De-Facebooking. A New Year's Resolution?

Are you still Facebooking? Me too. But, for how long can we continue to do something that is a huge waste of time?
Written by Ken Hess, Contributor

I've noticed that a lot of people are de-Facebooking this year. Is it a New Year's Resolution or just a trend? And, no, my dear Facebook friends aren't unfriending me, they're actually removing their Facebook accounts. It isn't just people I know, either. I've heard a lot of people talking about this weird, new de-Facebooking phenonmenon. I'd ask why but I'm sure I know the answer already. It's a turning away of "social" networking. I think that a lot of people are discovering that it is as Betty White succinctly put it, when she hosted Saturday Night Live, "It seems like a huge waste of time."

Yes, Betty, it is that.

I'm on Facebook because my kids are on it and I think it's wise to keep an eye on them and their shenanigans. It's also kind of fun to see and talk to a few old friends again but seriously, if I really cared to stay in touch with someone that I went to elementary school with, I would have figured out another way to do it.

I'd like to get an accurate count of how many relationships are broken up because of Facebook. I don't gamble but I'd bet a dollar the number is very high--so high in fact, that it surpasses the number of relationships created by that avenue. And, by relationships created, I mean ones that weren't destroyed by it first.

My wife spends time on Facebook, multiple times per day and it used to bother me. But, now I think she's getting tired of certain people. She complains about them posting rancid dialogue about Christian beliefs or one thing or another. My response is always the same: "Why don't you unfriend them?"

And, alas, her response is always the same too: "Because they'll know."

Seriously, who cares if they know? Most of them aren't worth the electricity it requires her to read their statuses of what they had for lunch today, where they're currently having a beer or whom they're dating--or whatever it is that they're doing.

I don't find it difficult to ignore Facebook or what's going on in that realm. Most days, I just don't have time to use it. Nor do I really care to. Everyone in my family and my real friends know how to contact me. Strangers, Spammers and PR people have no problem contacting me. So, really I don't use it for contact purposes. I don't sign in and chat it up with people who live two blocks away, either. I simply don't have a lot of interest in it. But, I don't have a compelling reason to delete my account.

I happily remain in that twilight lit zone between tolerance and disgust.

For the most part, I think Facebook is a fad that someday we'll all look back on and laughingly say, "Can you believe we used to Facebook?" My response will be, "No, no I can't."

But, I've made no such New Year's Resolution to de-Facebook nor to unfriend anyone whom I've never met. I have unfriended a few people but not many--only the really irritating ones and I re-friended one of those, so my friends number stays pretty stable.

I use Facebook as an outlet for some of my writings and I continue to post my stories on there because I want people to 'Like' them. Some of them do, too. Most of them probably have no idea what I do nor would they understand it if they found out. And, so it goes.

I've had some writer friends tell me that, "You've got to put time into Facebook to make it work for you."


Hunter S. Thompson didn't have Facebook. Jack Kerouac didn't have Facebook. Edgar Allen Poe didn't have Facebook. Mark Twain didn't have Facebook--He would have made fun of it. But, if they had Facebook, I wonder if any of them would have been my Facebook friends? I would have enjoyed 'Poking' Mark Twain.

For now, I'm stuck on Facebook. That is, until my kids find some other way to annoy me besides Facebooking and texting.

In case you're wondering, yes, I'll accept your Friend requests on Facebook or Google+ or any other social network. Just don't expect me to be there very often. When I am, feel free to say, "Howdy, Ken, what did you have for lunch today."

I had Italian Wedding Soup for lunch. Thanks for asking.

What do you think about de-Facebooking? Are you in for the long haul or are you thinking it's time to dump it for more intellectual pursuits? Talk back and let me know.

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