I don't like Facebook. I don't think I ever did like it. I think I joined it just to see what it was all about. I don't find any real purpose for it. Sure, it was nice to catch up with some old friends but that thrill didn't last long. We messaged back and forth a bit for the first few days when we reconnected but since that time it's trailed off to nothing again. Mostly what I use Facebook for now is just a place to post links to my stories. Maybe, as some have told me, I just haven't gotten engaged with Facebook and that's why it holds no value for me. Sure, that could be it. I just don't have the time to dedicate to it. And it seems to be a big time vacuum for many who do see value in it. I see people messing with it for hours on end. As the song goes, "Everybody's looking for something."
I'm looking for time to do the things I want to do: Spend time with my family, spend time on my neglected hobbies, spend time writing the great American novel and spend time just watching some Dr. Who* with my wife** and kids.
Facebook is a nice little playground for those who have sufficient time for it. You can connect with old friends, see who ate what for breakfast, see your long lost friend's kids and chat with friends who live two miles from you. It's an awesome forum for those who wish to display their political viewpoints, their raucous nights on the town or air their dirty laundy in other clever ways. It's great fun.
However, there's a downside to Facebook.
Have you heard that there are companies that require you to provide your Facebook ID and password to them as a term of employment? It's so rampant that some states are outlawing the practice. Thank goodness for that. I don't want anyone to see the pictures of me building sand castles at the beach, driving a golf cart or feeding seagulls. No one really needs to see any of that. Nor do they need to see my posts about God or links to my articles.
Some Facebookers aren't so lucky or tame with their postings. Facebook has become a virtual chalkboard for those who previously had no voice. In most cases, they should have remained muted.
Part of the problem with Facebook too is security. Privacy is a big deal. Even Mark Zuckerberg's personal photos were leaked on his Facebook profile. Heck, if Zuck isn't safe on Facebook, no one is. That is a total fail.
For me, Facebook amounts to little more than a grand waste of time. If doing that sort of thing is what you want to trade your life for then please do so with my blessing. Live long and prosper. Just be careful what you post. Your children might see it. Or heaven forbid, someone else's children.
I used to say that you should never post anything on Facebook (Or elsewhere) that you wouldn't want your children to see. However, I realize from watching The People's Court and reality TV that simple rule, sadly, is really not applicable.
So, I would say this to the millions of Facebookers: Post only what you can be proud of and only post positive things about yourself and other people. Make that your New Year's resolution. That should be an easy one. If you can't do that, then perhaps you too should say "So long" to Facebook. After all, you're not required to have a Facebook account nor are you required to post comments or pictures that are self-defaming.
But for me, Facebook is just a thing that I was into for a while. An annoyance. Another time waste. If you enjoy it and can resist the temptation to spend hours on it, good for you--enjoy. If, however, you find yourself with a Facebook addiction, do yourself a favor and bail today as I'm about to do.
So long, Facebook and thanks for all the nothing. Fish would have been better.
*I was never into Dr. Who until recently, when my kids started watching it and now that Netflix has almost every available episode from 1963 on, well, what are you gonna do?
**My wife loves David Tenant--to her, he is Dr. Who.