Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Do You Care What I Had for Breakfast? ; Constant Pull to Share Little Details Means Facebook Has One Fewer User

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Do You Care What I Had for Breakfast? ; Constant Pull to Share Little Details Means Facebook Has One Fewer User

Article excerpt

After eight years, I finally said goodbye. Last week, I deactivated my Facebook account. The break up was difficult, but it was time to cut the cord. Since Facebooks launch in 2004, the social media sites reach has grown enormously. When I joined in the summer of 2007, users were required to have an email address ending in .edu, meaning the sites users were limited to college students or recent graduates.

At some point, membership was open to anyone with an email address and Internet connection. Now, Facebooks global membership has reached 1.5 billion monthly active users.

Facebook has certainly changed how we connect with others. Information that was once relayed in a phone call or through email is now displayed on a screen that updates in real time. Thanks to Facebook, users dont even have to rely on face-to-face communication to see pictures of someones children, discuss the details of their latest vacations or hear about what they think of Donald Trump.

As an avid social media user, Ive been guilty of perhaps oversharing photos of my daughter and mundane information about my everyday life. Its an easy trap to fall into when all 200-plus of my Facebook friends (several of whom I havent spoken to in person since high school) do the exact same thing.

That was illustrated to me in the first couple of days after I deactivated. Walking downtown at lunch time, I thought of something clever and immediately wanted to post it to Facebook. I pulled out my phone and quickly remembered Id deleted the app.

As I slipped my phone back into my pocket, I asked myself if any of my friends would care about that fleeting idea. The answer is probably not. So why did I feel the need to immediately share it with them?

That the pull to instantly share every little thought, question or photo is why I ultimately had to click deactivate. I began to ask myself what role Facebook played in my life and if sharing, and receiving, all that unnecessary information really mattered. …

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