It was a nice long run. Since the beginning of 2017 through the middle of September I might have logged onto Facebook all of a handful of times. During that time I might not have posted anything. I don’t count blog posting since I write them and it auto magically gets posted to my twitter and Facebook feeds without me logging in.
This week all that changed. I started wading back into what sometimes feels like the cesspool of Facebook. Why after calling it “sometimes cesspool” like would I return? I did not really want to. My not using Facebook has taught me a few things. For one sharing photos to a limited number of people is challenging. I have an iPhone. My wife has an iPhone. My parents have an iPhone. My in-laws do not. If I want to share photo and use iCloud, I have to call them and let them know they should turn on their iPad to look for an update. That is a technology fail. Finding a tool or service that a large number of people use is hard. Getting people to start using the tool because you want to share information is challenging. Especially if that’s the only reason they’re going to use it is for you. Using Facebook I lower the barrier to use significantly since many people are using it already.
Facebook’s not quite secure however. Photos on Facebook aren’t out on the Internet for everyone to see however they are also not securely locked away that virtually no one sees. That basically became my trade-off. For the past nine months or so I haven’t really shared what’s going on and I was ok with that. I am not self-centered enough to assume that everyone that is a friend of mine on Facebook is missing photographs and updates about what’s going on in my life. There are some family and friends that are interested and are not set up technologically to connect in other ways. Those people I do miss the connection.
That brings us to why I’m back. During roughly the same time I was radio silent on Facebook a lot is been going on in the “real world”. When not posting on social media I could relatively easily meet up with someone for dinner or an afternoon to hang out to catch up. I could talk to someone in the family who talks to someone to pass on details of whats going on, etc. In the near future that will change a lot. Starting on or around new year we will be moving. There will be significantly more distance between close friends and family and where were going.
We are moving to London. Yes I said it correctly, London England. If you have read five paragraphs in to this blog post you earn the right to be one of the first (ok maybe twelveth) to know that were moving overseas.
I plan to write a lot more about our planning, reasons why were going, and the experience in the future. This post really is about my return to Facebook. Why I returned is directly related to our move overseas. The way I’ve been updating friends and family limited who got photos of my kids and what was going on in the world with us. Becoming more “normal and oversharing on Facebook will be away for those close to us to know what’s going on since will be thousands of miles further away.
I still have issues with Facebook’s facial recognition of photographs. Especially of my kids. On the other hand my wife does post photos so the exposure is already there. Commenting about what we are doing goes to my blog that is completely open on the Internet. I do that deliberately however I know I need to be mindful of what goes up there since there is no restrictions.
The other aspect reading about what other people are up to and having quick discussions with soon to be faraway people. The challenge is doing that while weeding through all the other stuff on Facebook. The other stuff being political commentary, news articles, etc. That’s what drove me away in the first place.
In the end that’s the price I I am willing to pay to have some more level of connection with those friends and family. Because of that Facebook wins. I am back. I might not be happy about it however I’m glad to have a medium where I can share what’s going on in our lives while we are 5000 or so miles away.