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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

Featured and pin images courtesy: Shutterstock

Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.

nibhz · August 23, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Can totally relate to this!! πŸ˜›

Laurel Regan · August 23, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Facebook definitely can be a double-edged sword. Occasionally I catch myself writing an extra-long status update and realize that I'm wasting a perfectly good blog post by sharing it first on Facebook! I totally hear where you're coming from – thanks for sharing your perspective. πŸ™‚ · August 24, 2014 at 5:13 am

Facebook has its pluses and its minuses, as you've shown so well.
I guess people who face the disadvantages of FB did not really know what they wanted out of FB. I used FB mainly to locate long-lost friends. However, in almost all cases, I’ve told my FB friends that I’d rather interact with them by phone and email, not by FB. I do have non-FB interactions with FB friends, but not with those whose friend requests I accepted only to avoid offending them. I do log in to FB, but I don't miss it if I don't log in for days, even weeks, together.

beingFab · August 24, 2014 at 6:41 am

Every word you've written is absolutely true!! FB is a great place to network, but it also eats up a lot of time!

Beloo Mehra · August 24, 2014 at 7:37 am

A very good analysis, Shailaja. I like the way you speak of both the positives and negatives. I also keep the notifications off on my phone, when it comes to FB. And as you know I am not active on Twitter, so that keeps me somewhat sane. Or at least I think so πŸ™‚ But even FB takes up so much of my time and lately I have learned that when I am involved in thinking/writing on topics that demand a bit more serious thought I find myself less drawn to checking FB πŸ™‚ So I will keep doing that for a while!

Aparna · August 24, 2014 at 9:23 am

I could relate to every point Shailaja.. can't live with it, can't live without it ;).

taleoftwotomatoes · August 24, 2014 at 11:45 am

Lovely write! Boons of FB- that's a unique idea! πŸ™‚

Sheethal Susan Jacob · August 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm

So true this one …!! Can't live without FB yet can't live properly with FB too…

Anita · August 24, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Valid points, Shailaja. FB has its share of good & not-so-good πŸ™‚
User beware!

vishalbheeroo · August 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I've been able to connect with so many like-minded souls on FB but, at times, we need a break. I call it my ME time, just temporarily disable my account for a month or two. So, right now, I am alien to what FB folks are doing..hehe

Eli Z · August 24, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Can so relate to this dear Shailaja – the positive and negative sides. So happy to connect with family and friends who live on the other side of the world! And on the other hand – what a time- steal-er it can be…:

April @ 100lb Countdown · August 24, 2014 at 8:00 pm

I completely agree. It's hard to be on Facebook and not get sucked into new and old pictures, articles with comments, leaving the first comment, and choosing to share.

tulika singh · August 25, 2014 at 3:33 am

Yes yes yes to everything there. And now waiting for that second post. Every now and then I keep reminding myself that I'm spending too much time on FB. But it doesn't work too well. It is very very distracting. Even as I'm typing out on my tab an FB notification pops up and I'm tempted to follow it and then that's it. The piece takes hours to complete because I'm juggling FB all the time.

Nabanita · August 25, 2014 at 4:38 am

I like your analysis Shailaja and it's so true FB really eats up our time but on the other hand as you said it helps us meet some like minded people too… No one understood my love for blogging and writing until I met more women and men llike me on FB and that's what I like best about FB…

Random Thoughts Naba – 12 Most Puzzling Acquaintances in Life…

Dr. Gauri Kekre · August 25, 2014 at 1:26 pm

agree with every point Shy but sometimes I feel we are giving too much time to Facebook, than actual parenting πŸ™

Vidya Sury · August 26, 2014 at 5:42 pm

I visit Facebook when I have to. πŸ˜€ I never turn on chat. And do not have notifications enabled on my phone. Safe! πŸ™‚

It is a challenge to make sure we don't get too much of a good thing eh?

Vinitha Dileep · August 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm

True that!! Finding balance is the challenge isn't it?

Shailaja V · August 27, 2014 at 8:04 am

Sigh, can't you? Damn addictive, I say!

Shailaja V · August 27, 2014 at 8:11 am

I hear you, Laurel. I sometimes write it myself and then delete it, thinking how much better it would be as a blog post πŸ™‚

Shailaja V · August 31, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Yes, the problem with FB is its addictive nature. Very true.

Archana K B · September 11, 2014 at 11:47 am

eagerly waiting for the tips n tricks.. but which parenting group are you part of where in you help others yell less.. Is it the same orange rhino FB group you meant?

Shailaja Vishwanath · February 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm

That's true even two years later πŸ™‚

Shailaja Vishwanath · February 8, 2016 at 4:01 pm

Yes, Writing distraction free is a great way to stay off Facebook, Beloo. I find I can do that rather well these days, fortunately πŸ™‚

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