Look Who's Shutting Down Their Facebook Pages

My daughter doesn't have a Facebook page. I do. She's 20 and I'm 53. What's wrong with this picture? Isn't Facebook supposed to be all about young people and the way they communicate? I predicted a long time ago, when all of us old people were creating Facebook pages and connecting with those high school pals from our past, that young people would begin to lose interest. And even those of my generation who had jumped on with an initial burst of curiousity would grow a little weary from the daily dose of TMI, photos included.

Interestingly, the New York Times ran an article called "Facebook Resisters" by Jenna Wortham (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/technology/shunning-facebook-and-living-to-tell-about-it.html?_r=1), which I assumed would be all about older people who don't trust Facebook or think it's pointless and shallow. I know several people of this ilk. But, more often than not, the resisters are like my daughter — young people.

I asked my daughter why she deleted her page. She said it was a big time-waster. Upon opening her laptop, the first thing she would do would be check Facebook and an hour (or more later), she would realize that she had spent a large chunk of time basically doing nothing. She said it kept her from having real conversations with people. And many of her friends were people she barely knew. And I would suspect that she enjoys her privacy. For her, it wasn't a lack of trust in Facebook, as it is with some older people, but a conscious decision on how she wants to spend her time and the quality of that time. I can respect that.

Facebook has been a good tool for me for the most part. I joined out of curiousity and out of what I felt was a real need professionally. As a journalist, I felt that I should know how this piece of social media worked. And it has helped me connect with people whom I know I wouldn't have connected with otherwise. I'm terrible about staying in touch with people and it makes it easier for me. Also, when one of my children was abroad for a semester, it was the best way to view photos and keep in touch.

On the other hand, now that my daughter is back state-side, I don't get on Facebook much at all. It has some entertainment value — I really appreciate people who are funny on Facebook — but other than that, I kind of agree with my daughter that I would much rather do something else with my time.

What about you? Do you spend much time on Facebook or are you a Facebook resister? What do you like about Facebook? What's your pet peeve?

Categories: Editor’s Blog

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