7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 98)

September 24, 2010 | 92 comments

— 1 —

The taping for The Choices We Face last week went well!

Jennifer Fulwiler, in shoes that actually fit!

I was serious when I said in #2 here that I was having a shoe crisis. Immediately after I wrote that post I got on Zappos, found their one pair of cute shoes in size 12, said a prayer that they wouldn’t look like circus-wear when I actually saw them, and ordered them with two-day shipping. I really like them; it’s so cool to actually own a pair of cute shoes!

— 2 —

I’m frequently asked, “How do you find time to write a book and keep up with a blog with four young kids?” I went into a lot of detail in this post, but now I think that my answer might just be: I’m not on Facebook.

— 3 —

I’ve said this before, but I feel like I need some sort of counter widget for my sidebar that marks each day that goes by that I resist getting a Facebook account. Maybe that way I could find all the other people in the world who aren’t on Facebook, and the three of us could communicate with one another via parchment scrolls delivered by horse-drawn carriages.

— 4 —

For the record, I’m not anti-Facebook. I just haven’t felt like it would be a value-add at this point (read: I could have written three books by now if I’d never gotten a Twitter account, and I think that my entire life will screech to a standstill if I find a new way to waste time on the internet). Anyway, while I’m waxing philosophical on the subject, I’d be interested to know: For those of you who use Facebook regularly, do you feel that it has had an overall positive or negative impact on your life?

— 5 —

Speaking of procrastination and use of time, I loved this quote that hangs above the chapel at Ave Maria Radio‘s studio in Ann Arbor:

"Prayer takes time, and saints pray and get more done in less time"

— 6 —

Arwen and I at the Weber Inn

Other highlights from my trip to Ann Arbor:

  • Meeting the wonderful, Christ-filled staff at Renewal Ministries.
  • Getting to do an in-studio interview with the venerable Al Kresta.
  • Vespers at the chapel of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.
  • Our friend Cindy kindly taking the time to show us around and hang out with us.
  • Tea with Arwen Mosher, who was every bit as sweet and fun to chat with as I expected her to be.
  • Staying at the super-cute Weber’s Inn.
  • Being in Michigan University’s home town on game day.

— 7 —

My husband and I remarked many times that Ann Arbor is very similar to Austin. We felt quite at home there, and decided that we really want to come back one day. And then, we received a blazingly clear sign from God that, without question, our destines somehow involve this city: my husband ran into a guy wearing THE SAME BANANA SUIT HE HAS at the Michigan game. Chills.


Below is a linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.


  1. Kathy

    Facebook- ugh! My husband signed up, but we don’t update our account. I’ve had people update their account while talking to me in person; I think we’re forgetting how to communicate the more communication venues we create.

  2. Roxane B. Salonen

    Jennifer, I totally missed the announcement about your trip to Ann Arbor. I officially cannot keep up anymore, even with some of my very favorite blogs such as yours. That is a very difficult thing to reconcile with. That said, I have and love my Facebook account (and in no way blame it on my lack of keeping up). It has connected me with many people from my past and there have been more than a few beautiful moments I could share, but too many details for here. Plus, I don’t want to make you feel guilty about all that you are truly missing out on. πŸ™‚

  3. Sally Thomas

    Resist Facebook! I spend most of my time trying to pretend I don’t have it, yet I can’t quite make myself get rid of it. The thing about it that gets me is that I have all these hugely diverse “friends” (because I’m so popular!), and while I like having conversations with the different groups of people, I don’t really want those conversations always to be so public. Wish I’d thought of that before I signed up.

  4. Lauren

    There have been many pros to having facebook. Reconnecting with old friends. It’s also provided a way to even become closer to others that I never would have in real life. Just happen to have more in common with old acquaintances than I had imagined, and we end up commenting a lot on each other’s stuff, you can almost call it a friendship. I’ve also become closer with cousins/family members over facebook. These are all long distance relationships anyway, mind you. I think my immediate family members (also long distance) get more updates about my kids/just random daily funny things that they wouldn’t have otherwise, and that makes us feel a little closer.
    Other than that, yes, I waste way more time on it than I need to, and I check it as a compulsion. So there.

  5. Kelly @ The Startup Wife

    Facebook–totally a value-add, for me! But partly because with so many people I know, it’s how we communicate. And I love getting little glimpses of what people I know are up to–especially those people I don’t talk to regularly.

    For a lot of people, though, of course, that’s exactly why they HATE Facebook. Maybe I’m just that annoying person who you see in the grocery store and try to avoid because you know she’ll want to say hi.

  6. carrien (she laughs at the days)

    Facebook-the only way I know anything about my huge family back in Canada, the way I can see the nieces I’ve never met get bigger, the cousins I haven’t seen in years grow up, and how my mom gets to see pics of her grand kids who live so far away from her.

    It is also the way some key conversations in some pretty important relationships in my life have been able to happen.

    But it is a time suck.

    I have my twitter and facebook combined so my statuses get posted to both, which saves some time.

  7. Nicole

    Facebook – Love it! From sharing photos with friends to communicating to your entire group of friends a message on how you live your life, I find it to be another way to connect. Maybe its the Air Force Brat in me who is happy to truly stay connected with long lost friends I moved away from….or the new Mom in me who needs that trip to the “well”. If people I have connected with are being a waste of my time, I hide them. Otherwise I love knowing what is going on in Fort Worth, Utah, Germany or New York!

  8. Sophie

    As a college student, Facebook has completely ruined my life. I may be exaggerating a bit, but I really wish we (students my age) weren’t so dependent on Facebook for communication. As far as communication between good friends across the country, it is very cheap. Many of my peers feel since it is so easy, it should be the primary form of communication.
    There are great things about Facebook that I love. I love being able to see all the pictures that everyone has. I love looking at pictures, and it is much easier to “flip” through a Facebook album, than it is to have the person go to have their pictures printed out and put in a physical album.
    Facebook is good in moderation as long as it doesn’t interfere with what should be good communication.

  9. Leila

    Never, ever get a facebook!! The one good thing about it is that I can link great political/religious/social articles to my page, and some people have told me that my facebook page is where they get their news, ha!

    Also, looking at pictures (and posting them) is nice.

    But overall? I wish I had never heard of facebook. Don’t do it.

  10. Lisa @ Cheerfully Chaotic

    Love that you met Arwen– she is one of my favorite people with whom I play Words with Friends! (and for the record, I find that sentence completely awkward, but ending with a dangling preposition bothers me more)

    I used to be on FB frequently, but found myself mindlessly clicking through page after page, with very little value added to my life. Honestly, I don’t care enough about what 95% of my “friends” are doing at any given moment. If I had the courage to do so, I’d whittle my friend list down to about 25 people and check in once a week. As it is, I log on once a month or so now. However, reading blogs/blog comments has become just as much of a time-waste for me. That’s one of my 7 things this week– turn the computer OFF for at least the entire weekend. I’ve got to work on being a better housewife and stay-at-home mom, and that doesn’t involve being tied to a computer!

    And by the way… CUTE shoes!

  11. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith

    Actully, I really like Facebook. I live 3,000 miles from my hometown so FB gives me the ability to catch up with old friends. However, I do not have a Twitter account.

  12. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith

    Sorry about te double link, I was having some technical difficulties (ME). The first link is incorrect!

  13. Elizabeth Mahlou

    I resisted Facebook for a long time, but once all my kids were on it, it became an easy way to be in daily touch and follow what my kids are doing. It is amazing what they tell their friends on FB that they don’t think to tell their parents in real life. I spend very little time posting anything; my last comment went up last Saturday, but occasionally I do so that the kids know I am still alive and kicking. They post more frequently, and I get to see pictures of them, their friends, and our grandchildren that I probably would not otherwise see. I do not friend colleagues or employees, and so I keep FB mostly family-personal.

  14. Pam

    So glad you found your shoes!

  15. Claire

    I do love my FB account to keep up with my friends and family. But…it is a HUGE time-waster. If you only use your account to quickly check the status’ of friends & family and to post your own update, you won’t waste much time. But, if you do what I do–spend hours in there sometimes, you will never get anything done.

    Congratulations on the trip to Ann Arbor. I’m happy to read that it went well.

  16. Kristyn

    No Facebook, no Twitter (I find it highly narcissistic…) and life is simple and good. I all in for the scrolls by carriage if you decide to start something up…

  17. Rachel

    I used to spend hours everyday playing gamse on Facebook, and it was a HUGE timewaster. I did that because it made me feel close to the friends I was playing games with. But that wasn’t worth it, so I deleted ALL my games and now I delete every single game invitation that comes in.

    But I would not give up my Facebook account. I have friends on there way back from my whole life who I would not be in contact with otherwise. I stay up to date on my moms and sisters. I even have a friend from my teenage years who I am collaborating on crafts with. My local cousins I just don’t see regularly, I can stay up to date and be minorly involved in their lives.

  18. Hermit Mama

    I like facebook mostly because I can look at all of my friends’ pictures in one place rather than having to move back and forth between other media (flickr, picasa, etc). One thing that is weird is it combines all your social groups (family, work colleagues, high school friends, college friends) which can makes things kind of complicated. I do waste a lot of time on there. πŸ™‚

  19. Nadja

    I have a Facebook account, which I pay no attention to at all. I don’t like FB at all, find it confusing in any case, and just don’t want to be “in touch” with everyone as much as that! I don’t own a cell phone either, and only recently broke down and got call waiting on our home phone…

  20. Julia at LotsaLaundry

    One gauge of whether or not I can afford to indulge in more tech/media time is observing what my kids think about how much time I spend now with my face to a screen. What I find is that they tolerate my computer time *as long as they know I’m doing work*. (They don’t mind the blog, either, especially when I post things about them!)

    Facebook’s like most things: if you approach it with intentionality, it becomes a tool rather than a master. Decide what you want from it — and whether you’re likely to stick to using it for that purpose — and you’ve got a flying chance at making it work for you. I limit Facebook to when the kids are in bed, and I limit the number of Facebook friends I have to people I’d be happy to see at a party.

  21. Marian

    Facebook has it’s pros and cons. The pros have no substitute, but the cons are something you have to stay on top of. I recently cut half of my “friends”, which has been very helpful. Lest you think this sounds brutal and rude, I did post the following a few days before doing it, and left it up on my publicly visible page as written here. Sharing here in case it inspires anyone else to do the same…
    “Hey, everyone. Facebook is a lot of different things to a lot of different people, and that flexibility is great. I think I’m wanting to make my little nook here into a more personal-feeling place. Lurkers are an unavoidable part of blogging or twittering, but not so with Facebook. On Facebook, I’ll most happily remain connected with anyone who is active and interactive here, as well as relatives. Please know that coming changes are only a Facebook thing, not personal! I like you all very much, and totally welcome contact in any other way. My e-mail address is … . ” “Copy it right now and keep in touch if you’d like! And if you should find that life is just plain lacking without my scintillating updates about such matters as spaghetti vomit stains and laundry ; ) well then, by all means, re-friend me! I’m totally ok with that. Thanks for understanding.”

    TUrning off e-mail notification of comments to my posts or others’ posts I’ve commented on may be a further step I take, too. Trying to make it work for all of its benefits without being taken in by its pitfalls, which really aren’t much different than the rest of the internet’s lures.

  22. Linda


    πŸ™‚ How did I miss this. Hello neighbor.

  23. Linda Wightman

    Facebook pros: I keep in touch with the lives of people from whom I otherwise would only hear at Christmastime, and with younger folks, such as my nephews and my children’s friends, who use this way — not e-mail, and certainly not letters — to communicate. (They also tend to SMS, but I’ve drawn the line there except for urgent occasions.) I don’t do games — I don’t do any apps at all — so it is not much of a time waster. For the same reason I also resist the temptation to let my “friend” list grow too big.

    Facebook cons: It adds one more avenue of communication that I have to check regularly. Some friends make major announcements via Facebook only, others use e-mail, others the phone, others SMS, others post to their blogs, and a rare few actually write letters. The more lines of communication we have, the more time we must spend checking them all.

  24. Karen LH

    Facebook has probably been a net negative for me. It’s a convenient way to share photos and links, and, if you take the right attitude, it’s interesting to see what your friends and relatives are passionate about. However, it’s also a good way to alienate friends and relatives, since your posts go out to EVERYONE on your friends list. And, yes, if a person has any narcissistic tendencies at all, FB will feed them.

  25. bwya

    I think the only other two on the face of the planet without a fb account live near enough to make horse-drawn carriages somewhat feasible! That would be my husband and me (and, well, our children who are still at home, too) and we’re just 40 minutes or so up 35 by Suburban, so we could exchange a message a day or so!

    I have resisted because, like you, I don’t see any way for it to enhance my life. More than that, I see that it could really suck the life out of me, so I just stay away. Besides, who says I want to “connect” with those people from high school? πŸ™‚

  26. Amanda

    I use facebook regularly. I am able to keep up with friends and relatives who I do care about, but don’t just call on the phone and start chatting it up with. I don’t friend people I don’t know. I try to stick with “checking” facebook twice a day and getting off after a couple of minutes. It’s also a way for me to share recent photos of my family with friends and relatives, and it’s a convenient way to organize get togethers as most people are on it. I’ve shared bible verses as my status updates and witnessed to friends or relatives who have seemed to be at a crossroads in their faith and have posted something about it on their page.

  27. Mary

    “communicate with one another via parchment scrolls delivered by horse-drawn carriages.” Haha! You know I have an email account, Facebook account, Twitter and blog, but I wrote a letter to my friend on actual paper in June and still haven’t heard back from her. If I had an actual pen-pal, I think I would absolutely LOVE it! No modern day communication can compare with the feeling of finding a handwritten letter in the mailbox! I might even buy a wax sealer and stamp- whatever you call those things- just for pen-palling around.

  28. Laura

    I, too, have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. It is way too easy to waste time on it when I should be doing far more important things! On the other hand, it has come in very handy when we’ve needed to find something out quickly – like the birth of a baby or an urgent prayer request. That has happened on more than a few occasions. I’ve also connected with friends from my childhood, so that has been fun.

    If you have GOOD self-control, I suppose the good would outweigh the bad. However, on those days when you feel even slightly less motivated, it can be a horrible distraction!

    God Bless.

  29. Barb

    Another positive about Ann Arbor….no scorpions!!!

  30. Barbara

    I had a FB page for a couple of years. A couple of months ago I deleted it. I don’t like the games they play (settings are impossible to figure out), but mostly it was just a huge waste of time. I can not think of one valuable thing I learned on FB. Zip, zilch. Wasted time.

    I’d much rather read a nice blog post. πŸ˜‰

  31. Elisa | blissfulE

    Your shoes do look cute! Win!

    I’m happy to communicate via parchment and horse-drawn carriage. However, to send messages overseas, perhaps a message in a bottle would do the trick.

    Will be stealing your answer – funnily enough I also get questions about how I manage to blog and take care of small children (haven’t written a book, though I am inspired now) and I also don’t have a Facebook account.

  32. Judy

    That “banana suit” video is one of my all-time favorites of your posts!
    The photo of you and Arwen is simply BEAUTIFUL!
    My original purpose for signing on to fb was to help promote and network for our website…in that regard, it has served its purpose very well. An added perk was that I found some of my relatives on there, whom I normally do not get to correspond with very often. It has been nice to receive little notes from them and keep up on their family lives a bit more frequently. However, I can see a real danger of wasting time in all of the gidgets and gadgets and games and things that are offered there…I steer clear of all of that and thus, it has worked out well for me as far as limiting my time and using it with purpose. For some, those activities might provide needed respite or just “fun” in the day…and that’s fine…but for me…I get that in other ways…LIKE MEMES!
    So glad to know you enjoyed your Michigan trip. My daughter is looking forward to attending the Sisters’ vocational retreat in a year or so!
    Thanks for Quick Takes. It’s a highlight in my blogging week!

  33. Jaimie

    I deleted Facebook in February. As a writer working on my second novel, this is the best decision I ever made. (<– hyperbole, but still) If you're living without it fine, don't do it. It's like taking up a drug.

  34. Brandon Vogt

    Regarding #5: Peter Kreeft said, “Lack of prayer leads to lack of time.”–make sure you read that correctly. Prayer prioritizes.

  35. Eric

    I use FB as a tool to share the word of God and cool saintly quotes with all of my friends that otherwise wouldnt hear it! It can be a good evangelism tool but can easily swallow up your time if you get caught up reading everyone elses posts!

  36. Stephanie

    So I am totally one of those three people who have resisted facebook. That makes two of us, where’s the third?

    I was in undergrad when it came out for college kids and distinctly remember a good friend telling me it was “like crack.” It was my senior year and I had a ton of studying to do and decided I didn’t need “crack” in my life at that point.

    I still don’t need or want crack.

    So I’m a facebook-resister. Always will be.

  37. Sarah@From Tolstoy to Tinkerbell

    I love Twitter, but Facebook is only a cheaper form of the tabloids. I mean you can find everything you need to know about your friends sans talking to them.

  38. Missus Wookie

    I like FB but agree it can be a time sucker – but then so can blogs, books, chatting on the phone to my friend who desperately needs some adult conversation, hanging out with my teens etc. I liked the idea that I read somewhere, “If someone you admired was looking over your shoulder would you be happy with what they saw?” Remembering that everyone needs down time sometimes… Good reminder πŸ™‚

  39. Lesly

    For me, FB is a net negative because the more time that I spent there, the more time I spent serving up pithy judgements to myself in a way that was not only unfair but also incredibly unkind.

    Instead of looking through a photo album and thinking “Oh, wow! Looks like they had a great time on their 10th anniversary!” like a normal person might, my internal snark generator would kick in and I’d think “I can’t believe she thought that picture was flattering enough to share on the internet. How could they afford a Caribbean getaway when they’re drowning in student loan payments?”

    After praying on it, I realized that FB made it easy for me view my friends through some sort of warped internet filter. I no longer saw their pages, pictures, and posts as representations of individuals I truly cared about, but a trail of actions that I could sum up as “EPIC,” “FAIL,” or “TLDR.” It was a pretty big eye-opener, and though I worked hard to adjust my thinking, I eventually gave up FB for Lent last year and haven’t gone back since. I feel like my snark generator is rusty, but I’m okay with it.

  40. Jenna

    Kudos to you for resisting FB! There are fun perks (family and friends seeing pictures of your little ones, posting encouraging statuses, staying connected with old friends), but to me, the negatives (time-wasting, potential busy-bodyness, etc) have impacted me more negatively than the positives have impacted me positively (hope that makes sense? :)). The biggest factor is the time-wasting. There were about 3 weeks where I deactivated my account and I can never remember a time when I got so much done πŸ™‚ So I still have one? and perhaps will soon muster up the courage to get rid of it… people enjoy seeing pictures of our baby, but hey! i have a blog, so its not like people can’t keep up with us. or how bout the good old fashioned visits and phone calls?? πŸ™‚ I know people who use it and don’t abuse it, so I am only speaking for myself! πŸ™‚

  41. Angie @ Many Little Blessings

    I really enjoy Facebook, though I do fear that I spend too much time there. I saw some people mention games, and I have to say that I have never played the games on there, so I think that helps. People that I know that get into the games on there spend hours on end there. Facebook has been a great way to keep in touch with people in my family and friends (new and old).

    One thing I have, as well, is Leech Block (an add-on for Mozilla Firefox browser). I have it set that I’m only allowed on Twitter and Facebook for a certain amount of time in any given two hour block. It has made me waste less time, because I can see the time ticking down. After that point, if I try to go, I get a message that it’s being blocked. (They also have something like that for Mac computers, but can’t remember what it’s called now.) Leech Block has really helped me keep my time in check.

  42. Amy

    I’ve never really been into Facebook as much as my hubby has, but he was having so much fun a year-and-a-half ago re-connecting with old high school friends and such that I decided to give it a whirl. With the other emotional stuff that was going on in my life at the time (my dad’s illness and death and my religious crisis and the approach of my fortieth birthday), that wasn’t such a great decision. I found myself dumping my emotions more than I probably should have and regretting it (but then I did that with blogging too). I also discovered that I had been out of touch with most of my high school friends for a reason–we didn’t have all that much in common. I ended up closing both my Facebook and Blogger accounts for a while.

    My son recently started a Facebook account, so I started a new one mainly to keep up with him. This time around I am being more judicious of who I “friend” — I only have my family members, bloggers with whom I have a lot in common, friends from the church I used to attend, a couple of old high school friends with whom I’m still in contact, and a couple of moms I know through my kids, as facebook friends. I try not to “friend” someone just because I know them–I base it on having something in common and genuinely wanting to develop a relationship with them.

    I don’t do Twitter (well, I’m on Twitter because of my daughter but I find it confusing in some ways (the “re-tweets” and the “@”s, and too much like Facebook to bother with in other ways (status updates). I have to admit I haven’t put forth any effort to learn Twitter. It seems redundant since I’m on Facebook. I would say Facebook is like Twitter, only better.

    What I like about Facebook is that you can “hide” things if they annoy you, like game updates, and if a relative or friend is the polar opposite of you in terms of politics or religion or something else you have strong views about, and they are constantly pushing their agenda on such matters in their status updates (which can be annoying), you can “hide” them as well while still remaining friends (although this isn’t as much of a problem for me now that I scaled back my friends list; still, there are always a couple πŸ˜‰ ). And if you want to post a status update or photo or something that you only want a select group of people to see, you can adjust your settings for that, which is nice. Again, I don’t really use that feature, but for someone that has work contacts on their page or over-involved parents I suppose it can be handy. Overall, Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with relatives and friends you don’t see/talk to much otherwise. And as a major introvert, that’s a lot of people for me πŸ˜‰ .

    It can be a time-suck, but overall, I spend waaay more time blogging and blog-reading than I do on Facebook. But when I’m in the mood for a quick outlet of expression or a few (okay, several) invigorating rounds of Bejeweled Blitz, Facebook is definitely the way to go. I think it’s really like blogging or anything else–what you get out of it depends upon your motivations for doing it. For me it has been a good lesson in self-discipline, and has helped me take a deeper look at what friendship means to me. Overall, I prefer blogging, because it lends itself more to deep thinking and discussion.

  43. Tom

    Facebook isn’t that big of a time-waster for me. I go weeks without logging in, and then I’ll hit a spurt where I check daily for a few days.

    Love the blog. I can’t remember how I found it, but I’ve subscribed to it via Google Reader so I know when there’s something new.

    God bless!!

  44. Liesl

    While Facebook does tend to distract me from time to time, I love having an account. Especially since I live so far away from my family and friends, it is a great way to keep up with what’s going on in their lives and keeping in touch with them… sometimes, what I see on Facebook even prompts me to pick up the phone and call someone or send people letters through snail mail!

    • Susan

      I like Facebook. I hide everyone’s game updates so I don’t have to waste my time with that. I enjoy reconnecting with old friends, keeping up with nieces and nephews and my cousins’ kids, and following my son’s vacation. I have fewer than 50 friends, and I don’t think I want more. I stay completely away from Twitter.

  45. Janet in Toronto

    Facebook is not as big a time suck as Twitter is, for me at least. And it’s a great way to keep in touch with my far-flung relatives. But you know you best!

  46. Sarah Webber

    I use Facebook primarily to keep up with the kids I mentor at Youth Group (and those who’ve graduated and moved on) as well as my peers from church. A good portion of our MOPS group is on FB and we enjoy commenting on each other’s domestic disasters and triumphs.

  47. Kelly @ Love Well

    Here’s my theory about Facebook: You can’t do that and blog. You have to choose one to focus on. Otherwise, you’d be on the computer all the time.

    For the record, I do have a FB account. But I’m rarely there. I just use it to keep up to date with family. (Tweetdeck allows me to integrate FB status updates with Twitter, so it’s easy to do.) It is possible to be on FB and not be consumed by it.

  48. Young Mom

    I have 2 facebooks, one for my blog and one IRL. I’m not sure if they waste that much time. Although when I want to waste time I can find plenty of opportunities on facebook!

  49. Robyn Broyles

    My Facebook advice: If you decide to join, do it in order to stay in contact with personal friends and family. Don’t do it just for the blog.

    To that end, you’ll have to be strong and not just indiscriminately add blog readers as “friends” when they request it. On Twitter, following is not necessarily mutual, but on FB it is, which means that if you approve a friend request, not only does that enable the person to “follow” you, but you automatically begin to “follow” them. This can lead to insane information overload, especially since you’re a high-profile blogger that everyone will want to friend.

    Also, you may not “friend” more than 5000 people. Why you’d want 5000 friends is beyond me. 100-200 is more than enough. I’m up to over 200 friends and it’s too many, but I don’t have the guts to start culling the list.

    Here are the alternatives:
    *Only approve friend requests if you know the person in real life.
    *Approve friend requests for readers you don’t know, but then filter them out of your News Feed.

    Here’s the thing about FB. Once you’re signed up, you’ve got your personal profile, that’s for you, Jennifer Fulwiler, the private individual. You can then set up “pages” for businesses, products, websites, or even (more and more popularly) ideas and witty phrases. Other FB users can then “like” these pages (to “like” a page on FB is like following it Twitter) and there is no limit to the number of people who can “like” it. Since pages are not people, a page can’t be friends with someone; it’s one-way.

    So here’s what you do: set up a page for the blog, and another one for your book, and let people “like” those to their hearts’ content. Then you won’t feel guilty if you reject friend requests from people who really just like your blog and want to read your book.

    I really just like your blog and want to read your book, and I haven’t met you in person. But of course I would want you to make an exception for me and approve my friend request. I’m a total hypocrite, you see. (You did meet my sister Milehimama at a homeschool conference in Houston, though, and I wanted to go really bad, but I was sick or something.)

    One other bit of advice: Do not ever, under any circumstances, accept a request to play any FB games. Trust me, you will become obsessed with playing the games as much as possible, even though they are not actually fun. In this regard, they are exactly like crack or heroin. You start out thinking it will be fun, but right away it stops being fun at all, but you don’t even notice because now you’re hooked and you are obsessed with getting your next fix. I am lucky because when our family got a Wii, I discovered that video games are supposed to be fun, and I quit all the FB monkeys on my back, cold turkey. Never regretted it for a moment. Big or little, all of those games are digital forms of crystal meth. Do not go near them.

  50. Vida

    While Facebook is overall a great time waster, it has impacted my life in positive ways also. I reconnected with my baby brother after 13 years of no contact, and now have a relationship developing with him that I value. I’ve also reconnected with old high school friends. I do, however avoid any exes. That’s just common sense, I think.

  51. Geomama

    I’m growing to like facebook. At first, the only people seeking to be “friends” were people I only vaguely remember from high school. I found it depressing that the photos didn’t help. There just weren’t that many chubby bald guys in high school. I’m sure my own photo is unrecognizable

  52. Bender

    For the record, I’m not anti-Facebook.

    For the record, I am fast becoming anti-Facebook — at least anti all these Facebook links and wigits and add-ons and all the annoying connections to Facebook that practically everyone, with typical trendiness, has added to their websites.

  53. SuzanneC

    Whew! I am not the only one who doesn’t have a Facebook account. I have been feeling more 1980’s every day! I am not anti-Facebook either, I just haven’t been able to make myself sign up. Maybe it is fear of communication.

  54. Bekah

    I’m in the Facebook resistance movement. Uh, actually, I thought I was the only person on earth left not on Facebook. But, I know what would happen, so I won’t.

  55. Susan

    Hi Jennifer,

    I’m not on Facebook either! I think it might be just the two of us who are holding out.


  56. KimP

    I’m keeping my FB account because I grew up all over the world, and FB has allowed me to keep in touch with friends I knew in Junior High when I lived in Saudi Arabia. Really. I can’t think of any other way I would have ever been able to reconnect with these people without FB. In the beginning, I was a bit consumed by it, and it was a big time-suck, but now I my attachment to it is healthy and normal. I check it about once a week.

  57. Michelle

    I am on facebook for about 10 minutes in the morning and about 20 minutes after I get my kids in bed in the evening. I love facebook because I keep up with all my other parents at my kids’ Catholic school plus my family that is spread all over the country.

    However, I know some people who have negative experiences with Facebook and it has been horrible for their time management.

    Like anything else…Facebook w/ moderation = OK

    Love your takes! congrats on the show!

  58. Katie

    I say stay away from Facebook. If youhave gone this long without a Facebook account, you can go without it. At times, I think it is nice, but mostly it just sucks up time on things that do not really impact your daily life.

  59. suki @ [Super Duper Fantastic]

    How does everyone post so quickly!? πŸ™‚ Wow, I thought I had large feet, but 12 is harder to shop in. I’m a 10.5/sometimes 11. In between sizes, so it’s annoying!

  60. Roxanna

    I have facebook. I like it because I can see friend’s pictures and stay in touch with them. I don’t have twitter though. I think you’re right, it’s either facebook or twitter!

  61. Kassie Rutherford

    The only valuable thing about Facebook is being able to see and post pictures. I much prefer Twitter, which is something I never thought I would say. Since opening my Twitter account I’ve only logged onto Facebook a handful of times.

  62. Meghan

    Are you going to update us when the show you taped airs?

    I love FB. I was against for years, joined and love. I’m only friends with people I actually want to know whats going on in their lives. Not everyone that I didn’t ever talk to in grade school up.

  63. JoAnna

    Two years ago we moved 1800 miles away from my family, so I joined Facebook at that time so I could more easily keep up with their lives (and vice versa). It’s been a wonderful tool and helps me feel like I’m not so far away from them. (When our 3rd child was born, I posted on Facebook that we were leaving for the hospital… my sister saw it and called my mother, who called me, and we hadn’t even gotten to the hospital yet… it was all of 10 minutes after I made the original post. It was too funny!)

    That being said, I probably spend way more time on FB than I ought to; it’s a habit I’m trying to break.

  64. Rachael

    I just laughed really loud at #7. Well, the video.

  65. Elizabeth@GoodnessAdded

    I think it really depends on how you use Facebook. I rarely post things myself but it is a nice way to keep up with what my friends and family are up to. You just have to be careful about how often you let yourself check it. I also limit my “friends” and who has access to my account.

  66. Ashley Taylor

    I am not on facebook for similar reasons. You can send me parchment scrolls πŸ™‚

  67. priest's wife

    Loving your blog- my family (mom, dad and 5 kids) converted when I was 12

  68. Megan

    Thank you for the link to your post about how to handle the workload with small kids. I am feeling so overwhelmed right now – that post is so timely!

  69. Martha

    I was on Facebook several months ago and closed my account due to privacy concerns. I found FB a huge time waster and have so far resisted the temptation to restart my account.

  70. Veronica

    Facebook is a wonderful way to “spy” on people you knew in the past, and are currently friends with. Its a passive way to keep up with people’s lives and for people to keep up with yours.
    When I get together with friends in real life, whom I am also friends with in facebook, we spend less time saying “whats going on” and more time saying, “so you went on a trip?”, “what made you so mad the other day?”, “how was the Doula conference?”, “I love your new carpets! I can’t believe they installed them so slowly!”
    cause you already have been watching thier little tid-bits on facebook, and they have been watching yours.
    I was a pretty bad friend before fb, but now I”m better.

  71. Anne Marie

    Facebook, absolutely, positively love it. I have contact with cousins, and aunts I haven’t gotten together with in years. We live ridiculous distances apart, and it is so awesome to catch up on their lives and update them on mine.

    I get to brag on my son, who served Mass for Bishop Boyea this week and even got to hold his Crosier during Mass. See, I’m STILL doing the new mom thing, but with FB I get to hear about all the family news and share mine.

    I have contact with friends too, but it’s getting caught up with family that I enjoy most.

  72. gb

    Ok, just for the record:
    I am the only person in the USA whoever CLOSED my FB acct.
    There, I admitted it. I closed it bc I couldn’t be trusted with it.

    I’d find myself looking through old pics of people I had no idea who they were and, two hours later, I’d wake up in a daze wondering what happened.
    If that just happened once in a blue moon it would’ve been a non-issue but it didn’t. I really began to feel that the Lord was wondering why I was entertaining myself to death. Its easy to stay in touch with fam etc but its also easy to drift into a huge waste of time. At least it was for me.

    NB: **It is NOT easy to close a FB acct. I had to go thru about 10 screens to get it down. Not for the fainthearted.**

    • Amy

      No, you aren’t the only to close your account…I too closed mine for the SAME reason. I had this nagging thought in the back of my mind (as I was looking at photos and updates and ignoring my kids) that God could be saying to me “You have plenty of time for facebook and never find face time with ME.”

  73. Kim D.

    Just say NO to Facebook!! Really! I can’t say this enough! I so wish I never joined! Once you start you can’t stop–it’s not just the time addiction–getting untangled from FB is too complex in many ways. My advice is hold off until your kids are old enough to do it, then join with them.

  74. Kris Chatfield

    i havr Facebook and I like it, but I’m not obsessed or on it all the time. I check it once or twice a day for about 5 minutes, when I’m not busy with the kids. The main reason I like it is that I have a large family, scattered all over the universe – siblings and cousins. We don’t get to see each other very often, and it’s a great way to stay in touch. I feel much closer to my far-flung cousins, because I get little glimpses of their day to day lives on FB – little stories or happenings that I would NEVER get on the rare occasion that we get to see each other. To me, that’s the main benefit.

  75. Lisa

    I guess I am neutral regarding Facebook. I resisted signing up until someone pushed me into it. That being said I am glad I signed up, because it does allow me to keep up with people who won’t bother to blog, write or call (yet they twitter and Facebook – can’t figure that out πŸ™‚ I like seeing what happened to everyone, but the rules I set up for myself are: no games, minimum information about me, minimum postings, conversations via inbox and not the wall and check frequently on the privacy settings (Facebook is always tweaking things and their standard setup is “share with everyone”.

  76. Kellie

    I’m with the “please avoid Facebook” crowd. I’m 25 and got on it back when it was college-students-only. Since then, though it has its uses, it’s mainly been a sinkhole for my spare time, and I don’t like Facebook’s attitude towards its users. I keep meaning to leave, but it’d make it so hard to communicate with some of my friends that I grit my teeth and stay on. So resist it as long as you can!

  77. Kristy M

    I love Facebook, too. Is it a time waster? It can be, depending on how you use it. I use it to keep in touch with family & friends that I wouldn’t normally be able to, and its a great tool for evangelization. It’s also been a wonderful social outlet that fosters growth in relationships. Like all things though.. in moderation.

    I’ve learned to stay off the games and pop on/off quickly rather than get sucked into every little thing going on. I will say this though – I only rarely watch TV, and if I do, it’s something recorded or a movie with my husband. If I was an avid TV watcher, there’s no way I could FB and TV-watch and still have a life.

  78. Joanna

    Hello Jenn, I like reading your posts-you are hilarious. I have four little ones as well 5 to 9 months. I spend way too much time online and am also fighting to not get a Facebook account! I know myself and know I would spend wayy too much time on it. But then I would love to keep in touch with extended family (cousins-mother in laws family and such) that we don’t stay in touch with. I could use a counter widget as well. In the meantime I can be one of your 3 people to scroll write to,

  79. Kristie

    Ya know, there are no scorpions in MI. Just sayin’ πŸ˜‰

    Love and hate Facebook…hold out…reading is funner.

  80. 'Becca

    I don’t do Facebook, I don’t do Twitter, and although I enjoy writing (and being able to link my articles together and to other sites) I try to keep my site not really a blog…although I’ve had to bend and open up comments on some posts because I don’t want to seem unfriendly….

    I got on the Internet in 1991 at a university that offered on-campus instant messaging and access to Netnews discussion groups in the days before spam, before AOL, when only geeks were online. It was simultaneously a heaven of exciting new options and a hell of time-wasting. I learned a lot in those early days and have resisted some of the new techno-trends as a result. (I also don’t have a cell phone or an iPod.)

    I don’t know about the parchment scrolls and horses, but I would love to exchange handwritten letters via postal mail with a pen-pal who wants to, you know, have a conversation with one person without showing it to a bunch of other people. Anyone interested in this can look around my site to see if I’m someone you want to talk with and, if so, e-mail me for my postal address. My son, who’s in kindergarten, might enjoy a pen-pal too.

  81. LarryD

    I heard your interview with Al Kresta – what a great testimony!

    Al is one of the great men in Catholic media today – I’m a better man for knowing him and much of his staff at WDEO (in fact, they helped me with this “audio” blogpost several months ago).

  82. Kara

    Facebook is a two sided coin for me. Just like everything else in life, I find that it’s not purely negative nor purely positive. With that being said, I’ll start with what I like about facebook: It’s easy to navigate once you get the hang of things. It’s a great way to keep up with friends and family who live farther away. I really like being able to see what my cousins are up to and I feel more a part of their lives. It’s also a great way to evangelize! There are so many cool catholic authors and musicians that have pages on there that you can join. Both they and my friends often post inspiring quotes on there that really make you think. Often times if I’m busy, it will get me to stop for a few minutes and reflect on that particular bible verse or song and on God in general. With all of that being said, it can definitely be a huge time waster. It’s easy to get sucked into being on it for a long time and procrastinating on there. However, if you limit yourself it works out really well :).

  83. Jess G.

    Sorry I’m late replying to this post.

    I do Facebook, yes, it has helped me stay in touch with relatives and friends. I do not post every day, I do not play any games, I do not spend hours reading everyone’s update on the News Feed and I don’t friend collect. I fit it in when I can. I think it’s great.

    I used to read Arwen Mosher’s blog way back when it was Arwen/Elizabeth. I think she is the first Catholic blogger I ever read and I remember being surprised that she was so young, about my age, and seemed quite devout.

  84. Rochelle

    I’d avoid Facebook. You’re obviously living and doing well without it. I had one for a while, but deleted because of family drama. And some things people post on Facebook … well I just don’t want to have myself associated with some of those things.

  85. Tania

    Hi, Jen. It’s been a matter of self-control, for me. (Read: I have had Facebook for over a year, and just now I am starting to find a way to be there in an useful way that doesn’t spend too much time). This being said, there have been two (or three) major ways in which belonging to Facebook has blessed me:

    1) I met my godson (a convert) there. He converted in 2009 (just like me, he converted earlier to Christianity but only found “home” in a Church years later), and he has been a great inspiration to me. I had been (and am still) going through spiritual apathy and dryness and he has both motivated me to love God more (through his example and because I must be an inspiration to him, as I am both his Baptism godmother and his Confirmation sponsor) and reminded me of the “honeymoon phase” of when God hit me with His love and converted me. Just this would be a blessing enough.

    2) I started spending too much time there, which led me away from blogs. This made me find out that I don’t miss all of the hundreds of blogs I followed, but just a few. So, now that I finally am getting some control over my Facebook use, it ended up being a good way of purging my blog reading list.

    3) I reconnected with friends that are away and the fact that lots of them are married and have kids gives me hope for humanity, and for me in my “spinsterness” πŸ˜‰

    Just don’t get into Facebook Games. They’re evil timesuckers…

  86. Mrs. Parunak

    You were in Ann Arbor!? This is what I get for letting pregnancy number five keep me too busy throwing up and languishing in bed to keep up with all my favorite blogs. I only live ten minutes from Ann Arbor. I had my birthday dinner at Weber’s. I’m sure every minute of your trip was completely booked, and like I said, I was busy throwing up, so I probably couldn’t ACTUALLY have met you, but still it seems like a travesty that while I was sending my husband out for Chinese food, unbeknownst to me, you were exploring practically my home town.

  87. Stephanie

    I’m late to the party, but I actually really appreciate facebook. I was a holdout for a while, but ended up joining mostly to keep up with family overseas and in different parts of the country. It has helped me to communicate with many family members MUCH more than I ever have before, since I’m not a phone person and we don’t get to see each other that much in person. I love being able to see glimpses of every day stuff from far-away family, it really makes me feel closer to them!

    Honestly, as much as I get sucked into internet land and easily end up wasting hours, Facebook is not a time-sucker for me at all. I check maybe a couple times a day, sometimes if my husband is checking from work at the same time we get to chat for a couple minutes. We sometimes play scrabble with each other through facebook, but I’m notoriously bad about checking back for my turn!

    The people I see getting sucked into spending a LOT of time on FB are those who play all the games…farmtown, mafia wars, etc. Those are not at all tempting for me, and so I don’t end up spending much time at all.

    It’s a GREAT way to keep up with my various church groups (CRHP and the Young Adults), perfect way to send evites out for events and let people know about new things.

    And hey, Jimmy Akin has even recently signed up! πŸ˜‰ So now you have a fellow well known Catholic blogger who has given in, lol. Ok, selfishly I’d love to see you on Facebook, it’s just a great way to easily check in and know what’s going on with my friends and family and church stuff, but, for me at least, it really isn’t my biggest time sucker at all. When I gave up boards for Lent, I didn’t give up FB because it just wasn’t one of my big temptations to waste time. So I don’t think it’s necessarily the case that you’d spend all day…I think it just depends on what you use it for. πŸ™‚

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