Monday, December 20, 2010

let's face it

I will be the first one to admit -- I am an avid Facebook user. I change my status frequently; often multiple times a day. And with having a laptop situated right in the middle of my living room/dining room/ is basically on 100% of the day. It's a huge distraction as anytime I walk by it (which is often, given the location of said laptop), I need to see if anything new has been added or if anybody has commented on any of my posts.

With all of its drawbacks (mainly the addiction factor), Facebook has still been a welcome addition to my life. I love the interaction with family and friends, and it definitely helped keep me company these last several months while I was alone the majority of the time. I also find it useful when needing a favour -- like if one of my neighbours has a tin of pineapple that I need for my pizza, for example. It also came in quite handy when our stove busted this fall and instead of having to dish out hundreds of dollars for a new replacement, we rather received a FREE stove that a cousin of mine was looking to get rid of.

So yes, I am a big fan of Facebook. But as of this evening, I am taking a temporary hiatus from the website. I'm not quite sure how long it will actually last -- but I'm aiming for the new year. And one of the biggest reasons for this is that I am tired of hearing about everybody who is sick. It's true. Now, I'm not saying I have never taken part in such stasuses related to mine or my family's health -- but this seems to be the main focus of everybody's Facebook contributions lately and I just need to get away from it.

I have written before about my extreme paranoia of the stomach flu, and this year I was determined that I was going to be better about it. I know I said that last year too (and I was very unsuccessful), but this year was going to be different, I just knew it. But with every Tom, Dyck & Harry updating their statuses about people puking and feeling ill...there was just no escape from it. Literally everytime I would log onto the site, I would read about it from someone else.

I'm not saying that it's wrong...but it got me thinking: Do 200+ people really need to know when your kid barfs? Perhaps that's something that can rather just be shared with a close friend or family member. Goodness knows, I need someone to help me through it when we're battling the sickness, so keeping it all to myself isn't necessarily going to happen. But there has to be some sort of balance in my opinion.

Anyway, so yesterday evening I was already thinking of taking a break from Facebook just to get away from all of the sick-talk. Afterall, the more everybody talks about it (myself included), the more we all think about it. Then it just starts to consume us. And frankly, this is one situation where ignorance really is bliss. I know it's out there. And I know we are in contact with people who have the capability of passing it on to us. But I don't need to know all of the details of who all has it at what time and how long it lasts and who it all spread to. I wasn't quite sure I could commit to giving up Facebook though...but today while I was at work I told myself that if I came home from work and logged onto Facebook to see what I had all missed during the day -- if there was even ONE post about someone puking, I was going to just buck up and do it.

Well, whaddya know -- there were THREE posts about it! Decision made.

I want to enjoy my Christmas holidays without the stress and anxiety of knowing that someone my kid was in contact with threw up last night, so we could be next. For some people this wouldn't be a big deal -- but I know it is with me. I get so worked up and anxious that I sometimes can hardly sleep. So while Facebook is causing me more harm than good, I am temporarily giving it up for the last two weeks of the year.

And further to this...when I do pick it up again, there will be changes. My #1 goal is to keep my statuses positive. As with the sickness, there is a time and a place. So if I need to vent or complain about something, I will choose my audience a bit more carefully from now on. I'm not saying nothing negative will ever leak out, but I want to at least be more aware of it.

I also intend to narrow down my Friends list quite drastically upon my return, as I don't think it's necessary for people who I never interact with even on this forum to have such access to the day-to-day happenings of my life. If you request me as a friend, then make an effort to be a part of my life rather than just reading about it from the sidelines.

So that is my Facebook rant for the day. I know I will be back on it -- I find too much value in it to get rid of it completely. But let's face it...sometimes being "in the know" is over-rated!


The Brandt Family said...

Andrea, I totally agree with you about the friends list thing. I have people constantly requesting to be my friend on facebook - people that I haven't talked to since high school, or those that I have no interest in reading about their "lifestyles".

People call me snobish for not being friends with everyone, but I agree that you don't need to have the negative comments/statuses sitting there among your real friend's comments.

Good for you for taking a break!

Jen said...

I totally get that, but FB also helps me know who to avoid :)

Jody said...

I hear ya on the Facebook addiction! I check it multiple times every day!!! The last commentor made a good point about knowing who to avoid! That made me laugh - too true...

Kathy and Carl said...

Yeah, I don't want to hear about people and their sickness either. Sheesh. And I have to admit, I've un-friended people who didn't have the consideration on sharing pretty important things with me personally, instead just putting it up for the whole world to see. Kind of blunt, but I'm not into finding out about people's lives JUST through facebook.

Enjoy the hiatus and Merry Christmas!!

pam d said...

I'm continually amazed at what people "over-share" through FB. The other day I saw a husband and wife (someone I knew casually from high school) having a fight through FB. They were making some really nasty comments to each other in their statuses, and everyone could read them! I couldn't believe it. The same person also "shared" that all of her children were accidents. Does the world really need to know that??

Jamie said...

Loved this post Andrea! I feel the same way about facebook. It can be such a downer reading about everyone's sicknesses and other negative happenings. I've thought many times that I just can't take it anymore! But the good parts of it still overrule that and I've been trying to just tune out those negative ones (and there are certain people who are much more prone to negative statuses than others!) I guess sometimes we gotta take the bad if we want the good! But I like your approach; taking a break and cutting some friends.