dord (dôrd), n. density of mind; chiefly exhibited by one who attempts to demonstrate supposed knowledge --adj. dord'ish


Why Not Facebook?

I want to be clear about one thing at the start: I do not believe that Facebook is evil. Like so many things (including blogging), it can become a time-wasting obsession, but that does not mean that it is inherently wrong.

There's something else I should be clear about: I've never had a Facebook account. That means that none of what I know about Facebook is first-hand. I've heard about it, read about it, heard about it, seen it's basic layout, heard about it (did I mention that already?), but I've never "done" it. Now that those two things are out of the way, I'll get on to some thoughts about Facebook.

Why don't I "do" Facebook? The number one reason is that I know I would like it. Not wasting time is always a difficult fight. Between school related activities, checking e-mail, reading some news, and doing a little blogging, I'm already on the internet quite a bit. Should I join Facebook, I would add another time consuming stop to my internet visits. Yes, such things could be done properly through self-control and moderation; but, knowing myself (did I really need to check my e-mail just now? etc.), I'm confident that the best way for me to fight the temptation to waste time on Facebook is simply not to have a Facebook account.

So why do I, a blogger, feel so differently about Facebook? I could be wrong in some of what I say here--as I said, I've never participated in Facebook--but it seems to me that Facebook is a somewhat artificial social medium. I realize that the same might be said of blogging. The fact is, none of these technological interfaces replace real-life, face-to-face interaction. That being said, they can be a valuable means of keeping in contact with other people. Personally, I think that more of the benefits, and fewer of the pitfalls, can be found in blogging than in Facebooking. Here is where I'd like to hear from Facebook users: in contrast to blogging, how conducive is Facebook to meaningful conversations? How easily or how often does it become trivial? All in all, while there are certainly things which I've "missed out" on by not Facebooking, I don't feel that this has hindered my friendships (see my final paragraph, below). As a blogger, I know that even the best parts of interacting with friends in the blogosphere are only supplemental to really knowing them in real life.

That is my brief explanation of why I don't have a Facebook account. If any of it seems incomplete or unclear, don't be afraid to say so.

At this point, I am realizing it might be necessary to assure people that I am, indeed, a college student. Despite the fact that I don't "do" Facebook, despite the fact that I don't own an iPod, despite the fact that I don't drink coffee, and despite the fact that I don't own a cellphone, I do attend a real university. If this all seems too unbelievable to be true, I am willing to show you my ID and a few graded tests as proof.

Finally, as some of you are aware, I'm in the process of trying to locate the five or six other college students in America who do not participate in Facebook. Should I succeed in locating those who qualify, and should they be interested, I'm planning on ordering and distributing some t-shirts with the following words: "I don't do Facebook and I still have friends."



Blogger Laedelas Greenleaf said...

I got 2 of those 4 iPod or coffee :-) You know why I use's on my blog :-) Just to recap, though (since I like the sound of my voice, er, the look of my words), it's a casual way to communicate with people I don't see often. And bother those that I do see often.

3/30/2007 12:10 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't know how absolutely thrilled i am to realize that I'm not the only college student to not be on Facebook! I don't have an ipod either...
p.s. I do have a cell-phone, though I didn't have one my freshman year, and, boy, was I looked on as a bit of a freak for that one.

10/26/2009 1:26 AM

Blogger Jason said...


I actually also have a cellphone at this point--got it after my sophomore year because of my summer job... and kept it... no texting though.

Speaking of being looked at as a freak: here's a good story.

Sophomore year in a math class, a few minutes before lecture started, I got to talking with the guy next to me about how neither of us owned cellphones. Another guy nearby was rather incredulous: "Wow. Two in one room."

10/26/2009 11:59 AM

Anonymous Joakim said...

I don't do facebook and I don't drink coffee. I work for a VoIP telephony provider so not having a cellphone is not really an option in my line of work, but I must admit, I turn it off every chance I get.

Like you, I know that I would like doing facebook alot, I would probably spend hours on it and again like you, not having an account ensures that it doesn't mess with my couch and TV time. But the absolute main reason why I stay away from the whole concept is that you will loose all rights to any media you post on facebook!. If you post a picture of yourself, facebook is free to use that picture for whatever purpose they see fit, even commercial gain.

-Joakim, Oslo - Norway.

11/03/2009 9:42 AM


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