Deleting Facebook was not a reaction to privacy concerns. The decision was catalyzed because I am applying to jobs and don’t want my personal life exposed. Not that I have a lot to hide, but you know what I mean. However, the decision is also a product of a realization and honest reflection about the negative ways in which I use Facebook.
The difficulty is finding a balance between having an online presence, keeping in touch with far-away friends scattered around the world, and not getting sucked into the negative aspects of Facebook – that is, the time wasted refreshing my news feed, not being present in real face-to-face interactions, and border-line obsessing about keeping up on people’s activities.
I think it is foolish to ignore the virtual world; it is a fact that this dimension of the world is part of our living experience. It is up to the individual to use the virtual world in a way that is productive – for discovering new information, for expressing oneself creatively, for the enjoyment of funny videos and connecting with others. Additionally, as someone who wants to work as a developer and in general is fascinated by technology, I need and want to be up-to-date on the tech-world.
Facebook is the easiest way to do this. But I want to do this without Facebook! It’s not that I want to refute Facebook because that in and of itself is a statement – it’s that the negative aspects that come along with maintaining a Facebook, to me, don’t outweigh the convenience it provides. I am too weak to resist the temptations of wasting time on it. Of getting sucked into the popularity contests of posting an interesting picture, a quippy status, or self-involvement of wanting others to know what and how I am doing in life.
To build an online presence, this is what I want – a personal website where I link news articles, music, pictures. I want it to be available for people to see – but I don’t want it to be aggressively promoted the way Facebook promotes happenings on a news feed. I want it to be there because even for my own personal growth, I like to keep a journal to see my progression and evolution. I don’t want every post to be judged/liked – I want it to be something that gradually builds over time.
However in terms of being able to keep up with friends – I don’t know how to do this well without a Facebook. Instagram, Twitter, etc – perhaps? The answer truly seems obvious, though. To keep in touch, you must revert to the old-fashioned methods of making a phone call, or sending an email – more personalized communication. The fact of the matter is that these fall to the wayside. At the end of the day, though, this makes them more important and validates connections. To truly be connected to someone you need to personally reach out.
This is my mission.