Monday, March 05, 2012

to re-Facebook, or not to re-Facebook?

My friend Justin Yoshida wrote me a day or so ago to ask whether I'd consider returning to Facebook. I told Justin that one of the major reasons I had left Facebook was the litany of problems he had cited way back when, especially those problems related to security and the use of my personal information. I said, too, that it would be weird if Justin's arguments now were to be the reason for my return.

I've had some time to think things over... and I still see no compelling reason to come back to FB. Justin made the point that FB non-joiners are like those holdouts who refuse to use cell phones. That may be so, but I'm not persuaded. When I was on FB, I saw no significant increase in my blog traffic (I tend to think of my blogging as the most significant manifestation of my online presence; I had joined FB as a way to enhance the blogging), and often found myself both bored and annoyed by Facebook's surfeit of saccharine cuteness. I did manage to track down a couple old acquaintances, but the correspondence went nowhere, and nothing ever happened with those contacts-- probably because of my native introversion, but also because I had lost contact with those people for a reason. FB might make sense for people who are outgoing and/or who love to network (the two traits do seem to go together), but for us recluses, the social network holds little charm.

There's also the question of how I'd handle my Facebooking. Students are always curious to know whether their teachers are on FB; up to now I've been able to say "no" without lying. The way I see it, I'd need two FB accounts, which would be a pain in the ass to maintain: one for anything Hominid-related, and one for my YB students, with no guarantee that they'd never figure out the connection between the two accounts. As it is, I'm already actively updating two blogs and two Twitter feeds (the Kevin's Walk blog and Twitter feed are dormant for now); adding two FB accounts to that would feel like work. I blog as a hobby, as a form of enjoyment and release. Why turn a labor of love into just labor?

Sorry, Justin, but I'm afraid I must Just Say No to Facebook.


1 comment:

John said...

All valid points. I do FB since it is the easiest way to stay in touch with my kids and far flung friends around the world. It's also handy to keep track of events and happenings I might have missed otherwise.

Given my inherent laziness I noticed that I'll slap something up on FB that I otherwise might have blogged, and well, you've seen the result. Unless I link to a particular blog post of mine, FB brings next to nothing traffic-wise.

Anyway, I'm sticking it out although there a couple of folks in serious danger of being "unfriended"...