A couple of weeks ago I read an article about someone who decided to take an experimental break from “liking” things on Facebook. It was such an interesting article and concept to me that I decided to follow suit with a “like” fast of my own.
I have to admit that I’ve developed somewhat of a love/hate relationship with Facebook. On the one hand, I enjoy being able to keep up with friends and family, particularly those who live far away from me and who I rarely get to see. However, I have noticed that sometimes I use Facebook as my main source of communication and interaction with those who I actually live near and can see on a regular basis, and that’s not necessarily the best way to foster good relationships. It’s all too easy to fall back on the quick thumbs-up “like” of someone’s status update rather than actually have a conversation with them.
So for the past couple of weeks, I’ve ignored my “like” impulse on Facebook and stuck to comments only. I can’t say that I’ve noticed any big changes in my news feed, as the article’s author did. What I did notice, however, was that, while I interacted with fewer Facebook friends, the interaction that I did have was more meaningful. It does take a bit more time and effort to comment on someone’s status rather than hit the “like” button, so I was a bit more selective with what I chose to comment on. (Please note that if you’re my friend on Facebook and I didn’t comment on your status in the last couple of weeks, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it!)
All in all, this experiment has challenged me to remember that Facebook, while a useful tool at times, is not a substitute for actual conversation. Have you, like me, discovered that you’re sometimes too dependent on Facebook communication?