am not on Facebook and don’t ever plan to be and then I saw this article in the New York Times on ‘resisters’ so I am writing it now.
I am extremely active in social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn so people are generally surprised when I tell them that I am not on Facebook (usually when they send me a link to something there that I can’t view). Seriously. I am not on Facebook.
Let me re-phrase that. I used to be on Facebook. Yes, I was one of the 800 billion mazillion people that are members of the site but within a year, I had shut down my account and haven’t returned since.
People have said that they enjoy the site because they are able to locate and re-connect with old friends or people they meet but didn’t exchange phone numbers. And yes there have been instances when I may say ‘what happened to my college roommate’. But the last thing I am going to do is login to Facebook to track her down. In fact, I would be more inclined to contact the school’s alumni office.
I have watched my cousin, who is 17, interact with her friends purely through Facebook status updates and text messaging and it makes me a little sad. She doesn’t even know how to have a conversation in real life anymore. And if you haven’t heard the story, my distaste for the site really came to light while I was out at dinner with friends one night and everyone at the table (except me) were on their phones updating their status throughout the meal. It went something like this:
“Hey, did you see my status I just updated?”
“One sec….LOL. That’s so funny. Wait. Hold on and let me update mine. Ok, go look at mine now.”
“Haha! The nachos are here! Wait, don’t eat them yet!! Let me take a pic to include with my status update”
“Are you serious? Im hungry” <- that was me
I am not kidding. This was my dinner. I couldn’t even tell you if we had a conversation that night that didn’t include having to look up something on a phone or check-in with someone on Facebook. It was really disgusting and I lost all respect for the social network’s ability to bring people together. Sure, we were together all right. Together with all our Facebook connections and their status updates.
I know there are concerns about privacy but that really hasn’t been my problem. I really cannot even pinpoint what my problem is with the site or why I don’t want to participate. I simply don’t see a need; there is no gap in my life that needs to be filled with Facebook. I haven’t at one time – ever – said that I need a Facebook account in order to accomplish xyz. Ever. Quite the opposite really since I was saying ‘I need to get rid of this Facebook account’ (when I had one) more times than I could count.
Will Brennan, a 26-year old quoted in the article indicates that his friends ‘are not always sympathetic to his anti-social-media stance.’ He says “I get harangued for ruining their plans by not being on Facebook.”
I can totally relate Will! If I had a nickel for every time someone said ‘I would invite you but..o wait, you’re not on Facebook, I forgot. How can you not be on Facebook?!?’
So I will continue to tweet and participate on LinkedIn and am even thinking about starting a YouTube channel and creating some videos, but I will not be on Facebook anytime soon or ever at all.
Why? Because there is no need for me to be! If you need me, then please pick up the phone and call me. If you don’t have my number, then email me or send me a message on LinkedIn, on Twitter or here on my blog. We don’t need Facebook to make or maintain connections to people. That’s just my opinion.
Why are you on Facebook or not? What has it done to improve your life? Are you communicating better?