Opinion

Regarding Facebook: It’s not when but why

I recently read how being on Facebook is detrimental to your health.

I’m sure it is as when you indulge in time sucks of the variety that Facebook is, there is no denying that a large part of the experience ends up bringing you down.

Sure, it’s a great way to keep in touch and that’s a plus. But for me, too much checking my not-much-of-a-news feed and/or looking for something to like, for the most part ends up leaving me feeling empty. And everyone who knows me understands I prefer a peaceful, easy feeling to an empty one.

I never have a sense of accomplishment after I get off Facebook. It’s not like fixing the ice-maker on the refrigerator, where after you spend the better part of an hour and a half contorting your arms, hands and fingers in places they’re not really meant to be, you actually complete the task and again have ice cubes (instead of only crushed ice (or no ice at all)).

Doing something on your own like a household appliance repair and saving hundreds of dollars on a service call is a feeling that can only be described by someone who’s done it. And I wouldn’t have found the time if I hadn’t put aside everything else and allocated time to the task.

Think about how much time we spend on social media. We never plan on being on it for long or checking it as much as we do throughout the course of a day. But, when you add up all the few minutes here and there that you check, you might easily draw the conclusion it’s taking up quite a bit of your down time.

What to do?

You’re reading and thinking, well, this really isn’t news to me, that I know I should be out living my life and connecting with people more so in person than otherwise. You say social media is a way to initiate and maintain contact, but you’ve come to agree the bulk of that contact is not in person.

The problem really can be minimized by deleting the presence of social media on one of the most ubiquitous devices in each of our lives: our smart phones. Referring to our phones as smart is something of a misnomer as again, overuse of them relegates us to the status of actually being dumb.

Pre-iPhone and Android, we used our computers to do things online. Yes, we were becoming addicted to that when our addiction was extended and made easier by our phones and all the great Apps on them.

Since I can’t write on my phone and do that on computers, I’ve decided to undergo yet another technology-related experiment, this time, regarding the intrusiveness of the smart phone in our lives. Of course, we need it, but we don’t need it to check Facebook as much as we do.

Effective immediately I’ve pulled the Facebook App along with Messenger from my Android phone. It’s not like I can’t check Facebook or receive instant messages. Facebook was fun and convenient on my phone, but I’ve never been much of a texter or Instant Message kind of guy, so being notified of an IM via email used to be OK by me.

I wonder when and why it didn’t suffice? Probably because Facebook nagged me to get Messenger to the point that I succumbed to it. That was a mistake.

I’ll still enjoy Facebook as I can access it on my computer. But, I suspect I won’t miss Messenger as again, receiving IMs via email notifications will be just fine.

I can just pick up the phone and call someone, too. I know, who does that any more.

Strangely, though, I suddenly feel better not having Facebook or Messenger on my phone. Also, and it may just be temporary, but I’ve noticed the phone seems snappier accessing other Apps. Could Facebook and Messenger have been draining precious CPU cycles and slowing down the phone? Nah, that couldn’t possibly be the (perceived?) difference in speed.

Call me crazy, but I’m just going to go with this for a while and see what happens. After all, most of my life with phones before the Smart variety and the social media Apps contained therein, wasn’t so bad.

Having known a life without Smart phones and their social media Apps makes it easier to drop social media Apps cold turkey—just as with any bad habit.

So, the question becomes not when but why should I return to the likes of Facebook and Messenger on my phone? I’m not convinced they’ll ever be a good enough reason.

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Categories: Opinion

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