To Facebook or not to Facebook – What a Question

Returning to the Social Media Certificate program forces me to again ponder joining Facebook, a decision I dodged during the introductory course. I would hate to miss out on what could be some interesting discussions, but will it be worth the potential distraction, time suck and loss of privacy? I am already overwhelmed with feeds from LinkedIn, Groupanizer and WordPress, along with emails from various clients, family and friends to my eight email accounts.

I did what I always do before making decisions – went online. An article at http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1535/pros-and-cons-of-facebook/ outlined the pros and cons of Facebook, but it underplays the loss of privacy, one of my biggest concerns. I already I found that people I did not know following and liking me when I started this blog quite disconcerting. There was more about the privacy issue on this blog, http://www.buzzle.com/articles/pros-and-cons-of-facebook.html, but I still can’t decide.

I discussed joining with my adult children during their holiday visit. Both girls firmly agreed that I did not need to be on Facebook, but I’m not sure if they are being objective, or just don’t want me possibly gaining access to information they would rather I not see. They may be in their twenties, but there are still things they don’t want Mama knowing.

I am not some Luddite interested in returning to the days when the only available social-media tools were smoke signals and drum beats. I want to rationalize the tools I need to function and still have time read a good book, watch a movie or connect with my real live friends. After all, as the study in Comparing the Happiness Effects of Real and On-line Friends at http://www.nber.org/papers/w18690 showed “Doubling the number of friends in real life has an equivalent effect on well-being as a 50% increase in income. … the size of online networks is largely uncorrelated with subjective well-being.” With all my professional and hobby networking, I’m not sure if Facebook will become another nuisance to monitor or a valuable resource. If I end up controlling a client’s social media, then I will gladly deal with Facebook as a professional. I’m not sure if I want to deal with it at a personal level.

For now I will do what I often do when making decisions; play the ostrich and forget about it for a while, hoping it goes away. Or maybe I’ll take a leaf from Marie-Claire’s post and meditate on it.

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One thought on “To Facebook or not to Facebook – What a Question

  1. Enjoyed reading your post Peggy:)
    I enjoy reading news and knowing what is happening in Ottawa, Canada and the world.
    I use Facebook in the same fashion except, it’s reading the daily news of family and close friends. My son lives in Toronto.
    I have three sisters who live in Sault Ste Marie and Thunder Bay. We find it difficult to stay in touch with our busy lives.
    I have cousins all over the world. When I was having chemo, I didn’t get out very much and it was an easy way of letting my friends and family know how I was feeling. Often it was simply an emoticons. With Facebook, I know when my niece is skating in a recital and how well she performed and that my nephew is having surgery or that my friends son was bullied in the park and I can respond are just acknowledge that I’m there if they want to talk.
    My privacy settings are set high and I have a no co worker policy on my page.
    Having said that, I totally agree that no one needs to be on Facebook. It needs to a personal choice.
    Thanks for sharing.

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