Friday, December 21, 2012

We are told: "You Need Facebook"

Facebook is seen by many as a necessity of modern life.  We are told, "it is important to be connected," or that "you have to have a Facebook account."  We are asked about our (a)social network connections as if we are expected to automatically be connected.  If we are not, we are questioned, being asked, "why don't you have a Facebook account?"

Perhaps this is due to the extrovert-centric world we live in.  I still constantly hear family members talk about what they posted on Facebook or what someone else said.  The reason I left Facebook was partly because I didn't care to hear this constant barrage of noise.  Yet, I am still given people's status updates even though I am not on the site any longer.  People feel that I should still somehow know what's going on.   They feel that I should hear what has been posted on Facebook.  They seem to think that it is as if I want these status updates.  As if I somehow need these status updates. 

I still hear how certain family members have posted pictures on Facebook and that it's "too bad I can't look at them."  It is too bad.   Not that I am not on Facebook, but that others feel that there is no need to share things with people who are not on Facebook.  It is almost as if people who are not on Facebook are somehow being punished for not creating and maintaining an account.   We are told, in essence, that "if you are not on Facebook, then you can not know about my life."  I did not leave Facebook because I don't care about people.  I left Facebook because I was sick of the "noise."  I got sick of the constant barrage of stupidity that I saw on that site.  I got sick of the time I spent using the site.  I got sick of how I felt after I logged off.  Not because I was jealous of others.  No, because I could not believe the things that many would say.  That I could not believe that I opted to use (a)social networking instead of improving my life.  Like the woman in the video above, I felt like a used towel once I logged off Facebook.  No person should have to feel like a used towel, ever.

I have noticed that some do not seem to care about improving their life.  Life, to many, is showing off how "social" one can be.  But is that what life is all about?  What is gained by spending so much time on a website showing the world that you are "social?"  Is it that important to thrust one's self out to the rest of the world?  Is it that important to put your entire life on stage?  Do you really need all your friends to know where you checked into via FourSquare?  Do you really need all your friends to know what your food looked like?  Do you really need the world to know what building you are in?

There is a lot of talk about the end of the world happening today.  I am sure that's another hot topic of Facebook, and one that I am glad I don't have to see.  It seems to me that these kinds of topics are just a waste of time.  The world will still be around after today ends, yet millions of people will have wasted countless amounts of time discussing the possibility that it will end.  It all comes down to more time wasted on Facebook.

Does it matter how a person spends ones time?  Who am I to say how a person should spend their free time?  One could argue that it is in fact none of my business.  To be honest, it is not.  However, many people could benefit from stopping for a moment and reflecting on how much time they pour into Facebook and other (a)social network sites.  There is a serious problem when families stop interacting with each other off the internet, when people begin to trade the outside world for that which is happening on their cell phone, and when people feel that everybody should join these sites.  A person only has so long to live.  I ask: when you look back on your life, are you going to be happy with how you spent it?  We have the whole world around us to enjoy.  Why spend life glued to a small device?  Why spend so much time on a website that gives back little of substance? 

If you are on Facebook because of the mistaken belief that it is a necessity, you may want to rethink your choice.  Facebook is only seen as a necessity because it is advertised that way.  Facebook exists to make money.  In order to make money, Facebook must have many people addicted to the site.  (Another recent study has shown that Facebook is addictive)[1].  Without those people, Facebook ceases to exist.  The world will still go on.  Just as the world will go on tomorrow.  Your world doesn't have to end with Facebook.  It's your choice.


[1] University of Bergen, Facebook Addiction Study


  1. >>>Why spend so much time on a website that gives back little of substance?

    FB can be compared to junk food- addictive & gives little nutrition. As if being a couch potato glued to the tv is not enough, there's FB to tune in to during commercial time.

    FB users are consuming 'junk food' compared to reading a good book. Small amounts are ok but too much is unhealthy.

  2. Facebook (or as I like to call it, Fecesbook) is designed in such a way that it creates drama. It turns people from all walks of life into whiny teenage drama queens. The result is a shallow cesspool, a mile wide and an inch deep.

    I wander in to Facebook sometimes because so many people I know are there, but inevitably go back out because people act so stupidly there.

  3. I was that guy awhile back. Look how sad I was! Glad I woke up. And note, a lot of killers brag on FB and Twitter on who they have killed. Anyone is on FB. Why keep up with ex's you dated? They are ex's for a reason. I have heard everything he said from others before. Trying to justify the necessity of having a FB. How sad.