His Facebook demise wasn’t sudden or without warning. He gave all his friends a heads up a few days ago that he’d be signing off. Something about “mountains being made out of molehills.” Don’t know what he meant exactly, but he sounded a little bitter.
We’ve all heard the complaints: Facebook is just a place to brag, to “overshare,” to bully. And, of course, there’s the constant, pervading complaint that it’s a waste of time. I’ve been known to register a few complaints myself. But here’s what I’ve learned about Facebook or any form of social media: It’s a tool to use however I want. In fact, for me, it’s one of the few areas of my life where I feel—for the most part—in control.
For instance, I can pick my friends. Well, the ones that subscribe to Facebook. And I have quite a variety. They run the gamut from left-wing liberals to far-right conservatives. From twenty-somethings to grandparents. From close relatives to people I know only through Facebook. I even follow a couple of authors I like, although I avoid any fanatical following of the rich and famous...or the rich and ridiculous.
|Best device I've found for |
managing Facebook. Inexpensive,
lightweight, and (hopefully) I'll never lose it.
Facebook provides all sorts of ways to manage friends so that I can choose which ones I want to keep up with most. But what I’ve found most effective in managing time and friends is...wait for this...my finger. Yes, that little non-tech device that is with me wherever I go has enabled me to not only survive Facebook but to enjoy it.
First, if I don’t have time for Facebook, I don’t click on it. What a concept! But if I do have some downtime, I enjoy scrolling through a few posts, catching up on what friends and family are doing, viewing pictures. That’s another way my finger comes in handy—scrolling. I generally glance at the recent posts on the news feed, pausing to read the ones I find interesting, and scrolling past the ads, most of the links, and posts of the 150 cute things someone’s kid or pet has done THAT DAY. If you happen to enjoy cute things that kids and pets do, great! That’s the beauty of Facebook. You can pause and read and even comment...or you can keep on scrollin’.
Same thing goes for posts I’m pretty sure are going to irritate me. I scroll right past. I’m all for people expressing their opinions. I just don’t feel the need to read them. And I sure don’t feel the need to respond to them. Occasionally, I’ll hit “like” if I agree with a particular stance, but, in general, I prefer my political discussions to be in person. But, hey, if a heated Facebook argument is your idea of fun—or if you feel strongly led to publicly state your opinion—go for it. Just don’t get your feelings hurt when people feel equally led to disagree. Or drop you as a friend. As for me, I get enough political angst from watching TV news without getting embroiled in a Facebook debate.
And speaking of TV, it comes with an “Off” button. That’s another place you can put your finger to effective use.