Sunday, November 27, 2011

Facebook: We're On A Break

If you read my last post, you'll already be aware that I am in a "battening down the hatches" sort of mood. Which, admittedly, is difficult when so much of one's day is spent online.

I began blogging 10 years ago - almost 11 now. When Harper was about 3 months old. My posts at that time were all about being a new mother. Since then, my blog has morphed, and now, I just like to chat away. On a variety of topics.

I miss blogging. Sadly, I realized recently, that many of my thoughts/ideas, which I would have most certainly blogged in the past, have been reduced to "sound-bytes" on Facebook this year. Lazy writer.  And while I am grateful for social media in the respect that it has played an ENORMOUS role in building my Beachbody business, I am also finding myself getting progressively weary of the FB platform - and miss writing on my blog.

I know. Right?

Yes, you are reading Cuppa Jo. Do not adjust your settings. It is indeed Joline writing. And yes, I DID state that I'm not loving Facebook as I once did.

I began making some small changes this year:

  • I removed my personal page from being Public.
  • I have hidden friends who use offensive language, are continually snarky, or just have a negative spirit.
  • No posts, photos, or videos, etc. in which I am tagged can be posted unless I approve them.
  • People can not check me into places, and I don't do so either.
  • I moved the bulk of my business information to my Fit With Jo page, (while still having to post on my personal page from time to time to drive people over there to build the page.)

However, It was a few short weeks ago on the women's retreat to which I referred in Hula Hooping, that first clued me in to the fact that these changes weren't easing my FB tension.

Add to this a recent situation at church that produced a lot of statements and gossip on Facebook that I wish I hadn't seen, and the tension headache grew.

Then there was a nudge from God which taught me that Facebook seems to have become the way that many have chosen to start and maintain "friendships"- getting to know people solely through status updates or by what they post. Enter, migraine.

God has been known to speak to me in the "rule of three". Only this time, I'm not laughing.

So, in response to God's prodding, I attempted to make adjustments to my Facebook account over Thanksgiving, only to find myself more frustrated. In my desire to create "lists" so that not everyone was forced to see each and every post I write, I ended up dizzy.  I let "this" list see "this post" and "that" group see "that post", but forgot to put "this" person in "this" group, and forgot to remove "this" person" from seeing all "those" posts, and then, I basically gave up. It wasn't worth it. I didn't like the feeling of "categorizing" people, and at some point, someone's feelings were going to get hurt. (And yeah, I care about that kind of thing.) It was like inviting people to several different parties. Ridiculous.

My conclusions.

  • There is absolutely no way to have complete privacy on Facebook. 
  • The likely-hood of misinterpreting someone's written "sound-bytes" on Facebook is high.
  • While it is a great place to share statements, articles, links, and opinions, it is those very posts which drive people crazy and create weirdness. (But, yet, isn't that why we are all there?)

Facebook is a petri-dish which breeds misunderstandings, hurt feelings, assumptions, perceptions, judgments, and lack of discretion. All without actually talking.

And lest you find me sounding full of myself, I am, as they say, preaching to the choir here. Guilty as charged.

As much as I actually enjoy or have enjoyed FB, I just don't want the Tylenol PM headache any longer.

I am not leaving completely. My Fit With Jo page is going great. So supportive. Those of us there have a common purpose and goal. As for my personal page?  I am going to step back for a season - how long, I don't know - until I reconcile some of these feelings I have developed, and realizing that the "custom list" option ain't gonna cut it for me.

What used to be so much fun has just gotten too complicated and confrontational, without proper confrontation. It's become a game. And within any "discussion" where tone, pitch, body language, and facial expressions can not be heard and seen (like in this post) there is the possibility of trouble.

Trouble that no amount of smile faces, LOLs, LMAOs, IMHOs, or HAHAHAs can cure.

I know I'm not the only one out there who has become increasingly frustrated. Perhaps you aren't one of them. If not, that's great. (Give me a call and we can talk about it.) But I have personally witnessed first-hand and heard from others over this past year how the luster seems to be fading on the FB gem.

So, respectfully, I'm bowing out for a bit.

See you on Fit With Jo. Or, email still works. So does the phone.

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