Do you know that my posting frequency on this blog has dropped alarmingly? And I don’t like it. Not one bit!

This blog was the original reason for my being on the Web. Stories of my parenting ups and downs have kept me connected to so many people, parents and non-parents alike. It is my go-to zone for sharing my snippets on Parenting, schooling in Bangalore and life lessons from my daughter, Gy.

Somewhere along the way, I started doing something else, though. I was drawn in by the lure of social media. And when I say social media, I mean the insidious lure of the networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. And when I say ‘sites’, I mean, only Facebook.

Let me be frank.

Facebook has been a boon to me, as well as a bit of an edged sword. I am both eternally thankful for its presence in my life and also constantly worrying about the large chunk of time it tends to take out of my daily existence.

So, here are 12 reasons that I am grateful for Facebook and also why I worry about its impact on my life.

1. It connects me to people

Β This is absolutely true. In the early days of Facebook, I managed to get back in touch with so many people from my past- school, college, workplace- that it became seamlessly easy to stay in touch with people. So, that’s the good thing about it.

2. It connected me with too many people!
All bloggers can relate to this one. We are constantly connecting with like-minded people all over the worldwide Web. Something that we say on our blog resonates well with others and one of the easiest ways to connect with them is via their Facebook pages. All good so far. But now, there’s a hitch. I would typically need to interact with a blogger enough before I accept a friend request of theirs. I don’t have anything against friend requests, but when it comes from an online acquaintance I have just barely crossed paths with once or twice on the blogsphere, it becomes kind of awkward. No offence, people.

*Yes, I do have over 1000 Facebook friends. Here’s why that’s a problem πŸ˜‰

3. You read interesting articlesΒ 

There are Parenting groups on facebook, where I source a lot of excellent articles on Positive parenting and the idea of Yelling less. I connected with the Orange Rhino page , when browsing for articles online. Friends of mine, who are also on a similar wavelength, share these on their timelines and I glean some valuable tips from them.

4. You read one article and you cannot stop reading

Yes, you read that right. It’s addictive to keep clicking through to read related articles, all at one go. We all know how that’s going to end.

5. Facebook excited me with Like-minded groups

In the heady glow of new love, I remember signing up for a number of groups. So many of them kept popping up and I joined all of them. From selling used goods to getting hotel recommendations or the newest restaurant, it was all there. I just had to join the conversations and glean the useful bits out.

6. Facebook horrified me with vindictive, judgmental group behaviour
It started seemingly harmlessly at first. Very soon though, it was like watching kids fighting it out at a school playground, seeing who could land the hardest punch. I slowly withdrew from groups that did this on a regular basis. There was enough negativity in the real world to keep me from seeking it out in the virtual space.
Picture credit: Pixabay

7. It helped me pass my spare timeΒ 

After a hard day’s work, I would unwind, by scrolling through the News Feed and getting updated on what my friends and family were doing. It was a great way to switch off from the strain of the workday.

8. It ate up every bit of my spare time
This became unfortunately true. I started checking Facebook on my smartphone in late 2010. Ever since, I realised that I was feverishly waiting for the phone to ‘Ping’ saying I had new notifications. Darn it all! I was addicted! Hopelessly so πŸ™
9. A platform for sharing

As a blogger, I know that Facebook has helped reach my posts to a wider audience, one that faithfully followed my posts and appreciated the little snippets of happiness I would share with the world at large. Both my Facebook pages, the Moving Quill and Diary of a Doting Mom, have seen much love from this space. For that, I always will be filled with gratitude.

10. When sharing becomes too much

I agree with the idea of sharing your posts on your personal page and your facebook blog page. But, when you simultaneously share the same post with 75 different groups, all of which are set to Public view, you inadvertently spam your friends’ timelines! One of my well-wishers was kind enough to tell me that she was tempted to turn off notifications from me, because of this. She didn’t want to do it, because she liked my posts. And with that, I took the pruning shears out and snipped my sharing tendency, keeping it to the bare minimum.

11. It helped me create a wonderful Parenting Group
Thanks to the Yelling less challenge, I now moderate a close-knit group of women, all united in their quest to yell less and love more. We offer support and guidance to one another when we feel depressed and upset with our behaviour. We tackle triggers and discuss strategies to combat discipline issues. We came together with such warmth and love that it is incredible.
Picture Credit: Pixabay

12. Facebook taught me that real Parenting happens offline
Recently, I came across this thought-provoking article on the ubiquitous presence of Social media in our children’s lives and how it affects our Parenting. To say that the post was an eye-opener would be incorrect, because I have always known of the detrimental effects of social media. But, to be shown what it can do, in stark measure, really helped me make a few decisions about my time on this Social network.
*A few years after this post, I wrote this one about how Facebook is a BOON to bloggers. You’d enjoy it.
Till then, be happy, stay connected online, but more importantly, be in touch with the person within.

Woman holding up hands indicating options. Weighing the pros and cons of Facebook and how Facebook Affects me as a blogger

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