Social networking and its drawbacks

OK, so it seems like most people use Facebook these days. Some of us use similar, yet different services such as MySpace and Twitter. I use all 3 to varying extents and recently, I have become bogged down by the realisation of just how much Facebook in particular has become interwoven into my life.
Facebook is very useful for promotion and networking and like MySpace, I have managed to conduct a lot of bookings via this avenue. I recently created a seperate profile entirely for this and I find that psychologically this has helped, as it kind of separates and depersonalises things a bit (don’t feel as bad about adding “friends” whom I don’t know at all for instance). I also created it so that other members of the Zuu team could also use it for promotion and communication (hint hint Mick -lol!).
On a personal level, Facebook has been a bit of a love/hate relationship for me in recent months, getting too heated up by some comments or impassioned for or against a viewpoint, it is really not a good thing in many ways. It does have its uses in so far as I can see what a lot of my buddies are up to at any given time and I recognise how beneficial it is for some, in particular those who live or are at home by themselves. One never really feels alone when there is access to Facebook and it contains no shortage of distractions.
However, I no longer feel comfortable with it being one of the first things I do in a morning and one of the last things I do before going to sleep 75% of the time. Having it on my smartphone only exacerbates that.
I have also found that a lot of real-world social conversation revolves around things that have been posted or said on Facebook. I am sure many opinions are formed about people by people who have never met them face to face and there are also sometimes virtual lynch mobs against people or for causes. Why do we choose to let ourselves get so bogged down by a single web service?
I quote a friend of mine from a couple of weeks ago “I would ask you what you have been up to but I already know. It has killed the art of conversation”. Incidently I had not seen said friend for months and I think we both left feeling somehow that we had been cheated of a more pleasurable experience out of our albeit brief chat.
So, I have decided to take a break from it for a short while, certainly from my personal account. I have done little things such as delete the app from my phone and stop the email notifications as well as other things to distance or distract myself a bit. Ironically, the first thing I have done is blog about it yes and I also see the irony that there is a possibility a link may be automatically be posted as a FB status update via Twitter / Twitterfeed (although it shouldn’t now I have changed my settings).
Anyway, whether or not I change my Facebook habits or how long I manage to stay off of it remains to be seen but I guess it is the old adage that the first step to solving a problem is to recognise that a problem exists.
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