Today I want to tell you about my Facebook dilemma. It’s a dilemma I’ve had for a very long time and a dilemma I’ve thougth of writing about here on my blog for some months. Finally I’m doing it. The first time I ever tried out using Facebook was in 2008. I didn’t use it for long for private reasons. After having a Facebook account for just around two weeks, I deleted it. This little period didn’t give me many experiences with Facebook, but it was enough to make me realize that there could be both positive and negative consequenses of using Facebook. For instance, I found it very exciting to find accounts of a crowd of people that I knew and have a look at their Facebook profiles and also photos of some of them, but at the same time I suffered from “time loss” or what you can call delays, because I often got very much caught up in Facebook and forgot about time and place the first times I tried out using the so called social media site.
In 2010, I decided to try out Facebook again, and this time I kept on using it. Many times I enjoyed using Facebook, and I can still enjoy it, but from early on since I started using it in 2010, I’ve felt that I’ve lived with a dilemma that I’ve found has been hard to live with. On one side I’ve seen many benefits and positive sides of using Facebook and have for instance enjoyed being able to stay in touch with people living far away from where I live and been able to encourage and show care for people through my comments, greetings and messages. I’ve tried to focus mainly on writing positive things when I’ve written status updates, and I’ve tried to encourage people and to give many good words to people, for instance when I,ve written birthday greetings to different Facebook friends. On the other side, however, I’ve been well aware of things about Facebook that I haven’t liked, and I’ve gradually learned more and more about the dangers of using Facebook, and about negative consequenses there can be of using it.
The summer of 2012 was a time when I came across many interesting videos about Facebook on Youtube. Together with all the things I already didn’t like about Facebook because of what I had learned through different sources and from my own experiences, seeing a lot of videos about Facebook made me seriously consider cutting out Facebook and living without it. I almost cut it out, but I felt it was a bit hard to “leave” Facebook totally, and I also knew that I was going to move to the UK to study, and I thought it would be nice to be able to stay in touch with people in Norway through Facebook while living abroad, and in the end I decided to keep on using Facebook for another period.
When I had moved back to Norway in the summer of 2013, I had one more study year left before I was finished with my new education. I can’t remember thinking so much about the Facebook issue in the start, but I know it’s been a recurring topic in my life and that I’ve kept on thinking of perhaps cutting out Facebook many times since I had started using it actively in 2010. Then in the winter of 2014 I had a period of not using the internet for 7 days. I had planned on not using the internet at all for 10 days, but I ended up with changing my plan and going back to using the internet after 7 days for various reasons. However, I didn’t immediately log back on to my Facebook account, and I spent some time reading a lot about Facebook and also watching Youtube videos about Facebook again. When looking into the Facebook issue this time, I came across a website with lots of links about Facebook, and on this site there were many negative stories about bad things happening because of Facebook, stories about dangers and negative consequenses of using Facebook, examples of bad privacy settings in Facebook etc.
Yet again I started seriously considering cutting out Facebook and felt like doing it, and I thought about it for a while, and it took up a lot of space in my thoughts, and it felt like a big and difficult issue to deal with. I think it was much because there are benefits of using Facebook, and I’ve had many good experiences with Facebook, but I think I was also wondering how to do it if I was to delete my account when there are so many people among my Facebook friends that I’d like to be able to stay in touch with. Then I also had the “pressure” or hinder of knowing that my university class had it’s own page on Facebook where we could write messages to each other, and I didn’t feel like losing out on the things that were written there. Therefore I decided to wait with making my final Facebook decicion until I was finished being a student at the university. I thought I could deal with the Facebook issue during my summer holiday, and I just left the issue in a way. I didn’t spend much time on the issue after this until at one point in my summer holiday, but I did think about it now and then, and I was very aware of the fact that I was interested in cutting out Facebook.
This last summer, this year – 2014, I had some days where I again looked a lot into the Facebook issue. Uptil this point I had found a lot of Youtube videos that I had found interesting and good when I in between – since the summer of 2012 – had watched Youtube videos about Facebook. Now this summer there were even more videos about Facebook online, and this is one of those that I noticed for the first time in my summer holiday and that I really liked:
I agree in many points that the video maker, Matthias, in the video above maes in his video, and the fact that Facebook this summer added a feature where they can listen in on things you do and then let you post it on your Facebook wall, was something I think I had just heard about when I watched the video above for the first time. Anyway, I know I heard about it this summer, and I wasn’t keen on it, and there’s just been more and more news about Facebook that I’ve heard the last years that I haven’t liked.
Would you like to know some other examples of things that I don’t like about Facebook? I’ll give you some examples anyway:
– I don’t like that Facebook has kept on changing their privacy settings and how their site has looked and functioned over the years. The change in the looks hasn’t been the worst for me, but I would’ve preferred it if Facebook was a more stable platform where there wasn’t as many changes as there has been.
– I don’t like the fact that Facebook can watch all the things I do and read all the things I write when I’m using their site, and I don’t like they have done serious mistakes that has made private messages available for people that wasn’t meant to see them.
– I don’t like how I myself and probably many others have gradually gotten used to sharing a lot of private information about ourselves, when it’s not really what comes natural to do to many hundreds of people (and which often happens when you have hundreds of Facebook friends like I do).
– I don’t like that Facebook has become such a big part of the Western society and that it gets mixed into our every day lives in so many ways. To me it seems like it’s often taking too much space in people’s lives, and at least to me Facebook gets more focus than I often would like. One example is that nowadays some people want to publish updates and photos to their walls quite often, sometimes in the middle of a meal. I’ve done something similar myself, maybe not in the middle of a meal, but when I’ve been with others, and I’ve had many periods where I’ve posted updates daily or more than once a day. Lately I’ve not updated my Facebook wall that often, and I’ve gradually over a long time noticed how I don’t always like it when there’s a lot of social media use going on around me. When I have a meal or in other ways sozialice with others I would prefer to be able to do so without there being a big focus on social media in the situation and just enjoy having fellowship and talk with the people around me, looking at each other and not looking a lot down into a screen.
– I don’t like the fact that Facebook has experimented with their users without their concent. This is a fact I read about this summer and which made me very unhappy with Facebook as a company. They clearly had acted in an unethical way, and I felt I didn’t want to support them anymore. I’m totally against Facebook doing social experiments with their users without their prior concent. You can read about it here:
(You can also read on it on other pages, like at CNN’s pages, by searching for “Facebook social experiment” online.)
There are many other things I don’t like about Facebook or that I see as being negative consequenses, or possible negative consequenses, of using Facebook, and I also see many real dangers of using Facebook. Many people are probably aware of several of these dangers, like I have been for a long time as well, like the fact that when you write you’re going away somewhere on a holiday, there’s always a chance that this information ends up in the wrong place and that someone tries to rob your flat our house while you’re gone.
For now what I’ve mentioned as examples of what I don’t like about Facebook will have to do. Maybe I’ll tell you more examples of negative sides of Facebook and dangers of using this so called social media site. I write so called social media site, because to me it’s not really a social site. I see it as a place one can get connected to people, but it’s not a real way for being social with anyone. The only way to be really hundred percent social is to meet someone face to face. That’s something unique and something that Facebook never can replace. It’s also something I know I personally haven’t always used as much time on as I would like to do compared to how much time I’ve spent on using Facebook. I’m not proud to tell you, but there has probably been many times when the amount of time I’ve spent on using Facebook during an evening or a week, has been more than the amount of time I’ve spent on direct contact with others through the phone or through meeting them face to face.
I’m not saying that at times it can’t be good to be able to get connected to people on the internet, because I believe it can, and it can be a good supplement to other types of contact, especially if you’re in a life situation where it’s not so easy for you to meet up with people so often. It can also help people with Aspergers, like me, and others who sometimes find social situations difficult, to sometimes get in touch with people in written form, through for instance Facebook, emails or an internet forum. However, in my opinion the social contact that shold be the one we human beings should try to have the most of, most of the time, is a more direct form of social contact where we either speak with someone on Skype, call someone or meet someone face to face. The last form of contact is in my opinion the best one as we in this one can see each other, hear each other, and also touch each other. Nothing beats this last form of contact and can make you feel close to someone in a stronger way than the other ways of contact ever can, I believe.
The last months I’ve “cooled down” my use of Facebook and reduced the amount of updates coming from me on my Facebook wall. I’m still using Facebook, but the last months I haven’t spent as much time as I often have before on Facebook. I often used a lot of time there earlier, and I think I spend less time there in general now, but I still can feel that time flies when I’m spending time using Facebook, as I easily get caught up in what I’m reading and looking at and get interested in news from other people when I’m scrolling down the news feed on Facebook.
Well, now you might be wondering what my final decicion about Facebook was this summer and why I’ve kept on using Facebook also the last months when there’s so much I don’t like about it. If you do wonder about this, I can understand that, and in that case I hope you come back to my blog in a couple of days, as I then am planning on telling you some more about my thoughts on Facebook and also will be sharing about my final Facebook decicion.
Now it’s time to spend some minutes on different types on social contact, including some more minutes on Facebook, before I end my evening and go to bed.
Good night, everyone!