|this is me on Facebook|
It should have been easy for me to give it up, but as with the the siren call of simple carbs, I keep going back to Facebook. Here's why:
1. Better friendships
I know there are lots of detractors out there who say "conversing" via status updates and the occasional chat is not real friendship, and
I've gotten back in touch with long lost high school friends, become better friends with folks from previous jobs or college who were just acquaintainces, and also get to keep tabs on my local friends a lot more often than I would now that everyone is so busy with life/kids/whatnot. I might only see some of them once a month, but I have a pretty good idea of what's going on in their day to day lives if they use Facebook somewhat regularly.
2. Educational value
I don't read the news online anymore because most of it is either depressing or inane, and lord knows we don't get an actual newspaper or watch TV news (because we no longer have TV). But if something big happens, guaranteed I'll find out about it via my Facebook feed. That's pretty sad, but it's kept me relatively well-informed. If something grabs my attention, then I'll look it up online to read more. Sometimes it's real news like a natural disaster, sometimes it's politics, which I mostly try to avoid, and of course I get my celebrity gossip this way too. Quick and easy.
What's even better, though are the interesting links my friends tend to ferret out - TED talks, thought provoking editorials and blog posts. I don't spend tons of time browsing the Internet on my own so this is a quick way to learn something new.
3. The Mama Network
This is my favorite and the hardest for me to quit. I have MANY mama friends on Facebook, and they are nothing short of amazing. When T was born and I was having a hard time with breastfeeding, several friends reached out to me with support. What was even more astonishing was that a few of them were people I hadn't seen since high school and we hadn't kept in touch. It was a giant kumbayah moment, like I was being welcomed into the Mama Club. As I sat in that rocker, gritting my teeth and nursing my babe through those first difficult weeks, it was so helpful to hear from these faraway friends.
It's still true. When we have rough days, there are a lot of parents in my feed to commiserate. Getting that kind of support on these busy days when I just want to veg out in my PJs and not actually *talk* to anyone, is priceless.
I'm sure most of this is due to my personality type, and the fact that after a day at work and/or a day with a chatty toddler, I am mostly done talking. IM is fine, email is fine, but I just want to sit quietly. But I still want to connect with people and catch up with friends, without having to dress up and go somewhere, or make small talk on the phone.
What I struggle with is how to keep these activities in a little timebound box so I'm not "stealing time" from the other things I want to do. Setting a timer doesn't work for me - it just makes me belligerent. So I'm still working that out and would love some suggestions from the Peanut Gallery out there :)
What about you? Do you love Facebook? Hate it? Both?