Dorothy Harris

It’s official: I’m not on Facebook

So the other day I met someone who mentioned they were Facebook friends with me. “But I’m not on Facebook,” I replied. They seemed confused and insisted. “Sorry, but that’s not me. I’m just too busy to have something else to keep track of.” They seemed almost not to believe me, mentioning they had been corresponding with me a while. Uh oh, I guess there’s another Dorothy Harris out there I should friend, if I ever bother to set up an account.

We go round and round on this. I know I should have a Facebook account, but really? I have enough trouble managing my email and snail mail. The idea of having something else to check on a daily basis is really distressing to me. I know I’m missing those vacation photos of people I haven’t actually spoken to in years and I don’t get to keep track of extended family’s weekly life. I miss out on a lot of stuff that’s going on and that’s my point.

There’s a lot of the drama circulating via Facebook some days. I see folks getting all worked up about issues or concerns which don’t actually relate to them. I find this perplexing. “Did you hear about such and such,” someone will ask me. “No,” I reply, “when did that happen?” “Oh, I read it on Facebook last night.” I can’t help but wonder how worrying about something we’ve read secondhand becomes, well, helpful? This feels more like gossip than concern to me, but then again, the person posted the information for folks to read and share. I guess I’m old fashioned in that way. I’m not really sure what to make of all of it.

Recently the Facebook fracas started up again. A joyful family happening was made “Facebook official.” This was news to me and really brought home how important this form of social media is for our teens and young adults. Mr. Harris and I knew of the event, but were oblivious of the Facebook posting, because after all, we don’t Facebook.

It’s not the first time we have received texts or emails congratulating us, leaving us scratching our heads over how quickly news travels. “Should we set this up or not,” I asked again, bringing this formerly tabled discussion back to the forefront. We talked and basically Mr. Harris succinctly summed it up. “When you are a famous author, you’ll have people to do that for you,” he insisted. “Let’s wait and let them deal with it so we don’t have to worry about updating it.” (This sounded great to me, but I may have stopped listening at the famous author part.)

Of course it also brings up another important consideration. Social media is everything nowadays and has become an expectation. It’s touted as absolutely necessary to ensure one has a strong platform or presence in the media world if one wants to be that famous author. What isn’t mentioned is how one manages keeping their account fresh and fabulous while also keeping a full-time job, managing a family, taking online classes, doing housework, exercising and working on this writing, which one endeavors to use as said famous author. I’ve got to Facebook too?

It all just makes me feel tired. I already struggle to find time to write so I don’t need any additional distractions. For now I’m forgetting Facebook, but every day it sits a little closer to me, whispering in my ear how I can’t live without it much longer.