Sunday, April 10, 2011

Noble silence

"Before you speak ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?"

This is my rant about Facebook and I hope Facebook fans finish reading this rant.

The loud noise: FB IMO is a platform for degrading the quality of life. Does seeing my friends in a good shape motivate me to exercise? No, the intent was there for me to lose weight after pregnancy, but there was never enough time. 
I can feel happy for a close friend that she is in a good shape, but not for all the hundreds of contacts who are called 'Friends' on FB. Those pictures don't help, they ruin a few minutes of my day. If you think what is a few minutes in a day, multiply it by the number of "Friends" you have on FB. Every time somebody posts how well they are doing in their careers, personally, financially, or family-wise, they are rubbing it in.

FB helps us violate a basic tenet for happiness - "Don't compare yourself to others".

Rant to research : Is Facebook making us miserable?

 The damage is not just to the people on the receiving end. Think about getting addicted to check how many likes you got for that stunning picture of you or for the post about how cute your kid is. Instead of letting us focus on real actions/challenges of the day, we limit us to the shallowness of who said what about me.

The white noise: All the comments in reply to somebody's post/update. If you like something, why can't you let the person know privately, why does everyone(not just the friends, but friends of a friend)  have to go through what you think. I know that there is a "hide" option, but one will end up hiding all her friends if she can't stand this white noise.

Discipline Issue: I think Facebook should be used by highly disciplined people, undisciplined lot end up wasting their time. Think about how much time you can free up and work out in the gym instead of seeing pictures of your friends on FB.

But what about Egypt?
From the time I quit Facebook due to noise ranging from white to loud, some wonderful things have happened.
Hosni Mubarak's 30-year regime was brought to an end and though Facebook's role was not clear, let's give it the benefit of doubt. 

"Rome was not built in a day".

FB "might" have helped Hosni Mubarak's downfall, but if people get complacent about that and watch Cricket of NFL equivalent in Egypt and don't work on a better governance, simply overthrowing the dictatorship is not sufficient.

What do you suggest?
Remind yourself this quote every time you post something on FB.
"Before you speak ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?"
Is it a good piece of information that you want to share? Excellent.
Is it some silly update about how you can't get enough of your new tech toy - Noooooo! Don't limit yourself to the shallowness and materialism.

PS: I didn't mean to say I was sad or depressed from others' FB updates, its true I lose my balance for a few minutes, but I am the happiest person in the world as I know that true happiness comes from doing good work, and from family and real friends. I quit FB when it appeared to me that nobody was responding to my posts asking them to take a minute to sign various petitions online. Thanks to my friend who said he hid my updates because they were all petitions, nothing interesting. I quit because of you, thanks for helping me save my time from the distractions of FB.