After a month off Facebook, I’ve gone from a Facebook addict to a
light Facebook user. For the most part, there is a lot of stuff I
don’t miss about Facebook. However, it has some features that are
extremely useful and I miss those. Below is a list of good reasons for
using Facebook vs. reasons that’ll inevitably end with you donating
hours of your day to the time wasting gods (or some sort of relative
to the god who makes your socks disappear after you do the laundry).
When Facebook is useful:
Using Facebook Groups to network – Though I haven’t been on a group in
a month in a half, they can be really useful especially for industry
related questions. For example, I found community and limitless
resources for my career in the virtual assistant Facebook groups on
Facebook. They gave me insights into finding work that I found nowhere
else. However, the drawback of Facebook groups is all the
self-promotional crap people post – seriously it can be nauseating at
times. The other drawback? They’re addictive!
Keeping up with friends abroad – Let’s be real, our social circle
isn’t limited to the people we see in our immediate lives. The idea of
never going on Facebook therefore, isn’t really feasible since you’d
have to be OK with essentially cutting off all your friends from afar.
“So why not give them a call?” you ask. The reality of it is that
people exist on certain social spectrums. A person you hung out with
for a week on vacation who you intend to see again someday may not be
someone you call, but may very well be someone you want to visit or
host in the future. There is an in-between friendship phase that you
can maintain on Facebook that you can’t anywhere else.
Tracking your social calendar with FB Events – You know what sucks?
Missing your friends going away party because you never got the
invite, because the event was on Facebook. It happens, and it’s
unavoidable. You can ask people to invite you separately, but I think
that’s kind of an unfair request unless the person is a good friend.
That being said, I always thought FBE were really awful, suggesting
tons of stuff that isn’t relevant to me. I’m wondering if just
switching over to stuff like Hangtime wouldn’t improve this problem
altogether for Facebook users and non-users alike.
Selling stuff – Facebook ads is an insanely good resource for selling
your products. I know of a lot of people who just use Facebook ads
alone to market their products.
Promoting your work – Despite that people don’t often comment on your
work, you wouldn’t believe how many people have actually taken the
time to look at it or read it. I often find this out in real life when
people refer back to things I posted months ago. That being said,
Facebook is a great way to get eyes on your work. It could be replaced
with e-marketing, but I feel like you should only e-market your best
stuff so that you don’t become a regular inbox offender. With
Facebook, it’s really other people’s choice to read your stuff or not.
It’s not your fault your sexy prose is showing up in their feed.
When Facebook is anything but useful:
When you’re bored – I used to go on Facebook whenever I was bored. Now
instead of distracting myself from boredom, I ask myself why I’m
bored. In fact, my month off Facebook gave me some serious insights
into what’s important to me which has lead me to take on another
When you’re doing something you don’t like – There were so many times
when I wanted to distract myself while studying for my exam or doing
freelance work I was getting stuck on, but I resisted. I came to
realize that if you don’t like something, it’s better to get it out of
the way faster.
When you’re with people in real life – I don’t mean friends. I mean
people in general. During 2012’s hurricane sandy, it took me not
having a phone for 3 days to realize I didn’t know my nieces. You
never know who you’re not getting to know when you’re getting to know
people you don’t know.
When you’re using it without intention – Today I go on Facebook with
particular goals. To check my notifications, to see how my foreign
friend is doing, to ask a question in a group, then I leave. I don’t
aimlessly wander on Facebook even it if means that there are a lot of
people’s post I’ll miss in the feed.
There are probably many other reasons to use Facebook or not to use
it. What’s your take?