Note: Boring, mumbling blah-blah post ahead
I remember that prior to getting my first iPhone, life was easier. Friendships were simpler to manage. Shortly after E was born, the Husband bought me a smart phone. An iPhone 3GS, I still remember. From Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Whatsapp, they were addictive. I found myself looking at my phone more often than I would like to. Now that my job requires me to check on my phone consistently, I find it even harder to put it down when the kids are around. I don’t want them to think that my phone is more important than them. To prevent precedence in such habit among my kids, we try our very best to keep our phones away when they are around. Try only, okay? Still trying.
Over the years, I’ve grown a love-hate relationship with social media platforms, especially FB. While I appreciate its timeliness and capabilities in keeping me up-to-date with my friends’ news and happenings, I also find that it can be an unnecessary ground for misunderstandings.
Unlike last time – when you like a person, you keep in touch. You don’t get along with the person, you gradually fall apart and move on. That’s it. But with FB, deleting or blocking is a feature that needs to be used with caution. I’ve been blocked and removed by others (yes it hurts but let’s respect the person’s choice), and I have also done the blocking and removing before. My reasons are simple – FB is my personal page, I share lots of private information/photos with people that matter to me and I strive to keep the space as positive and happy as possible. If I feel that this one person harbours lots of negative energy, holds unhealthy intentions or lacks trustworthiness and integrity, I will have no qualms about getting the individual off my list. Okay, I have also removed people whom have been in my list for years but never once said hi to each other or those whom I felt were congesting my newsfeed page with too constant, irrelevant updates. I just want to keep my space light and positive. And that’s why the total number of my FB friends remains within the same range throughout the years. I choose quality.
What do I love about FB?
- It’s an amazing platform for businesses. How else can we reach thousands of relevant people through one platform, quickly and efficiently?
- It’s great for organising events. No more ding-dong emails, scavenger hunt for contacts, sorting out guest list (and typing in one-by-one) and endless RSVP follow-ups. Everything goes into one page.
- It’s wonderful to be kept posted about my friends’ developments. Someone just got married…congratulations! Someone had a baby…welcome to the club! Someone needs help…how can I help? Someone just went for a great trip…tell me more!
- It’s perfect for information sharing and finding. There are some things Google just can’t tell you. Like finding a play buddy who shares the same passion as your child’s through a mums group. Or where to find the best and cheapest item in a certain area.
- It’s my go-to platform for the latest, a la minute news. I rarely read physical newspapers these days. Internet is much faster.
What I loathe about FB?
- It’s a battle ground for desktop warriors. People who talk but don’t act. People who bash others behind the screen. People who cultivate hatred and anger through gossips, mindless sharings and hurtful remarks.
- It’s a place where one gets misunderstood easily. What’s said face-to-face and what’s read from the screen can sound VERY different. A good intention can turn into a bad one if the recipient wakes up on the wrong side on the bed and decides that the whole world is against him.
- It’s a platform that doesn’t allow me to move on from people I no longer want to be in touch with anymore. People with malicious thoughts, people who hurt others to make themselves feel more superior and people who will not move a single inch to care or help when you’re in trouble. Because removing or blocking these people will most likely cause an uproar. At the same time, I want to protect myself from negativity yet I’m stuck. Where do we draw the line and how?If there’s something important I learned about friendships lately, it’s about associating myself with people I admire, respect and project a healthy, positive energy. People who share the same values and reflect happy, genuine vibes.
There were many times when I was tempted to freeze my FB account and go back to the times when life involves face-to-face interaction. The simpler method of reading uneasiness through spoken words and body language. I don’t think I will ever have the courage to delete FB for good though because there are way too many photos, past thoughts, information and friends in there. Things I just can’t move away from so easily. That’s why I prefer Instagram, blogs and Pinterest. A more controlled environment with fewer chances of conflicts. Lots of information, knowledge and wisdom. The real benefit of Internet and social media.
Like everything else, it’s all about striking a balance. I have yet to find that balance in FB and would appreciate wisdom of any kind.
What about you? Do you love or loathe FB?