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Archive for April, 2010

As a self-proclaimed Facebook addict, I often hail the benefits of this rampant form of online social networking. I’ve “reunited” with friends from days past whose existence I might never have considered had I not spied them on Facebook.

I’ve come to a new knowledge and appreciation of distant family members and true friends who I would have been sad to lose track of.

I’ve had the privilege of digitally scrutinizing potential dates before it was ever necessary to say “no thanks.” And I’m sure others have done the same for me.

There’s nothing that a bit of discreet and careful investigation (aka, “Facebook stalking”) won’t tell you about someone’s character. And the best part is, they never have to know you know. And I never have to know they know.

Facebook can be an excellently non-confrontational way of recognizing or establishing your true relationship with acquaintances. For example, if you block me, I now know that you want to live your life blissfully unaware of my existence. If you friend request me, I’ll be pleasantly surprised and will like you better as a person.

And for Someone Like Me, being able to post on someone’s wall instead of calling them or seeing them in person is a godsend (hey, no one ever accused me of being friendly).

In short, I enjoy being a part of the phenomenon.

***

And yet, my relationship with Facebook has been one of love and hate. I check my page compulsively, hoping for a new notification and the validation that someone has responded to some digital representation of my life that I have chosen to make selectively public. I muse about things throughout my day and look forward to sharing them on Facebook when I get a chance. I browse through snapshots of an event and judge the photos by whether or not they seem Facebook worthy. I feel self-conscious if I update my status and no one “likes” it.

I marvel at the idea of such passively interactive communication. And sometimes I wonder at choices made, as far as what is chosen to be made public knowledge. And regardless of privacy settings and delete buttons, there really is a lack of control over what someone else may want to make known about you to 100-300+ of your friends and family.  It would seem that there is no determined etiquette as far as what is proper and what is inappropriate for Facebook.

I find myself musing on the merits and shortcomings of my favorite social networking site, but more often I find myself wasting time that doesn’t come easy to me these days. I may come out of an hour’s worth of Facebooking being able to recognize, on the spot, the face of the baby of a cousin of a hypothetical friend of a friend that I haven’t spoken to since 1997. But what, exactly, does that leave me with aside from an hour I can never regain? I get on for a quick check-up of my favorite people, and I inevitably get sucked into to this or that photo album of St. Patty’s Day antics, or a plethora of mildly amusing YouTube videos. 

The stuff is like candy and I’m on sugar overload every freaking time.

And as much as I enjoy repeatedly referring to myself in the third person, my creativity as of late has consisted solely of concocting the occasionally and moderately clever status update.

***

So every once in a while I take a break. Breaks keep me from sporadically inactivating my profile (which I’ve been known to do), or going on deletion sprees (which I’ve also been known to do), or becoming hypersensitive and publicly berating someone for posting something that I “think they should have thought through more thoroughly” (and again, that would be me).

Clearly, I have been putting way too much thought into this lately, which leads me to believe it is time for a break. It’s only a month that I’ve sworn to forego being connected to my little circle of 171 friends, but I have compiled a loooong list of things I would love to be able to do with my newfound time away from the enticingly Black Hole of Facebook. Granted, I doubt that I will get more than a few of these accomplished, what with school and work and such; but it is a step in the right direction, I think, to be excited about doing something other than stalking your mom on Facebook.

 April To Do:

~learn a new song on the piano

~grow something green and beautiful

~sit in a coffee house and type up a new blog

~take photos

~re-watch my faaaavorite movie

~decorate my new room

~make mix CDs for some of my favorite peoples

~gesso the duck (if you know what I mean)

~open an Etsy shop

~work on some new drawings

~finish an old drawing

~bake cookies

~write a love letter

~cook kielbasa stew and pierogies for someone special

~make presents

~explore someplace new

~get caught up in a book

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PS—I changed my mind.

For purposes of maintaining steady contact with certain very important people in my life that I think about on a daily basis but don’t get to see or talk to so often, I have decided to forego my decision to be absent from Facebook for a month. I’m confident that I will be able to limit myself and make time to feed my creative side. Look, I’ve started already!

Here’s to a healthy, balanced, and creatively connected April!

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