Facebook as a Social Tool
Facebook, the world’s largest social networking website, has become a normal part of life for many parts of the world. As of March 2013, the site had 1.11 billion users!! It has become a major medium of communication for many people, including myself. Between being able to see what my friends are up to with pictures and videos, and being able to send messages and chat, it’s by far the easiest way to keep in touch. However, at what point does this cause harm to your life that outweighs the benefits?
Facebook is an incredible tool. On any given day, I communicate with friends from around the world. In one day, I may talk with people from Argentina, Poland, France, Ecuador, Australia, Peru, Thailand, Nicaragua, and the United States. That in itself is pretty amazing. I’ve been able to keep many friendships through the use of Facebook. I have begun to wonder, however, if I am sacrificing experiences from my current life in spending so much time trying to keep up with friends from all over the world.
This came to mind as I sat in my house in Nicaragua on a Friday night. I didn’t feel like I had anyone to call to do anything, so I logged onto Facebook and chatted with friends for several hours. Although just through chat, this gave me the feeling of being social. It kept me from feeling lonely on a Friday night. I found myself repeating this. Relying on talking to old friends through Facebook took me out of the moment in Nicaragua; I believe that it kept me from getting myself out there and meeting more people. I went back into my comfort zone (chatting with friends) rather than living in the moment in Nicaragua and meeting new people. Facebook became a fallback, and I think I let it handicap my social life in Nicaragua. I should have taken my own advice about technology from my Lessons Learned post after my trip in South America.
I have begun thinking about what I want to do with my Facebook habit. I will admit that it has become an addiction, checking my account at least every hour. I’ve thought about deleting my account. I’ve thought about setting a time limit for myself each day. And I’ve considered keeping it the way I use it now. Deleting it would put me out of contact with many people. Continuing using it the way I use it now will stop me from meeting new people. I think the only answer is to reduce the amount of time and make sure I’m strict on myself. Unfortunately, addictions are always tough to stop. But one must have a strong mind and a strong will to improve themselves, right?