On Facebook and Twitter

May 27, 2010

A good friend told me that I needed to consider posting on Twitter. Ugh!

I’ve been active in the past on Facebook, and I’ve dabbled a bit on Twitter. Frankly, I find both to be a bit creepy- and just too easy. About a year ago, I took down my Facebook page. Twitter is gone now, too. So, why? I could write a dissertation, but I’ll give you some of the highlights.

1. I’ve embarrassed myself before. I tend to be sort of quirky. Facebook and Twitter are just too fast. My internal editor didn’t always work like it was supposed to.

2. I’ve had people who I care about say unkind things about other people who I care about- in front of LOTS and lots of people. It’s just too easy with the chatty feel of commenting. And so very public.

3. I wasted time. Went on to check my Facebook page and spent way too much time there. I have small children. What am I really doing spending an hour (or- um- way more than an hour) on Facebook?

4. I want to be in the room that I’m actually in. My goal is to be more present. Social media can cause a frenzy of wondering what you’re missing. So, you just check quickly to see what’s going on in the virtual world. I have real, live, breathing children living in my home right now. One of them will be preparing to spread his wings and fly from the nest in ten short years. Stay in the room, Robin. I’ll also mention that this is why I don’t have an iphone. I don’t have the discipline not to surf the net at the park with my kids. And, I don’t want to surf the net at the park with my kids. So, I don’t have an iphone. Don’t get me wrong- I want one- but I don’t think that it would be good for me. Let me be very clear here that I struggle with screen time quite a bit. More often than not, media has me by the tail, rather than the other way around. I’m not speaking to you as one who has it wired.

5. To state point #4 more succinctly, Facebook left me more widely (and frenetically) connected, but less meaningfully connected to the people for whom I care most deeply.

My next comments are influenced by a lecture entitled “Is Facebook Good For You?”, which was given by Danny Burbeck, who is a worker at L’Abri.

6. I want to feel the white space in my life. In my opinion, it’s such a waste to spend every blank moment in my life checking my e-mail or Facebook or Twitter. I want to feel the white space and see where it leads me. It might lead me to a new insight or a new idea.

7. Real relationships require something of you. They’re costly. With Facebook, you only reveal attractive bits about yourself. Things that make you sound smart and funny and clever. In real relationships, people get to know more than just the glossy snapshots that are posted on Facebook.

8. In real relationships, people get to know each other slowly over time. There are levels of intimacy. Some people are closer than others. I keep certain people farther away so that I have more emotional room in my life for others to be closer to me. There is a sort of sameness to all our Facebook relationships. Everyone gets the same updates. Think about the “20 things about me” list that went around a year ago. Too much information too fast.

So, I’m ambivalent, but leaning more toward hostile. Social media is a really big deal right now. Most small business owners that I know of have a Facebook and Twitter presence. Ditto with Fortune 500 companies. I’m trying to decide if I’m going to die on the social media hill or not. People who do business do Facebook and Twitter these days- they just do. But, I don’t want to. My question is- do I have to?


4 Responses to “On Facebook and Twitter”

  1. Sarah Kemppainen Says:

    Very convincing. I may post it on facebook 😉 Really, if I hadn’t weaned myself away in the past few weeks I’d delete it. I may still.

  2. Patricia Says:

    Hi Robin–enjoyed reading this!

  3. […] can read here about my thoughts a while back on Facebook and Twitter. I’m still pretty anti-Facebook. I still have all the same concerns that I wrote about a while […]

  4. Soul Stops Says:

    Hi Robin,

    Love your comment about wanting “white space” in your life! It is clear that you have given this a good long think and I commend you for knowing and doing what works best for you.

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