The Love-Hate Relationship With Facebook

Over the last few months, I have been hearing the same complaints from friends and family.

“I am totally quitting Facebook. I hate it.”

But they never quit.

This intrigues me.  What is it about Facebook that makes us so upset (enough to want to quit), but is so hard to walk away from?

Let’s start with the reasons Facebook could be upsetting in the first place.

ANNOYING STATUS UPDATES

You may like your friends and family in real life, but their status updates bug the heck out of you. Whether they are just plain negative or dull, your skin crawls when you see them.

ENVY

Our Facebook friends always seem to have the better life.  Trips, expensive gifts, a beautiful family, it all seems better than what we have.

UNCOMFORTABLE FRIEND RECOMMENDATIONS

Facebook is full of past boyfriends, girlfriends and other “blasts from the pasts” that we have no desire to reconnect with, yet Facebook recommends we do so.  Awkward.

COMPULSION TO “STALK” OR LINGER

As great as Facebook is for our social lives, it can be a HUGE time suck, especially when we discover old high school friends and want to know “what they have been doing with their lives”. Before we know it, two hours have been wasted finding out that Jane Doe is now a nurse and has three kids.

DRAMA AND CYBERBULLYING

One update (whether intentional or not) can turn into a virtual war among friends.  People are less likely to hold their “tongues” while online, too.  Facebook drama is poison and can ruin lives, just like any other cyberbullying act.

So, with so many side effects that encompass a Facebook account, what is the point?

Like anything in life, indulgence can tarnish a good thing.  Facebook isn’t a bad website.  In fact, it can be used for good. For myself, it provides a great tool to connect with friends, blogging buddies and family.  It also provides a great platform for marketing my businesses and meeting new clients. There is a reason why it is hard to walk away from.

Want to experience Facebook positively?

    1. Use in moderation.  Facebook can become an addiction.  The more you use it, the more you need.  When boredom sets in, you start becoming someone else.  You say things you don’t mean, spy on people you don’t really know, and so on.  Also, your friend’s status updates become a lot less annoying when you are not religiously reading them.
    2. Weed out the poison immediately.  If you have friends that clutter up your news stream with negativity or hate, weed them out.  Their negativity will rub off on you and you don’t need it. In addition, block users you do not wish to ever have contact with.  You will never have to worry about seeing them in recommendations or vice versa.
    3. Put jealousy aside. Yes, your friend Jane Doe may seem like her life is perfect in her vacation photos, but you are only seeing snippets of her life.  Just because she chooses to display her positive experiences doesn’t mean she doesn’t have struggles or pain.  Instead, be happy for her accomplishments by leaving a comment.
    4. Quit if necessary.  If Facebook is interfering with you life in any way, quit.  At the end of the day, it is just a website.

What are your thoughts?  What drives you crazy about Facebook and have you ever considered quitting?

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