Warning this may not seem to have anything to do with yoga. And then again, if yoga is all about being present and aware of everything we do, and how we do it, and if we are trying to live on the eightfold path…. then this has everything to do with yoga.
Did you notice that I have not been on Facebook for a while? It’s true, sometime back in July, I decided to give a give Facebook a wide berth.
Perhaps it was due to spending some time with my friend Gail Hand, author of the recently published guidebook to Facebook entitled: Are You SURE You Want to Post That? This is a great little book, providing essential guidelines on what is appropriate to post on line.
Her book got me thinking about what I was posting on Facebook and why. I had begun to notice that Facebook had become a repository for self-marketing, self-aggrandizement, basic to-do lists and/or manifestations of discontent: “Buy my product, pat my back, I did so many errands today, I won X, or my work is killing me and politics are crazy.”
And before I knew it, I couldn’t think of a single reason to post anything to Facebook. I mean, did folks really want to see my pictures of summer hikes, my gorgeous children, or the 22 pounds of berries I picked and made into jam? Was it necessary for me to clog up the pages of Facebook with announcements of my upcoming classes and workshops. Or was anyone really interested in knowing where I went or reading my thoughts on reality, consciousness or esoteric musings on the nature of the planet?
And so I gave up Facebook. Didn’t even open that tab for close to two months. And I am sorry to say I didn’t miss it. Nope, no withdrawals symptoms here. Periodically it did cross my mind to anti-up and use the FB to do a bit of marketing (self-aggrandizement), but that seemed selfish, so I kept the tab closed. And then there were those moments when I wanted to know how my kids were doing, but that struck me as voyeuristic, so I picked up the phone and called them instead.
Did I save time? Probably, because once you check your status, and all your friends’ statuses and look at everyone’s pictures, an hour (or two) can easily pass you by. I did notice that the amount of time I spent in front of my computer screen decreased, which I think is a good thing. Did I miss reading everyone’s posts? Surprisingly, I did not. I don’t know if I missed anything really important, but the world seems to have gone on just fine without me. Did I feel better/more superior for not “doing” Facebook? Thankfully, No. Did anyone notice that I wasn’t posting or responding to post on FB? – I don’t know, and I kinda sorta doubt it.
So not only could I not find a reason to post, I also could not find a reason to read, scan, peruse, or sleuth about in the bowels of Facebook. The longer I stayed away, the harder it was to consider going back. But as you can see, this is all written in past tense, so go back, I must have.
It was at the beginning of this week. I don’t know how it happened. But somehow, the tab popped open and I stayed to look. The good news, the fantastic news, is that the first thing I saw was a lovely comment on the beauty of the planet, then an inspirational picture of my good friend and fellow yogi, followed by an announcement/invitation to a cause I really care about. Facebook showed me beauty, gave me inspiration and made me smile.
Unfortunately, I have yet to find a reason to contribute a post that would not fall into the category of bragging, marketing or kevetching. I still can’t answer the question “why post?” without the answer boiling down to “come see the cool things I am doing or thinking about” and that still sounds like showing off or bragging to me. But maybe that is ok.
In this busy busy world where computers and cell phones are a way of life, Facebook is now an important marketing tool and a social connector. Yes, it can be a vehicle for simply sharing the tedium of one’s life, or it can be a vehicle of inspiration and change. As with all things, the choice will be our own. And it will be up to each of us to answer the question: what am I posting and why does it matter?
I welcome your thoughts on this. How do you “use” Facebook? Why do you use Facebook? How much time do you spend on Facebook? And anything else you think is important to consider when choosing to go to or post to the big FB.
Have a great week
Shalom & Namaste,
I welcome everyone’s viewpoint on this: How has your experience of Facebook enriched or diminished your life?
What??? You’re not interested that “I’m enjoying a cup of hot chocolate mmmmmm….” ?
Our business has a page and it’s almost impossible to NOT have a facebook page for advertising but on my personal page I’m backing waaay off. I feel too exposed making comments and sometimes the banality of what I see on facebook makes me gag. it’s obvious that there are tons of traps built in to assist in marketing but I don’t want to broadcast what articles I’m reading, what music I just listened to, etc. Facebook was kind enough to alert me that a “friend” was ordering a pair of panties that hide camel toe. I’m sure she wasn’t looking to share that info but she must have neglected to check the proper box to keep that purchase private.
Otherwise I’ve been using facebook as an aggregate news site but am backing off of that, too. The surveillance issue is deeply disturbing.
I think have two facebook pages, one for business and one for personal is a good a idea, but then too it adds to the amount of time needed to stay up to date. I will now create a Facebppk page for KBY and see how that goes.
I wonder how Facebook will morph over time. As it was originally developed, it gave colleges kids a way to connect and check each other out. Being a generation older than that, I sometimes think we have sidelined FB for all together different purposes.
Thank you for your comment
Facebook is “one more thing to do, one more password, one more computer app” that takes away from spending time more intimately with people! To write a personal note to someone is much more satisfying to “cross off my to do list” than if it were a note on facebook.
I know, when was the last time you received a post card or letter, and wasn’t it wonderful. We all should start doing that.
Are you all seeing how folks are now getting together for coffee with their friends and their hand helds and spending most of their time with their faces to their screens?….
Way too easy to get sucked into the FB world (all those enticing photos, bits of information, etc. that get posted….). Like anything, it’s all about moderation. What I have valued are the nuggets of news that are worth knowing about or the people I’ve been able to re-connect with – that has value. Is FB life changing? No. Does it have its place in the world of information? Yes. However, there is still no substitute for real time with real people in real places….
Binka, I admit, I do like learning about my friends lives. And for those folks who live far away, FB is the only way I can stay in touch, and that is nice. I also like learning about what my friends are thinking about.
Of course I don’t have that many FB friends. What is it like for those who have many hundreds of FB friends? How much time does it take to stay up to date with them?