22 February 2013

Anti-Social Media

Facebook - it's a funny thing.

I held off for so long before getting an account, but since then I've been able to keep in contact with so many lovely people - close friends I see in real life often like Justamum, distant friends I've only met through blogging like Sue Ellen, Penny and Tracy, and people from my past with whom I'd been sad to have fallen out of contact, like Jannine, and 134 other lovely people who I am proud to call my friends.  One of my biggest regrets was that each time I added a new friend, I didn't do a little status about who they were, how I met them and how special they are to me, just to introduce them to my other friends.

So what happened?  I found that I just wasn't posting anything - I had a birthday, did a Horror Kids Ministry injury, my children went off to Year 3, Year 1 and kindy and my baby remains adorable, but none of it made it onto my Facebook wall.  Mr de Elba and I have so much fun watching Buzz, Jessie and Woody riding their bikes in our cul-de-sac and I could easily post pictures of that, or at the very least, of our food.

But I just didn't.  I assumed that all my friends were less interested in my trivia than I was in theirs and I let Facebook get one-sided.  Then one day I was tagged in a friend's post and was treated to the ensuing discussion on a matter close to my heart between my friend's friends and it kind of consumed me.  These people needed to be set straight!  They were arguing a completely untenable position and if only they could see the light, their life, my life and the lives of thousands of others would be turned around!  (Pfft.  Changing the minds of ignorant Friends-of-Friends on social media?!)

I had trouble crafting a reply.  Then I turned to the expert in knowing about social media while not actually using it: Mr de Elba.

"How does this Facebook thing WORK?!" I raged.  "Do those blessed with ignorance and arrogance just mouth off on Facebook and fill the Internet with stupidity, while those of us afflicted with intelligence and wisdom quietly sit by, not entering the fray, leaving the stupidity hanging in the air?"

"Yeah, that's about it," he said.

"Well that's impossible!  I can't have any piece of this nonsense," I huffed.  And I deactivated my account.

That was about a fortnight ago, and since then I've been surprised at how many more hours God has put in a day for our enjoyment.  Did you notice He has done that in the last fortnight?

I decided to use some of those extra hours doing some phonics with my kids at home.  I am seeing the results of "learning" to read and spell in a phonics-poor environment and I am feeling more and more guilty for not stepping in two years ago and questioning the whole-language approach that their school is using.  I hope I am turning things around one phonics principle at a time.

But here's a conundrum.  With my Facebook-free time, I've also been clearing out the laundry and the play room.  They now look so clean and clear and wonderful that societal pressure tells me I should be taking a photo and putting it on Facebook - "Look what I've done!  Cleaned my house!"  I'm sure I'd easily get at least 15 Likes and 7 comments all saying "".  But I can't do that on a deactivated account, so I'll clean something else instead.  I believe that if you clean something and don't announce it on Facebook, it is still clean?

I'm missing the communication with my friends and I'll certainly reactivate my account one day, but at least for now, I'm going to plough on with phonics (I suspect it would be easier to plow on with phonics if we were American) and keep on cleaning.


Heather said...

It would be plow, and I miss you on FB. Just sayin'.....

Tracy P. said...

Meh, I cleaned last week. This week I'm back on Facebook. ;-)

You definitely should not let Facebook make you mad. It's a good place to toss another point of view out there, and actually a good place for productive dialogue in the right places, but one has to resist the urge to get sucked into being run over by a freight train. I'm not one to do that. Much. I do have really bright friends with a wide variety of perspectives, so I learn a lot from them. I have the luxury of time for that, at the moment, though.

Dawn Castor said...

Facebook is a conundrum along with a blog. It's great to catch up with friends and learn things about people--sometimes things you probably didn't need to know. But it's sometimes voyeuristic. And usually narcissistic. How many people liked my post? But I still like it a lot!!

Andi said...

I'm thinking I should deactivate facebook and give up the blog and just sit and write a real journal with all of the ridiculousness I would tell random strangers...Who may give me accolades or rip me to shreds...

But then last night I stumbled on a friend commenting on working on her son's science project...And found out the teacher had forgotten to give my daughter a paper about it when she missed a day of school. But we were able to do it anyway, thanks to facebook!

It has lots of good...But lots of ugly too.

Givinya De Elba said...

Aw, you guys. Hearing from you all makes me want to re-activate (which I will! One day!) You are so right, and because I have such a lovely list of Friends, Facebook has been a great experience. If I (a) didn't listen to Friends-of-Friends and (b) spent a teensy bit less time on it, I wouldn't have deactivated. When I re-activate, I'll be stern with myself.

Long dark hair, blue eyes said...

I do hope you don't let the silly friend of a friend put you off Facebook! It really can be a nice way of catching up with people.

And in case you need an incentive to reactivate in the next little while..... my baby is due on Thursday :) but of course it could happen anytime (or not for a few weeks) and photos will be forthcoming. Because you haven't really had a baby until you have facebooked about it ;)

gartcott aka Penny Hannah said...

I'm glad you wrote all that Kate, it puts things in perspective. My life would be infinitely poorer without social media, but I fully understand your dilemma.

I wonder if you had all your 'privacy' settings in place? I have 'unfriended' people who annoy me,or who post inane comments all the time and limited anything I post to just friends. My pictures of where I live are open to the world, not because I want hordes of people cluttering up our beautiful glen, but because I want to show my Australian friends and family why I chose to live here - the husband may have had something to do with that initially! AND only yesterday, I found a long-lost cousin of whom I have several thousand.I hope you rejoin sometime.....

Crazy Sister said...

LIKE! LIKE! Ha ha, stay off it! Join the conscientious objecters!

Tonight, Google told me that my blog had disappeared. And I said, "Oh well. Fiddle dee dee. More time for me."

But it's back again. And I said, "Oh. Well... hooray?"

You raised an interesting point, RE if something momentous happens, but it isn't posted on the net, did it really happen? Tree falling in the woods. And all that.

Givinya De Elba said...

Stop the presses! Long Dark Hair Blue Eyes has presented me with the best reason yet to reactivate. I guess I'll be seeing you all soon! But not you, Crazy Sister, you continue your conscious objection. I'll see you next time ... next time we're in your town. Or when I pluck a goose to get a quill to send a missive to you via donkey.

Givinya De Elba said...

Hey Penny, I've got my account locked down for maximum privacy, I only saw this silly discussion because I was tagged in the post on my Real Friend's wall. I could have untagged but I just kept coming back to read - it was like watching an intellectual disaster unfolding. Couldn't look away!

flask said...

i have no idea why you'd deactivate facebook.

without it, how will you be the first to know if you friend's cousin's neighbor had a baby?

how will you get all your personal validation?

how will you make sure everyone in the world can tag and stalk you?

don't you NEED facebook?

aren't you worried you're missing something IMPORTANT?

you will be left out! life will pass you by! you will not know what people you once met had for lunch!

don't you feel inadequate?

Selena said...

I'd love to hear more about the "learning to read" things you're doing at home - please share!

Sue Ellen said...

I'm finding myself on fb less and less these days. Mostly I've been using it to chat with a friend, but we've both switched to SMS and email for that. I don't think I'll deactivate my account but I've definitely noticed a difference lately in how I use fb. Interesting. And I'm glad to realise you deactivated and didn't just unfriend me. Not that I'm paranoid. ;)

The Accidental Housewife said...

But I miss you! I noticed you had been awfully quiet, then I went looking for you today to tag you and post a news article to your wall and you were gone like popcorn at the movies. I do respect your decision, though,and considered making it myself several times.

Givinya De Elba said...

Oh flask, you make me LOL! Lovely to hear from you again, old friend!

Selena, I could show you what I'm doing - it *is* my job though so if it seems like a bit of overkill for the homework corner, just know that I made up the resources for work, and am just doing an experiment on my kids at home. IT LOOKS a bit over-the-top, to be honest!

Sue Ellen, as IF I'd unfriend you my dear friend! I haven't even unfriended truly terrible people! I've never unfriended anyone, I just don't receive their feeds and I make sure they don't get mine, heh heh.

Mrs A Housewife, I've missed you too! My husband is great at having a FB account and never checking it, but for me, unless I deactivated, I'd check it a few times a day ... even if there's nothing much on there, it needs to be read! My bad!

Love to you all!

Sue Ellen said...

You've inspired me. I just deactivated my account. I'm estimating I'll last about 7 hours before cracking... and they'll be the 7 hours I'm asleep tonight. ;)

singlemumof1 said...

I know I'm a bit tardy to this party but I lost my internet for several months so I have had an unintentional break from both all social medias and my blogging friends. And to be perfectly honest, I missed the blogs more than I missed Facebook.

Givinya De Elba said...

Caitlin wrote this comment, but I accidentally deleted it so I've cut-n-pasted it from email to here:

Oh. Should have read this post before I wrote my last comment.

Plus, I'm showing what a bad friend I've been by not reading your blog in such a long time. Take heart. I haven't been reading anyone's blog or writing in my own for about a month. But as for facebook. Totally have not neglected it at all. It is true that I am addicted. I wish I could back off, I don't think I could just deactivate it, but yes, it's so true that social media interferes with real time. It also interferes with bedtime. Which is where I should be right now. Hope to see you again soon!