I’m back! Finally had my last AP exam today and it is time to end my self-imposed Facebook exile, (and to restart blogging after March of last year). I’ve committed to blogging more often, and using my blog as an outlet to let myself think out loud.
Sunday evening, February 28 (I only remember the date because it’s a friend’s birthday), I decided to take a (drastic) step towards minimizing the time I spent on distractions, and maximize my studying time. Was it effective? The first results come out tomorrow (my Biology SAT score), and my 2 AP test (World History and Macroeconomics) come out in July. I’ll probably have to wait till July to have a full understanding of how effective this has been.
But apart from the studying, my leaving FB was also a sort of social experiment. As with any experiment, this started with a question. What was it about FB that made it so much more distracting than most other websites? I hypothesized that it must have been the constant updates from one person or another.
So, during my FB vacation, I noticed in what contexts FB came up into my mind. And while knowing what my friends were doing was one of the reasons, it wasn’t the only. By far, the most important reason that came to my mind was being able to tell the world what they may or may not care to know. It was one of the only places where I could express my thoughts and instantly get feedback, approvals or disapprovals from different people with different perspectives. It was (and this probably sounds clichéd) the sense of connectivity, of knowing what is going around in different parts of the world.
Why FB though, out of all the social networking and IM applications out there? Why was this one so much more distracting than the rest? I can go a while without using my IM or email or Twitter, but why was I drawn so much to FB? I figured it must have to do with the fact that it has all that and more. While being able to IM or email one person can be great, the ability to simultaneously contact dozens, if not hundreds of people is much better. And, it’s not limited to any one medium, whereas Twitter is mostly limited to text, FB can connect anything, text, links, videos, pictures…maybe a little too much.
That brings me to my next point. While I haven’t been on FB for 2 and a half months, I did see the news about privacy (or the lack thereof) on FB. With being able to share just about anything with anyone, there is obviously some privacy lost. But how much does this privacy mean to us? I’m not talking about the thoughts that we wish to keep completely to ourselves, but things like our interests. Sure, we do like to limit it to certain groups of people, but most people don’t care that much about their privacy that they would get off of FB, unlike some prominent bloggers. Most people are (or should be) smart enough to not post things that they don’t want others to know.
Feel free to comment, question, etc (that is the point of blogging anyway).