A word meaning “I’m not on Facebook”. First of all the phrase is cumbersome and it’s worded in the negative, something I try to avoid when talking about myself. Also, after reading this article it seems that we need a positive spin on opting out of this particular form of social media. Today Facebook is so commonplace, indeed my 70-something parents have opted in, that if you refrain there MUST be a reason, now it seems that reason MIGHT (probably) have a little deviance attached. A sketchy past, running from the law, introvert gone overboard, who knows WHAT?!?!?!
While I find this kind of logic concerning, I can’t help marvel at the progression of this media. Four years ago if I mentioned I wasn’t on Facebook, I was hit with two responses. 1. You’ve got to it’s so fun, I’ve reconnected with so many people, the picture sharing alone! 2. Yeah, it’s kind of a time suck, I can jump on and next time I look up 2 hours have passed.
Both responses four years ago were about the Facebook user but today when I mention that I’m not on Facebook, 90% of the time I get this response. “Oh….why not?” Now, it’s about me and I’m in the position of defending my position of opting out. I have noted a bit of hostility creeping in from those who don’t want to have to worry about protecting their choices regarding social media. It’s not unlike when you fall into a conversation about eating healthfully with someone who regularly chooses soda and fast food. Translation, they don’t really want to hear it.
It’s not like I’ve set-out to make a stand against Facebook, or social media – I DO blog, that’s something right? But is it like this article said, I’ve got poor “digital manners”. Many friends have suggested the generic profile set-up, high privacy settings and the like, but I’m not sure I’ve got the discipline to adhere to my own boundaries, especially after reading this and learning I’ve probably got some Facebook “friends” waiting for me. Then there are the scary points made in this article where I and other opt-outers could be dismissed as “unknown quantities”. I’ve got children, I can’t be an unknown quantity! I’m big on teaching them to “use their voice” – right now social media is the acceptable platform for EVERYONE who feels they have something to say (worthy or not). By acting like a cyber wallflower I could be giving up my power to make a difference without even realizing it. If you google this topic, it seems opting out is akin to those who said they’d never use email. Basically, I won’t really have a choice if I want to participate in the world at large. So it seems I might not need a new word after all, this is like a whole new form of cyber bullying, like a cyber tidal wave….cyber assimilation. Maybe I need a new word for THAT.