Sunday, November 4, 2012

Do the approaching holidays make you miss (a)social networking?



So, you recently left Facebook, but the urge to go back is too great.  Perhaps you really feel that you are missing out on something.  Maybe with the holidays approaching you feel left out?  Maybe you are wondering what all your old friends are doing for Christmas?  Is Auntie K still making that pot pie she always makes around Thanksgiving?  What did Little John dress up as for Halloween?  Did Uncle Mike finally bite the dust?  These are the kinds of questions that you may be wanting to find an answer for.  And you feel if you just reactivate that Facebook account everything will be wonderful.  Maybe you already have.  Maybe you reactivated it for a few minutes to sneak a peek at everyone before deactivating it all over again.  Perhaps you feel dirty for this.  There's many different possibilities, but no matter what, you may start to think that if there is a time to go back to Facebook, now is the time.

I am offering a contrary view.  Of all times to go back to Facebook and other (a)social media sites, this is the worst time of year.  Why?  Because the holidays are often seen as prime time to compete with one another.  Whose tree is the biggest and brightest?  Whose kids are getting the best gifts?  Whose going where for Christmas?  What grades did so-in-so get last semester?  If any time of the year is a brag fest, it's the holidays.  And where do people do most of their bragging?  Let me give you some time to think about it.  Answer: Facebook.

It seems that more people are spread out now a days than ever before.  A weak economy has made it so people have to often relocate in order to find a job.  Further, many people are going off to college.  Others are scattered across the country and the world due to war.  We may think that Facebook is the de facto way to get in contact with our friends and families who we miss so bad.  We crave their presence more than ever as the holiday season approaches.

Don't give in!  Other than the incessant bragging that Facebook is known for, there are other reasons to not go back.  Spending hours on the internet, on sites like Facebook is not going to do anything for your bodily figure.  I noticed once I gave up Facebook, my time on the internet as a whole went down.  Once I gave it up I found that I was more focused on losing weight, improving my body image, and being active.  The truth is, if you are sitting on Facebook all day, you are probably not engaged in healthy activities.  Newsflash: being online for hours on end is not healthy.  Not only does the body suffer, but the mind does as well.  Sites like Facebook are mental sludge.  You think that by sharing your life with everyone you are getting ahead in the world.  But once you turn off the computer and make your way to bed you realize that you were just living a lie.  And if there is a time to be truthful to yourself, it's around the holidays. 

Many people make New Years resolutions.  They figure that they can be naughty during the holiday season.  There is nothing naughtier than wasting your life.  And it is your life that you will be wasting if you drown yourself in the vile sludge that is Facebook.  Why not get a head start on New Years?  Why not be primed to start the year far ahead of your "Facebook competition?"  While they are fighting over the presidential election and telling the world how much they love/hate Obama/Romney, why not put your efforts into improving your own life.  Why spend the holiday season engaged in the petty squabbles that are imminent when using Facebook and instead free yourself from the shackles of (a)social networking?  Let me make it clear to you right now, you are not missing anything by not being on Facebook.  You are a better person for not being involved in that.  Why destroy yourself.  Why wake up feeling that you have to sign on to Facebook?  Do you really need to know what others are doing, or do you want to improve your own life? 

I am not saying ignore your family and friends.  By all means, being connected around the holidays is not a bad thing.  The truth is, family members would probably appreciate a phone call or a letter or e-mail far more than a comment on their Facebook accounts.  Further, not everyone has Facebook.  Many people feel left out around the holidays because they opted to improve their life and get rid of their accounts.  They should not be punished for making the wise choice of eschewing an addictive website.  Visiting around the holidays is real meaningful human interaction that can not be duplicated on the internet.  A Christmas card is worth far more than poking someone on Facebook.  If you want to really involve your family in your life and show them you love them, there are plenty of "good old fashioned" ways in which you can do just that. 

This Christmas, give yourself the ULTIMATE Christmas present.  Deactivate your Facebook account and NEVER look back.  When your family and friends ask where you went (if they even notice you left -- and they may not), you can point them to this website and tell them that you are improving your life and your future is looking bright - because it's a future free from Facebook. 

2 comments:

  1. I'm from S'pore, a country with higher FB penetration rates & addiction than America. I suppose the pressure of not having a FB acct here is higher. People think i'm a weirdo, old fashion or have something to hide since i don't have personal FB acct.

    Singaporeans spend the most time on Facebook per session

    Since i don't have a personal FB account, i rely on email for overseas correspondence. For locals is the sms.

    I find that email interaction more meaningful due to longer detailed writeups compared to the 1-liners & like, like, like on FB.

    As a blogger like u, my time is tied up on blogging & real life instead of FB.

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  2. I logged onto facebook a few hours ago after not being on the site in over 3 months. I logged on so that I could manually delete every single friend, wall posting, private message, network and like. I also cleared out my browsing history afterwards.

    Surprisingly I felt absolutely nothing when looking at these people's profile pictures. I systematically deleted everything without a second thought, something that would have been unthinkable three months ago.

    After deleting everyone and everything, I opted to have my profile deleted instead of deactivated.

    I feel that it will be a good new year. A new year with a clean slate. People from my past can stay in the past where they belong. If they wish to contact me (which none have in the last three months,) they can e-mail or call me.

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