At the beginning of the summer, I deactivated my Facebook account. I read multiple articles arguing the harms of social media (jealousy, lack of contentment with your own life, lack of real connection, time wasting, etc) and when I thought about the amount of time wasted and then suddenly received an unnecessary e-mail from Facebook - despite my disabling all Facebook e-mails - telling me to congratulate someone I didn't even know in high school on her marriage, I was done and decided to leave cold turkey.
So how's it been?
Maybe at the beginning of the summer it was odd to not have something to check constantly. There were people I hardly ever talked to, but it felt odd to not know what they were doing in their lives. Then I realized I could replace the time I had been wasting with reading or working out (no, really, I went to the gym but no pictures were taken so you can't be sure if it really happened or not) or writing or talking to friends. Come the end of the summer and I'm happy with my life.
The truth is, I've logged on a couple times for a few minutes each time. Mostly to check in on a friend who I knew was struggling but wasn't able to reach out to via phone, but once to see if I might consider getting back on Facebook. There are things I miss about it - I miss seeing when a co-worker I no longer teach with has had a new baby, I miss seeing when a friend (an actual friend) has posted pictures of a new house.... but I don't miss the temptation of Facebook.
So, I guess when it comes to Facebook I'm still not completely decided. In some ways it's my only form of communication with people I've met at conferences or to let people know I've updated my blog. In that way I can appreciate the 'book. But at the same time, the temptation to waste time and Facebook stalk (which is really only different from real stalking in that you aren't physically driving by a person's house) is a pretty big cost. I'm still weighing the costs and the benefits, but for now, I'm steering clear until I know for sure that those benefits outweigh the costs. (Can you tell I'm going to be an economics teacher?)