Does Facebook Add Value To Your Life?

I walked into the Starbucks in Grapevine knowing that it was going to take a few minutes to get my cup of Joe.

That is because I had the good luck to walk in behind a group of a dozen people and there was no way to push by them without being rude.

Most days I wouldn’t care but on that particular one I was exhausted and knew that I had hours of travel ahead, coffee and a nap weren’t optional–they were required.

Patience and I aren’t always the closest of friends but we usually figure out a way to make it work so I spent the time shifting my weight from left to right and right to left and eaves dropped on the conversations around me.

“I can’t believe he is already dating. We broke up less than a month ago.”

“My boss is a jerk and I hate the guy in the cubicle next to me.”

“Ask mom if she wants me to bring her a drink.”

“I hate Starbucks, it tastes like goat piss.”

“If it wasn’t for Facebook I wouldn’t know how to talk to people.”

The last two comments caught my ear.

Did the person who said that Starbucks tastes like goat piss really mean it and if so, what the hell were they doing in line?

How does Facebook help or teach you to speak with people?

I am not a coffee snob so I didn’t have any particular interest in speaking with “goat man” and I was too tired to dig into the Facebook guy.

But it did give me some food for thought.

Does Facebook Add Value To Your Life?

It is a question I have asked myself more than once sometimes after political debates and sometimes after I have pruned my friend’s list.

The platform has been a great source of blog fodder. Flip through the archives and you’ll come across a bunch of posts like Facebook Made Me Hate You and The Great Facebook Purge of 2014.

That first link talks about another moment in time, one where I heard a couple fighting because of what one had said on Facebook and the second, well that is different.

The second talks about what happened when I spent a chunk of time shrinking my friends list. If you haven’t read the post the recap is as follows.

There was a time when I had around 3,500 Facebook friends but I didn’t know many of them.

We had connected because at the time I was playing some online games and having more Facebook friends made you a more powerful player.

When I stopped playing the game I figured it was time to shrink the list to a more manageable level and I accidentally unfriended several people I knew.

It caused some misunderstanding and hurt feelings.

The funny thing about it is before Facebook came along they weren’t people I kept in touch with and if it weren’t for Facebook we probably still wouldn’t be in touch.

So I had a couple of moments where there was some unnecessary awkwardness that never would have happened without it.

On the other hand Facebook has helped me to connect and reconnect with people who are very important in my life so it hasn’t been all negative by any means.

Children & Social Media

If you read How Daughters Influence Fathers- Snapchat Edition you know I am not against my children using social media but I do watch things closely.

It is not just because I worry about their online safety and whether they will or won’t get into trouble online.

Rather it is because I don’t want my kids to be the people who say they had to use social media to learn how to speak with people.

I don’t let them communicate solely by text. I make sure they use the telephone too and know how to look people in the eye.

The most important skill you have is your ability to communicate and get along with others. That is not just with electronics but in person.

What about you?

What do you think?

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6 Comments

  1. Ari Herzog February 1, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Facebook adds zero value today — because as much as you try to avoid people sharing politics, politics, politics, as much as you try to unfollow people who post nonstop about politics, then you see people who share links about politics.

    What happened to the days when people shared ONLY pictures of their family, their pets, and what they ate? Oh, right, they moved those pictures to Instagram. I like Instagram.

    Facebook is useful for learning about upcoming events where your so-called friends are going. In January 2017 in the United States, not much else.

  2. Holly Jahangiri April 25, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Yes. No, well…FACEBOOK doesn’t add value to my life. The friends I’ve connected with there, that I had lost touch with over the years or hadn’t met yet – THEY add value to my life, and Facebook has facilitated that. So…yes.

    Has Facebook ever made me hate someone? No. Has it ever been the means through which I found out I didn’t really like someone all that much? Sure. It gives some people a platform from which to air some of their uglier thoughts and attitudes, and in a way, I’m grateful for that. Always good to know if the python’s actually a cobra in disguise. I’d rather be hugged to death than bitten and poisoned with neurotoxin.

    Ever notice there are those people who, if you ask, “How are you?” answer “Can’t complain” in a tone that makes that sound like a sad complaint in itself? Those are the same ones who think Starbucks tastes like goat piss, but will stand in line and pay $4 for a cup of it.

    There’s not much point in telling them they could probably get goat piss for free – or offering to pee in their cup for them if they’d rather have that.

    • Joshua Wilner April 26, 2016 at 12:53 am

      Hi Holly,

      That is a fantastic comment. I really appreciate it, practically a blog post in itself.

      I don’t think I had ever thought about whether I prefer to be hugged to death or poisoned, but I think I am in agreement with you.

      Hugging is a better way to go.

      Some people are happier when they can complain, even when there is nothing to complain about, but don’t tell them that. 🙂

      • Holly Jahangiri April 26, 2016 at 5:36 am

        Oh, Josh, that’s practically my trademark – leaving blog posts in other people’s comments sections! (BONUS if you like that and follow the breadcrumbs back to MY blog, eh?)

        No, don’t tell those folks how happy they are complaining, or they’ll just complain about that, too! Admittedly, I’ve been known to throw them a bone by pointing it out and laughing. The expression on their faces is priceless! It’s been known to get a chuckle or two, unless they’re just really entrenched in that attitude – in which case, you should probably duck the daggers from their eyes.

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