Why I’m back on Facebook (for now.)

Hi everyone,

Great to be back on the blue and white! (Do they call it that?) I know I’ve been off and on Facebook for the last couple of years and stirred the pot a little last time when I questioned its worth. Well, I’m back on. Here’s why I’m back on Facebook but why I’ll be off again before too long:

1. It’s a useful tool in the globalized world. I’ve lived abroad for 3 years and a significant percentage of my community lives far away. (I’m an uncle of beautiful twins so it’s great seeing their pictures everyday!)

2. As many of you pointed out, there are ways to filter the content so you don’t have to mindlessly absorb the dross that makes up the staggering majority of content on Facebook.

3. In his book, Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed: Educating for the Virtues in the Age of Truthiness and Twitter, public intellectual and psychologist Howard Gardner of Harvard argues that we should engage modern technologies and model responsible and ethical use, not run away from them.

So here I am back on Facebook. But here’s why it won’t be for long:

1. Facebook, even though some argue otherwise, is not necessary for a happy, fulfilling, enjoyable, activity-filled, and well-connected life.

2. Facebook is the junk food of interpersonal communication. It tastes good and can feel like food but it is really not very high quality. Reading someone’s updates can feel like I’m keeping up with someone. But I’m not.

3. Facebook steals little minutes of your time here and there. When I’m off Facebook I’m amazed at how those little minutes add up. I remember reading Steve Jobs (while off Facebook) and reading about how Jobs wanted to shorten the start-up time of the Macintosh. He thought if you could even save 10 seconds, it would add up to be a lot of total time saved. For example, if 1 million people were starting up Macintoshes every day, you would save about 115 days worth of total in a day. Let’s look at Facebook. If people logged on to Facebook for even 1 minute less than they do normally (assuming people go on for at least 1 minute per day), then of the 1.1 billion users on Facebook, you could save nearly 30 lifetimes worth of time. Perhaps that’s a little abstract because you can’t add up my time and your time on Facebook to create whole lifetimes per se. But if you look at a single user over the course of his or her life, it does add up. If you spend only 15 minutes a day on Facebook (which, I’m guessing is on the low end) in just 5 years, you’re using about 19 full days of your life on Facebook. If, as seems to be the trend, you spend just 3 minutes on Facebook but 10 times throughout the day, that’s 30 minutes a day total and about 38 full days of your life over 5 years (someone please check my math… definitely not my strong suit.)

4. Perhaps most importantly, I actually like being a little inaccessible. I like not seeing everyone’s pictures and knowing what people are doing. I actually like not hearing from people all the time. I like focusing most of my energy on my local community. I don’t care if more people read my blog when I post it on Facebook. More people reading my blog is not the purpose of my blog and I don’t judge the value of my blog by the number of people who read it.

So for now I’ll be enjoying the great benefits of Facebook. Before long, however, I’ll be enjoying the great benefits of not having Facebook again.

Love you all!


PS – I am working on somewhat of an indie beard. Thoughts?

Photo on 6-7-13 at 1.32 PM #3

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12 Responses to Why I’m back on Facebook (for now.)

  1. junia says:

    admit it; you’re only on facebook to show off your beard.

    anyway, your reasons are exactly why I don’t have a smartphone!

  2. Maew says:

    Hope you enjoy using FB (again), and cool picture 😉

  3. John Remy says:

    Very Patchy Ozz… But this world will never have enough beards in it!

  4. Rustam says:

    I fully support your reasons for and against Facebook and, in fact, I agree with them.
    I dont think embracing technology necessarily means using Facebook. And vice versa, I dont think NOT using Facebook means one is not embracing technology. Facebook is a great place for communication but it has also become a marketplace for political ideas, propaganda and honestly waste of peoples time to read every little post that mean nothing and have no purpose in edifying someone.
    Having said that, if you are good about only spending little time to check up on friends and family’s pics then great; you are embracing technology the right way. However, there is hight chance you will start feeding yourself with every meaningless post and expose yourself to all the “unhealthiness” that you really dont need in life. Sadly, it took me too long to realize that.
    You were right about the reasons not to be on Facebook and I challenge everyone to do the same. I dont miss it and in fact I dont feel like I am not connected with friends or family. There are phones, physical places and blogs like yours that keep me connected with friends and family.

    • Hey Rustam,

      I’m sure Gardner would agree with you that using Facebook does not equal engaging with the digital age. But it certainly is one way.
      In my thinking, it’s up to each person to decide if it’s something they consider valuable. I think it’s important to evaluate and re-evaluate its worth and necessity (like most everything in life.) For me at this point, there is value to it but I agree with many of your counts on why it can be a negative thing to one’s life. A life unexamined is not worth living.


      (I played ping pong yesterday and told them about you. I even recited your full name to impress them. Miss those days in the Mac lounge having epic ping pong battles.)

  5. gabriella says:

    oh my gosh… back on the blue and white. nice.

  6. jsataraka says:

    Good to see you! Nice beard, I’m starting to grow a beard of my own (also a little patchy, but whatever it’s growing in its own special way lol). It has been a very long time (3 years) since I’ve been on the blogging world (or whatever it’s called). Read through your reasons for not being on FB, and I’ve got to say, I share those same reasons, and it is also the reason why I don’t have a FB. I have an iPhone (Whitworth benefit man – couldn’t pass it up!) and had Instagram, Vine, etc., but after a while it was too much for me and I didn’t want to be “connected,” because it didn’t feel real, instead, like you put it so perfectly, I do like being inaccessible. It’s just too much… way too much.

    But the reason why I even got back on WordPress was because I’m looking into starting a blog that the Act Six alumni community can use to keep each other connected because we are all over the place – international too! Again, there is FB, but it ain’t the same.

    Ozzie – why don’t you apply to be an RD at Whitworth? There will be 3 positions opening up at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. I’m not sure if you’re interested, but thought I’d toss that out there.

    Hope all is well. Much love -J

    • jsataraka says:

      Also, did not realize that you have Ed.M from Harvard – CONGRATS! You might be over qualified for the RD position… but I’ll still toss it out there. There is a Director of Res Life & Students at Northwest Christian University in Eugene, OR. Please let me know if you’d be interested in that – I can forward the job description to you.

      • I definitely don’t consider myself overqualified 🙂 But I’m growing increasingly interested in Southeast Asia so I might be here for a while… haha

        On that note, if you ever wanted to come out here and start up more res life over here, that’d be awesome, too!

        Thanks for such a thoughtful response. I’m back on Facebook now for a short time and it’s no coincidence I haven’t published a new post since. I also haven’t read as much… life’s all about choices, I suppose.

        All the best, brother. Stay in touch.

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