Are you over-sharing? Is Facebook a form of procrastination?
[Note: I’ve done a lot of Facebook contemplation since this post. But since I have to get on Facebook for a large portion of the work that I do, I’m stuck with the blue banner, the likes, shares, and comments. But I’ve cut my personal FB time to about 10% of what it was when I wrote this post.]
I’m addicted. I’m not 12-step addicted, but I have a hard time staying off Facebook for more than a few hours. You see, Facebook has become a communication system that is shared with several close friends. They like Facebook messaging better than email. So I pop in from time to time and see if they’ve responded to my requests, or questions, or offers. But it’s a problem.
That’s my social network scoring from #klout, but it’s also an indication of where I spend my time online. Do you know where you spend most of your socializing time? Do you tweet at people for communication, or is it marketing? Do certain people in your life use Facebook as their email? Is your email so overrun with spam and marketing messages that you avoid it, or scan it and delete stuff without even reading it? What’s your social media network profile?
Once before (Self-regulating Facebook: Going Snark Free) I made an effort to curtail my Facebook addiction. And today, I see that parts were successful and parts have ramped right back up to old over-share levels.
Two tactics I have used successfully in the past are re-channeling two types of shares to issues pages that I manage. One is my political activism page (attempting a dialogue about taking clicktivism to activism), and the second is my relationship page (divorce, dating, recovery, single parenting). But I let a few of these pieces overflow back onto my primary wall. And occasionally that process will continue, for example, I feel very strongly that the Texas Legislature is considering measures that would be devastating to women’s healthcare in Texas. So I’ve been reposting several of the posts from the last 24 hours of activism at the state capitol. But I try and make that an exception not a practice.
A few weeks ago, a very political FB friend put a call out post on my wall looking for a reaction. While I responded and we carried on a discussion via FB walls (a very interesting FB quality is the heat of political discourse) I later deleted the discussion and made a mental note to pull politics off my wall again. Why piss off the other side? Do I think I’m making an important stand? Do I think some FB logic or series of posts will change anyone’s opinion? No. But I do enjoy the debate. Mostly it turns into name calling, and that I can do without. Anyway, that belongs on my political page, not on my public wall.
Same thing with family matters or snarks about relationships. Not really needed on my wall.
So has Facebook become about #cats #dogs self promotion of business and random thoughts? For me, maybe it has.
It’s hard not to talk into the party-line and wait for a response from someone. It’s fun. It’s connective (in an isolated sort of way). And if you work in the virtual world, where there is no office, sometimes it provides the human connection with others, that does not interrupt your work or creative process. But it does provide that little “touch in” of connectivity.
What I know about myself is, the “E” in my Meyers Briggs assessment is very real. I recharge and get energy from being WITH people rather than being alone. So Facebook is a kind of extroversion that provides some connection without requiring a lot of effort. There’s no scheduling involved in writing my morning greeting, or sharing what I consider to be a hilarious cat/dog picture.
And for you, there is no risk in LIKING or even SHARING the post if you think it connects with something in your life.
Somehow, for me, Facebook has become a virtual Song of Myself. But I realize I’m putting too much of it into Facebook rather than my other creative pursuits. The song I want to sing is a bit more permanent than a post. And perhaps the time spent POSTING rather than CREATING is time lost.
I have an aspirational goal for my new Facebook activity:
- One primary greeting for the day, to serve as my “status” to the world of “friends.” (TODAY’S POST: #desire)
- Occasional check-ins to respond to interactions, and to answer any private messages from my FB-connected friends.
- Always share blissful humor (cats, dogs, memes with a twist) because there is never enough chuckles in the world.
- Politics and snarky relationship stuff to the private pages.
Sounds simple. I’m guessing my FB friends who say things like, “I open Facebook and all I see on my wall is updates from you,” will be somewhat relieved. So to them, “You’re welcome, know that I am trying.”
What will I do with all this extra desire to communicate? When I actually DO rather than POST ABOUT DOING? I don’t know! I’m excited. I’ve also had too much coffee this morning and the cats in my house are jumping around like lunatics. (Maybe it’s the last bit of the supermoon.)
I’m hoping to change my social profile a bit. In my first assessment I think my FB percentage was over 51%. I bet I can get it down to 40% over the next 90 days. (grin) It’s worth a shot.