Is Facebook Really Worth It?

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I’m on Facebook, and I’m guessing you are, too. Who in the world isn’t?

In fact, I have a personal page and an author page, so I guess that makes me doubly on Facebook. (Let me plug my author page now– feel free to “like” me so we can connect on a more frequent basis!)

There are two schools of thought on Facebook: the “I hate Facebook” crowd who usually only post political rants, and the “I love Facebook and document my entire life on it” group. Oh wait– and a third group. The regular Joes like me. πŸ™‚ (And the fourth group– those not on Facebook. I think there are seven of you in the world.)

Facebook pros:

1. I’ve reconnected with people all over the world whom I haven’t seen in ages or who live too far away for me to chat with regularly, and it allows me to keep up with them and their families.

2. I enjoy some of the funny stuff and blogs that people post.

3. I like being able to post photos of my family for extended family members and interested friends to see.

4. Occasionally I see a post on Facebook that allows me to save money or take advantage of a special offer.

5. I love being able to connect with my favorite authors via Facebook.

6. I like to be able to get out important news quickly to all of my friends.

7. As a follower of Christ, I can use Facebook to encourage others.

Facebook cons:

1. It is a time vacuum. I jump on just to check and end up wasting precious moments. Perhaps that’s why I’m always behind on folding laundry.

2. I don’t enjoy reading about people’s sinuses. Why do people always feel the need to post about their sinuses?

3. I don’t like reading spoilers to my favorite TV shows in other people’s statuses. It’s not their fault that I haven’t watched that episode yet, but I don’t want to know who dies before I get a chance to see for myself.

4. I don’t like statuses that contain “ugh.” Pessimistic people begin or end each status with “ugh”. These people clearly do not eat enough chocolate.

5. I don’t love that people feel the need to post photos of everything they eat and every move they make. That’s what blogs are for. πŸ˜‰

6. Facebook is great at pointing out insecure people who are fishing for compliments or those who are incredibly selfish. I actually saw a post in my feed that was complaining about going to someone’s funeral as, “the last thing I want to do today.” Yeah, I bet that person’s family doesn’t want to be attending a funeral for their loved one, either. Thoughtless much?

Is Facebook worth the time we spend on it? Are we actually developing lasting relationships with those we claim as “friends”?

I think that in many cases the answer is yes. Facebook has allowed me to connect with people in my life in a way that wasn’t possible years ago. I consider it a blessing when I can be involved on a regular basis with people I love and care about.

But what about the other “friends”?

I have a rule of thumb when allowing friends on my personal Facebook page and it is this– if I saw you, say, in the grocery store and wouldn’t recognize you or have a conversation with you, we probably shouldn’t be Facebook friends.

If you post in your status that you might cut me as your friend as you “clean house”, well, just know that’s okay with me. I’d love to connect with you, but it’s your choice.

Have you ever caught yourself thinking about your life in terms of, “this is going to make a great status update!”?

I have. When my kids say something cute or something insanely funny happens, one of my first thoughts is, “I gotta post that!” How odd and silly! How much our lives have changed in the past decade! Proof that we might be too involved in social media.

Here’s my general take on Facebook–

Even if I only spend a few minutes on it, they shouldn’t be minutes that I could use on something more important, like time with my family. If I can’t post something either newsworthy, uplifting, funny, or encouraging, I try to refrain from posting at all. I don’t comment on statuses that upset me. What’s the point? And if this form of communicative technology allows me to be involved, even in a small way, with friends and family spread out all over the globe, then I consider it a blessing.

Share with me: What are your thoughts about Facebook? Waste of time or fun way to connect?

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12 Comments

Filed under Just For Fun

12 responses to “Is Facebook Really Worth It?

  1. Depends. There are a lot of good causes that get exposure on Facebook that they could never have hoped to achieve otherwise, and I’m delighted (and sometimes heartbroken) to see their updates.

    On a personal level, it’s a mixed bag. I’ve noticed that status updates take several forms:

    1) Those that are well-thought-out and informative without being egotistical (rare!)
    2) Those that are screaming Me! Me! Me! but are still personally written
    3) Those that are reposts from other sites’ collections of pithy sayings

    I enjoy the first, tolerate the second, and wish the third category would please go away.

    I wish we could go back to sending letters and postcards…but since Facebook is here to stay I guess I’ll just have to join the twentieth century.

    Oh, it’s 2013 already? Drat…

    • I have a friend who loves to send notes and cards via snail mail. I love receiving them! Always brings a smile to my face. And yes, she’s my Facebook friend, too! Inspired by her, I’ve been trying to randomly send a little note or card to someone on occasion.

  2. Lori D

    What an inspiring blog today. I have felt my “Facebook time” has been a bit much and you have helped me to rethink my own facebooking. I do like facebook to an extent. I have been able to reconnect with people that I knew and loved at a point in my life and then circumstances of lives made it impossible at that time to stay connected. I have five facebook friends that I met in my preschool class, several that I worked in previous jobs prior to moving from that city, and several from my husband’s past congregations. I am able to stay connected with those people and encourage and be encouraged by them. I don’t always post the most thought provoking or newsworthy updates (I do occassionally post about my sinuses – sorry) but there are times when depression rears its ugly head and I end up using facebook as my vehicle to reach anyone that will tell me I matter. I enjoy facebook, but often wish I had less status updates and more conversations with those people that I care about and love.

    • It’s okay that you post about your sinuses because you also take the time to post about things OTHER than your sinuses. πŸ™‚ There are a few of my Facebook friends who seem a little “sinus-obsessed.” LOL. Thank God for Facebook for helping us reconnect!! πŸ™‚

  3. Jenny, what a spot-on post! Great points!

    I love FB as a way to connect with friends and family, but I find I do have to limit myself because, as you indicated, it can be a time-stealer.

    I sooo agree…some statuses just leave me scratching my head. I don’t want to know about people’s personal body habits or be witness to rants. And…I will block or unfriend, on rare occasion, when someone continues to use nasty language or wants to argue just for the sake of arguing.

    I find I’m more intentional about my personal profile now than I was in the beginning, and if I’m not at least familiar in some way with folks, I steer them toward my author page.

    • I’ve done the same, Cynthia– steer people toward my author page. I’m pretty strict about who I let on my personal page just because I post photos and things of my kids. I’m happy to connect with anyone and everyone on my official author page!

  4. I can get sucked in, but for the most part–minus annoying or completely idiotic status updates (was that mean, it sounded mean), I enjoy it. I only pay attention to my news feed. If it doesn’t drop in my feed, I don’t stalk pages. So I think that’s to my benefit as far as time.

    I’ve made a lot of new friends, deepened friendships, and rekindled old ones. Overall, I’m a fan.

  5. I’m not on Facebook (surprise! I must be one of the 7…). Why? Well, number one, I’m not allowed. But I wouldn’t want to be anyway. Why? 1. I spend enough time on my email. Facebook would be a major distraction. 2. I just don’t feel like it would be “real” friendships. I mean…I would much rather have a nice chat face-to-face, over the phone, or even email. I dunno. I suppose Facebook seems not private enough. 3. Creepy stalkers creep me out. πŸ˜‰ 4. Like I said before, it’s a distraction. Not only from family, school, and other important things–but also a distraction from God. I know that there would be so many posts that I would come across that would simply not lead me to thinking about God. And that’s something I struggle with. Things that lead me away. 5. Most kids my age have Facebooks (I’m 15). They are constantly on their pages, updating, checking, blah blah blah. And when I’m having a conversation with someone it makes me incredibly nervous and awkward-feeling when someone (in the middle of me talking) texts or checks Facebook. That annoys me, therefore I have bad feelings toward Facebook. πŸ˜‰

    There are a few other reasons, but I won’t go into them. πŸ™‚

    • Sounds like you have some excellent reasons, Hannah, and I admire you for sticking to your convictions about it! And people who text or check their phones while in a conversation with someone are just rude. I don’t like that, either.

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