My early-January computer hard drive problems extended to my Blackberry late last week. While I was able to repopulate my decimated Outlook address book with contacts imported from my smart phone, I somehow also managed to restore most of the Blackberry’s original factory settings in the process. Among the things I lost on the Blackberry were all of my downloaded apps, including the one that lets me access Facebook’s mobile site.
Now, I’m a Facebook fan. I keep it open on one of my browser tabs pretty much all day long, checking in from time to time to see what’s happening with my friends and colleagues. I think it’s a sort of social safety blanket for those of us who work from home. Somehow, just having Facebook there whenever I want it makes me feel like I’m part of a bigger conversation all day.
On my Blackberry, though, I’ve started to feel that Facebook is far less useful. Those same friendly updates change from mildly amusing to downright annoying. It’s because the Blackberry app sets off an audible “ping” every time a new Facebook update is received. At home, I don’t feel the need to stop what I’m doing to check Facebook. My computer doesn’t beep at me every time a friend notes her latest luncheon recipe. The Blackberry, though, rings at me like a never-ending doorbell. I simply can’t handle the pressure of the ping.
Thus, I’m leaving the app off my phone for good. Folks will just have to wait for me to log on at home if they want me to see their latest updates. My guess is that nobody will even notice my newly detached interest, which from their end will mean that I take a day, instead of a few hours, to comment on their posts. Oh, the horror.
I can’t help but think that this decision, and its nearly complete lack of consequences, speaks even more profoundly to the value of the time that I (and so many millions of people) have been devoting to Facebook itself.