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.