I’ve recently taken a dramatic step in the course of my social and professional life. I decided to deactivate my Facebook profile. GASP! How will I be able to survive and function in our technology driven society!? 😯
In all seriousness, the core of that question is what I will be trying to figure out during a one month hiatus from this powerful social media tool.
I was introduced to Facebook in college and have been addicted to it since then (and yes, when I say addicted, I really mean it). On a daily basis I would change my status, poke people, and stalk my friends and acquaintances in my network (don’t act like you don’t do it, too). Using my Facebook account became not only necessary but automatic. It became a fun way to consistently communicate with my friends but also an easy way to procrastinate. I do believe it is a useful tool but I think it has the potential to become an extreme time-stealer and an easy way to lose touch of traditional means of communication. I still like to call my friends but I must admit that I found it easier to write on their Facebook wall or send them a quick message. So sad.
Throughout my AmeriCorps year I have experienced the power of Facebook and how it helps build bridges between organizations and their target audiences. The power of social media is undeniable and inescapable. It has proven to be quite an effective way to do outreach and keep people interested in the mission of an organization. For example, a nonprofit may post daily facts or questions on their page that connect with their volunteers, members, or interested viewers. The combination of this online presence in addition to in-person events leads to a very thorough means of engagement.
I am sure that I will return to my old ways after one month but in the meantime I am curious to see how it will affect my experience as a volunteer and researcher of local nonprofits. As a member of the Facebook universe I was not only connected with friends and family but was a “fan” of many organizations, including the ones who are hosting AmeriCorps members I am supporting. Throughout my Facebook break I would like to see how my level of awareness and interest in various organizations and businesses changes without a daily online presence. I am curious as to how out of the loop I may be without this social machine. Will I need to work harder to be informed by an organization? Is there a level of neglect from online organizations to those who aren’t part of the Web 2.0 crowd? As you think about all of that I am going to go do something non-Facebookish now…like create the survey below. How often do you use Facebook?