“Are you on Facebook?” I’m getting this question more and more these days, from friends and acquaintances alike.
My answer, always said with a slightly apologetic tone: “No.”
Let me say up-front that I don’t consider this a moral issue. It’s not like I think Facebook is the online equivalent of shooting heroin. I just don’t think it’s something I should do.
My main reason is a practical one. From my friends who are on Facebook, I hear that it’s a real time-suck. Trust me when I say that the LAST thing I need is another reason to spend time online. It’s kind of similar to my resistance to getting Tivo: I don’t want another excuse to plop myself in a sitting position in front of a screen.
“But it’s a great way to catch up with people,” say my pro-Facebook buddies, and I believe them. I’d love to reconnect with people from high school, to get frequent chatty updates about what is going on in people’s lives. As an author, too, I know that I”m missing out on a golden chance to network and promote my book and meet other people who are also kinda crazy about Mary.
But I know myself. I know that it would be very, very hard to self-regulate when I could have the fun of logging on every ten minutes to see who has posted what. This is exactly why I don’t buy industrial-sized bags of gummy bears: I like them far too much. That makes them far too dangerous.
I’m not a total Luddite. I do blog, and email, which keeps me pretty busy as it is. I fear that having something else to do online would steal time not only from these pursuits, but also from the soul-nourishing activities that are already getting short shrift: my books, my photo albums, my garden. My prayer life.
Having said all that, I must in all honesty add that I could change. My grandma used to have a saying framed on her kitchen wall: Lord, make my words tender and gracious, for tomorrow I may have to eat them. I may decide to jump into the Facebook pool at some point; when I’ve figured out how to be better with my time, say. But for now, I’m just blogging and emailing: you know, those quaintly old-fashioned ways of communicating.
So what are your thoughts about Facebook? I’d love to hear them. I could still be swayed ….