Tuesday, 16 June 2009

facebook leaving

I fasted facebook Lent 07, I didn’t miss it. I want for a child-like delight in the present moment, to run with abandon through the long grass of a physical world. You cannot build a treehouse on the facebook, you cannot smell fresh strawberries.

And so I am leaving facebook. Just as I have left everywhere I’ve ever lived. And so face a dilemma of how: how to leave with grace, how to communicate my reasons without self-righteousness and how to keep up relationships beyond these city gates. Should I give myself wiggle room? Call this an experiment, see how it goes in a month? Shouldn’t I just develop disciplines to reduce my availability on facebook? And should I write this post in the first person, preach it in the second person or facebook-status it in the third person: (“I’ve had enough, you should leave too” phil said..)

Briefly, by way of introduction, I am not a conspiracy theorist, I am not making black and white rules or denying that people have given and received love through facebook. However, a not insignificant number of friends have expressed unease about facebook from a political or christian perspective, countless others, in conversations had and overheard bemoan wasted time on the facebook.. And so on. I thought I’d have a stab at establishing a framework that puts this unease in context and maybe offers a route out or at least here to begin to sketch out a vocabulary that we might start talking about leaving facebook. Those who say facebook is just another tool are quite right, but it is so just like Starbucks is just another drink purveyor and prostitution is just another career option. None are neutral; all have consequences; and all embody a conception of the human which may be life-giving or destructive.

Enough. I will try to post for discussion:
1. "facebook is..." - what I find facebook to be within a bigger picture of the real.
2. "facebook questions" - questions I ask of myself before leaving.
3. "facebook - how shall we then leave" - how to, how then and what next.


Chica said...

And some of us occasionally just like to find out what our mates are up to during our lunchbreaks from work...

One day I will ask you to write a blog using only words of 2 syllables or less and with content simple enough for even I to understand! No philosophising!!! (Eliza, I know you agree with me)

Liz said...

(Phil, I'm sorry, Annabelle told me she'd commented & demanded I respond too!)

Yes, simple blogs are good. Philosophising is also good.
All things in moderation.

I do concur though, that if you're going to abandon facebook at least let your blog reflect your reality in a way that others can interact with.

Kate Curran said...

I don't have a particular view on the complexity or otherwise of blogs, but I think well done Phil for breaking away from Facebook in such a thoughtful manner and letting us all know how to find you.
I have to admit though that facebook makes my life so much easier working with students - it's easy to find someone you've met a few times but not yet got contact details for, and invite them to events and stuff. And to know how people are doing if I haven't seen them for a bit. But I also see the negative side, of time wasting and the question of what is a "friend" (ranging from someone I've met once, to my best friend in all the world).
Anyway, all the best Phil, and keep in touch with us some other way!

ellearch said...

I've tried to leave facebook so many times, but caved in because all the rest of my friends use it.

There have been many times where I'll be in a conversation and someone would mention 'on facebook...'

FB is taking over as the contact medium, no one sends emails any more, letters, or texts as much as they used too. even iphones are linked to fb messages.
Its impossible to not follow the majority of the population.

i saw this youtube video about facebook, it pretty much sums up what i think about it.