Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Aftermath

After being back on Facebook for 4 days, I already hate it. And I hate the fact that I'm back to being addicted.

I hate it so much that for the past few days I have been contemplating deleting my account. And after much consideration, and drawing up a pros and cons list (where the pros outwighed the cons) I am going to delete it. I know I will feel free...if not a little lost at first.

So, send your goodbye messages because Helen 'Melon' Anglin is leaving Facebook.


Saturday, 3 April 2010

Day Fourty Five

The last day of my Facebook Freedom.

I'm kind of dreading going back to it tomorrow, however I am oddly looking forward to reading over all the comments...even diary entries that people have written on my wall. It really will take me a good couple of hours to sit down and sift through it all. All the outdated messages in my inbox and events that have passed, it's going to take quite some time.

What have I learnt from this delightful little experiment? Well, Life does not revolve around Facebook and you will not miss the biggest social events and miss out on the latest news about your friends lives if you're not 'connected.'

I'm seriously considering having my password changed again during May, when my next lot of assignments are due in, because when it comes to doing work, lack of Facebook really has done wonders.

So next year, I would encourage everyone to take a break from Facebook during Lent, you learn a lot and the word 'free' certainly seems to come to life. Given the fact that Lent is about giving something up which is a pleasure or a sin, Facebook really does fit the bill perfectly from a religious perspective.

Okay, so Facebook probably isn't one of the deadly Sins in life, but you certainly appreciate other things in life without it:
Face to Face conversation - which doesn't start with 'Have you seen on Facebook...'
The ability to get on with work much quicker
Other websites - I now regularly check BBC News and the weather - much more important websites really
Sleep - When I come home after a late night I go straight to bed, I no longer stay awake for an extra hour faffing about on Facebook
Email and Texting - Remember before the days of social networking when you would email people to tell them things? Well that has certainly been revived, similarly with texting. I get unlimited texts, so mass texts about events aren't really such a bad thing either.
Peace of Mind - No need to check the Facebook Status' or pictures of that guy you like or that girl you use to know. Or get paranoid about weather a certain status is refering to you or one of your friends. Similarly, no need to worry about being Facebook raped and thinking 'Oh No my Mums going to see it!'

So...I love the lack of Social Networking. I will go back to it and my life will slowly slip back into the world of Facebook, but I have certainly learnt a lot and would like to Thank You all for the support and abuse which I will read tomorrow on my wall...


Friday, 26 March 2010

Day Thirty Seven

The time is flying by, only just over a week without Facebook left.

To be honest, I'm more excited about eating chocolate than I am of having to wade through all the messages and notificiations, and as much as I say I won't go on it as much when I'm back, I know I will. I know I will get back into the unecessary and addictive checking of facebook at any given opportunity in my day. It just feels like such a waste of time. I probably will try and limit myself to just looking morning and evening, because thats all you really need it for isn't it? At the end of the day, if somebody really needs to talk to you or tell you something, they'll have your number so will text or call you. They're not going to put it as a facebook status in the hope that you'll read it...people do though of course.

How many of us have written a status in the hope that somebody else reads it? I know I have. Weather it's something nice or something nasty, we use it as a maniupulative mind game sometimes.

This is one of the reasons I feel so free. I don't look at stautus' wondering if its about me, or about somebody I know. I don't look at pictures of people and think ooo I wonder whats going on with them, you get on with life and don't spend as much time worrying about these things. I'm the kind of person that worries and thinks about the little things and I do it enough without Facebook so don't really want to add to the amount I do it.

If you look around in the library, about every other person will be on facebook. And I guess it does just make more sense to have a facebook as a way of communicating with a mass amount of people, because apart from my parents and Grandma...everybody else I know (I think) is on Facebook.

But being off Facebook has allowed me to enjoy texting and face to face conversation more. My sister and I always use to talk on Facebook but I now enjoy out texting banter and catching up through that method of communication.
When walking around uni or going I tend to have more actual conversations with people and ask what they're up to, as I don't know without facebook. But I like it. I mean, do we really want to end up living in a society where talking though screens is the 'best' method? Cause I sure don't...I know I'm old fashioned but I think everyone loves sitting down with a drink and having a proper face to face catch up with somebody.

I think this experiment has proved that life without Facebook really isn't so bad, infact, its GREAT. And all the things I was worried about: Missing it, not hearing about things, feeling left out...simply have not been relevant.

I'm sure a big part of it is due to my friends...when I have needed to know about people breaking up or any majour news, somebody has told me. People have told me about birthdays and nights out, planning to go Isle of Wight festival I was told about, important messages from Loco I was told about. I guess I have a great group of friends who want me to feel socially included. Horrah!

So not long to go now. A friend suggested that when I go back on, I take a print screen of the page and put it as my profile picture. A brilliant plan!


Monday, 15 March 2010

Day Twenty Six

Last week I heard some important news which I probably should have known a couple of weeks ago but due to lack of facebook I didn't. I'm luckily all caught up now.

Life without facebook is still going well though. For the first time ever I handed in an assingment for day before its due, I'm not going to completely say it was due to no facebook but I'm sure it was a consisting factor as theres no time to waste, I just get on with work more quickily and give myself much fewer breaks.

I've realised what I do miss about it though. I miss sharing good news and achievements - such as handing in assignments, looking at photos, there should some photos cropping up from recent nights out which I really want to see, and ones which I need to upload myself.

Right now I'm quite looking forward to reading all my wall posts as apparently everyone is being told to reconnect with me. So leave me something nice for when I have to endure reading the endless notifications...


Saturday, 6 March 2010

Day Seventeen

Somebody said that I haven't written an entry in a while. The simple reason is that there is nothing much to report.

I have no cravings to go on facebook, I have not yet begged my housemate to give me my passwork back, I have not missed out on some huge social event because I wasn't aware of it on facebook.

I was in the library the other day and a friend next to me was on my page, it could have been so easy just to have a look but I feel this would be breaking the rules. As much as I want to read what people have been spamming my wall with, I can wait another few weeks.

I've realised, if it wasn't for uni, I wouldn't go back to facebook after Lent. I get more done without it, I don't waste time sat there looking through pictures and peoples pages for no point. When I see people now I can have a nice little face to face catch up with them because I haven't seen them in a while.

So I'm going to enjoy the next 4 weeks, knowing full well that when I return to facebok at Easter but life will once again be infected with the facebook bug.


Monday, 22 February 2010

Day Six

I've had two bits of praise in the last couple of days about being off facebook. One text from a friend and then an email from a colleage giving me a list of websites to occupy myself with.

I actually feel really free without facebook. Not only am I getting on with things a lot quicker but I find myself spending more time doing work. If I get an A in my next assignment I think the lack of facebook will be praiseworthy.

The experience is going well though and it's not as hard as I thought it would be. Now and again I do think of something that would be a good facebook status, and I'm still worried that I'm a bit behind of events that may be taking place, but with all my close friends, any events or relationship changes I've heard about through word of mouth. How refreshingly original.

I thought there would be so much more to report, like I'm missing out on all this stuff that people have seen on facebook and are talking about, but I'm really not. Maybe facebook is just it's own reality. It's what Ludwig Wittgenstein calls a language game, you have to be in the game to understand it. If you're not in it then you don't understand, I guess I'm not in the game anymore...but I don't miss playing it at all.


Thursday, 18 February 2010

Day Two

Yesterday was a lot easier than I thought it would be. It was kinda odd not getting up and quickly checking facebook, though when it came to doing work I got straight on with it, no distractions to hold me back.

However, today I did learn why Facebook can be a necessity. I cleverly forgot to charge my phone last night, it lasted pretty well today until about 5pm. I had just made plans to meet my housemate in the library later, we always do a 'Ring me when you get here' type thing because it could be any time and I could be anywhere in the library. My phone died so I thought: AGH. How am I going to know when shes arriving and where I'll be. Of course, ordinally I could go on facebook and she'd probably be online or I could leave her a quick message saying my my phone has died, but of course, I couldn't.

I then had to go through the process of trying my sim in somebody elses phone, then it didn't work cause her number was saved to my phone, then I realised somebody I was with had my other housemates number so I text her and etc etc you see how the story unfolds.

So the point is. Without a mobile phone and hit a brick wall.

Information that I would have found out on facebook, about society meetings and such things people have told me today. Which is nice, and shows that people WILL tell you. Of course, this is only day two.

People have also started betting how many notifications I'm going to have by the end of this. I think about 2000 because a certain housemate of mine *cough Sophie* feels the need to abuse my wall with the alphabet, everyday, individual posts for each letter. Wonderful.
Any other bets for now many notifications?


Monday, 15 February 2010

The Social Experiment

Lent: 17th February - 3rd April

During this time I will be giving up Facebook. There are many reasons for this:
1. I am a geeky sociologist and would like to see the social implications for not having a facebook account.
2. I spend far too much time on it and I'm sure it's probably not healthy for my sanity...
3. It's Lent and I want to give up something harder than chocolate and alcohol (though I am also tackling these two weakness')
4. I want to do something related to social Networking/Facebook for my Independent Study next year so this is good preperation

You can keep up to date on how I'm doing on here, however I'd like to try and make it so that its blog doesn't become my escape route i.e I spend all my time on here instead of facebook, I'm NOT replacing facebook with a blog. This is mainly for research purposes and so you can all laugh at me when I crave it - though, will I ever crave it?

It is bad that I might crave a social network site? Which in theory, doesn't do much. I thought that as I was giving it up I should spend loads of time on it until then, but there really is nothing to do on it. Yes we can get up to date happenings for our friends and laugh at the recent groups created, or upload photos. But how can we spend about an hour sat doing THAT? Really?

The main thing I'm worried about is hearing about events/meetings. Especially given that a lot of uni based stuff is promoted or heard about via facebook. Surely I will hear about it through word of mouth?

I will seek to find out all these answers.
My hypothesis is that the first couple of weeks will be the hardest, then I'll just get use to. Although I dread the day of going back on when I will have a stupid amount of notifications - Yes I am aware that you will all abuse this and write pointless stuff on my wall....

Something I've had to do in preperation though is write down all the birthdays during Lent. How bad it that? Without facebook, theres a lot of birthdays that I probably would completely forget about. Our dependency on it really is quite absurd.

So, my adventure begins on Wednesday! I'm actually quite looking forward to it, although perhaps I'm just being really crazy, as my sister just said to me:

"Good Luck with your life"