I saw old wall posts from ex-girlfriends in college that I had forgotten about. There were ancient old pictures of me at 19 years old...pictures that were a thing of the past. It's one thing if my facebook friends decide upon themselves to browse through my facebook history, but it's not for public domain. Things are different now. I'm married and I have a career. If I maintained my facebook account, then anyone could look me up and find old posts that could do harm. People grow and evolve. I don't mind facebook trying to document these things, but they should keep it within the walls of facebook and not put everything out there in the open.
My other issue with Facebook is that it isn't what it used to be. In its infancy, it was something of a "secret society" for college students only. Facebook was a way to flirt with (and 'poke') beautiful ladies and reconnect with old chums from grade school. However, by 2007 anyone could join Facebook. All you needed was an email address. When my old elementary school teachers and grandparents started signing up, I cringed a bit. But at the same time, I wasn't the type to rant or post anything inappropriate, so it didn't bother me too much. It was also nice to reconnect with people from deep in my past.
You can call me old fashioned, but whatever happened to phone calls or personal visits? Several months ago, two friends of mine called me. They didn't text me, or send me a facebook message. They called me to catch up. I was touched. It's rare that people call each other anymore. Interacting on facebook has become more common.
This new 'digital age' is a blessing and a curse. As a journalist, I had no choice but to climb aboard. By using twitter, I can tweet direct links to my articles and videos. In a nano-second, anyone in the world can take a look at my work. On Facebook, I could post links so that all my friends could instantly view what I wanted them to see. Heck, this website you're reading is used as an online portfolio to view my writing, awards, resume, etc. The internet is a useful tool, but come on. I can't imagine myself as a 75 year-old man saying, "I wish I had spent more time on facebook." A lot of people are letting real life pass them by because of a social networking addiction.
This is not my first time taking a hiatus from facebook either. As a matter of fact, last year this time I was not on facebook. I decided to take a break because there was so much sin on there. Thanks to the newsfeed, I had no choice but to read other people's drama and fights. Facebook forces you to stalk people. You know every move they make whether you want to or not. In November 2010, I was still relatively new to the Tennessee Tribune and had just started additional work as a freelance writer for The Tri-State Defender. My career was keeping me busy, and watching drama unfold on facebook was not on my list of priorities. So I deactivated my account for several months.
However, when Joe Theismann's company requested that I interview the NFL legend in person, I thought about reactivating it. Also, my wedding was coming up at the time and I created this website, so I had lots to share with my friends. In early May, I returned to facebook, mainly to promote my journalism and keep people informed of the wedding.
In my opinion, Facebook is going the way of myspace. It was once a simple site, but now there's applications, games, spam, filth, drama, and the absolute worst part is the lack of privacy. I might get back on facebook someday, but if I do, it will be a long while from now. The friends on there who know me personally have my cell number and email address.
For more information on the timeline, please read this article.