Now don't get excited and go looking for me there. If I've done it properly, you shouldn't be able to find me. Which, I know, kind of defeats the purpose.
But, the thing is, it's not for me, it's for a class I'm teaching next semester, just an information conduit for the students, to save them having to wade through the university email system to get info about what's going on in the course. I'm told that several of them use Facebook quite often.
And nothing more.
You see, the thing is, I don't do Facebook. I'm one of those deeply suspicious and slightly paranoid types who just blanches at the thought of putting a 'personal profile' up online for all to see. Or even for those I choose to let in. The idea of being 'tagged' in photos that I have no control over irritates the life out of me. It's why I like blogging, I think. So setting up an account for this class is really a step into a frightening new world for me.
There are a few other reasons I don't 'do' Facebook.
- Time. I have precious little of it to play with as it is. And from what I've seen, Facebook is one of those things which has the potential to just suck down hours and hours of your life, if you are the type of person to get obsessive about these sort of things. Which I am.
- Privacy. I read an article on Facebook somewhere recently. I think it might have been in Time magazine, but aren't completely certain. It had a lot of stuff in it about how the rise of Facebook has 'redefined privacy'. That's fine, but I liked the old definition. I already run a blog, a website, a reading and writing profile at Goodreads, and have a slight addiction to Twitter. And I think that's about as much of me as the internet deserves.
- Good old fashioned ludditeism. You know, for someone as oddly fascinated and addicted to technology as me (gently strokes iPad, which hasn't left my side for a week), I've got this little thread of my personality that just plain distrusts technological change. I fight against it, but every now and then it rears its ugly head. I suspect this is one of those occasions.
- Plain and simple pig-headedness. This is another of those traits of mine. I think mum must have overdone it with the old "Just because everyone else is jumping off a bridge, doesn't mean that you should..." type of wisdoms when I was a kid, because I can tend to be, well, rather contrary. And the more people tell me I really should do something, the longer I'm likely to hold out against it. I was the third last person in the universe to get a mobile phone. I was still using dial up internet in 2005.
- **See below
So this isn't in any way an attack upon Facebook, nor upon those who use and love it. It's more an observation that social media is many things to many people, and that it's a good idea to be a little choosy when selecting the various aspect of your online persona. And for me, Facebook just doesn't sit well.
Now Twitter, on the other hand....
*In the interests of disclosure, I should also add that when I eventually fold on these things, I tend to fold rather hard. For example the fact that until 6 months ago I was a militant PC user, and held Mac products in complete and utter disregard. Now I own all of them. Now that I've dabbled in the dark arts of Facebook, it's quite possible that in two weeks I'll have a full profile up and running, and will be spending 22 hours a day writing comments on people's walls, while playing Mafia wars at the same time...
** I should also probably add 'ignorance' to the list. I'm not fully cognisant of the ins and outs of Facebook, and can't be bothered becoming so. It would be a good idea to read everything in this post in the light of that fact.