Thursday, September 9, 2010

Facebook Experiment - Part 4 . . .

Well - I'm getting close to 48 hours of this Facebook Vacation, and I'm doing pretty well.  The first day I was kind of sad.  Today, I'm just kind of "eh" - I don't really NEED it.  Now - once I come back from vacation, maybe I can switch this "eh" feeling to food!  We'll see.  ;-)

I worked on a list of the good and bad things about Facebook . . . so here they are. 

Here are the things I've learned are BAD about Facebook:

  • It can be a MAJOR time sucker.  You start looking at pictures and statuses and you just get so involved in the lives of your friends that you forget to live your own life.  NOT GOOD.
  • The GAMES, GAMES, GAMES!  Some of the games are harmless - Bejeweled, Farkle, they are kind of like Solitaire or Minesweeper on your computer.  They can suck time, but not consume your soul.  But then there are things like evil FARMVILLE, MAFIA WARS, etc.  I admit I got sucked into Farmville initially.  And I had to tend to my farm everyday.  But I wasn't tending to my own "farm" while I was in this virtual world.  I got over that addiction pretty quickly.  (although, I currently have Zombie Farm on my iPhone - I don't have it connected to Facebook and I don't let it consume my life - I just like letting the Zombies attack a couple of times a day to let out my frustrations!)  Word of advice - don't start the games so you don't get sucked in.
  • A LOT of people use their status updates to make passive agressive statements to their friends or in hopes that a friend of a friend will tell the person the status was actually about what was said.  We've all done it.  We've been frustrated and we've let a status fly that we shouldn't have.  THINK BEFORE YOU POST!
  • Sometimes Facebook can cost you money . . . you hear a great song you've never heard, so you head to iTunes and buy it, you see a great product you've never heard of, a great book you've never read, etc. etc. etc.  You end up buying things you wouldn't have . . . and as this is the POINT of these types of services - it can be hard on the pocketbook if you don't know how to curb your spending.
  • Facebook is legal stalking and an easy way to get gossip on your friends and acquaintances.  That's the long and short of it, really.
  • If you aren't careful and check the Facebook privacy settings every few months - you could end up letting the world know a lot more information than you want them to.  My Facebook is set that friends only can view my information, and I intend to keep it that way.
  • You can get bombarded by requests for this charity and that charity - so I recommend picking a few that are really important to you and don't feel guilty when press "ignore" on the other ones.
  • Sometimes you have something brilliant and earth-shattering that you absolutely MUST share with the world - and someone else doesn't take it the way you wanted them to - and they block you, or hide you, or heaven forbid UNFRIEND you!!  (more on that later)
Now that I've listed quite a few bad things about Facebook - let's look at the good:

  • One of my favorite things about Facebook is that it has allowed me to catch up with old friends I had been unable to find or hadn't heard from in years.  It is such a great way to renew old friendships and relive fun memories along with easily keeping up with each other's lives without having to do a dreaded Christmas newsletter.  (of course, one CON of this is that when you actually see each other - you have nothing left to talk about . . . LOL)
  • Facebook provides really great networking opportunities, especially for small businesses!  It is easy to create a business page, share it, and get your message out there.
  • You can use Facebook as a kind of ministry.  Some people use Facebook to post a daily Bible verse, post inspirational videos, etc.  I try and find quotes that speak to me and that I think will speak to others as well.  And I don't know how many times, someone has sent something to me on Facebook that has made my day.  It can be a great thing.
  • It is a place to find out new music, new books, new ideas, new projects, etc.  (just don't let it take over your pocketbook!)
  • It is easy to control who sees what on your Facebook page so you can make sure that the creepy stalker neighbor from next door can't see your Facebook page.
  • It is a really quick way to update everyone you know about happy things (marriages!  babies!) or ask for prayer for the not so good things.
  • If you have a charitable organization, Facebook is great for this as well.  You can spread the word about your organization and get people to support you.
  • AND - if other people's statuses annoy YOU - you have the ability to hide them, block them - or if all else fails UNFRIEND them. 

I think that Facebook can be good or bad, it just depends on what you decide to use it for.  Of course, I do have a few pet peeves . . .

  1. If you don't want people to give you advice or comment on your life - then don't tell people about it in your status!  Geesh. 
  2. Just because someone's status may say ONLINE whether it be Facebook, AIM, Skype, etc. doesn't necessarily mean the person is actually sitting at the computer.  I personally have all 3 of those accounts on 3 different computers AND my phone.  One of them may be logged on somewhere - and I don't even realize it.  So don't get all bent out of shape when someone doesn't answer you!
  3. Just because someone's status may say ONLINE doesn't necessarily mean they have 4 hours to chat with you.  A good way to start . . . Are you busy?  If they say yes, especially during WORK hours, don't be offended!
  4. Word of advice for adults - be wary of friending people under 18 unless they are related to you or a very good friend of the family.  You just . . . never . . . know . . .
  5. If you posted something because you KNOW it will cause drama - don't whine when it comes back to bite you in the butt.
  6. Use as few "automatic posting" applications as possible.
Okay, okay - that's enough of that for now.

Do any of you have any great Facebook tips?  Thoughts?  Pet Peeves?

Next post?  How to deal with a Facebook Unfriending . . . by a guest poster who doesn't know she's doing this yet . . . hee hee hee.

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