I live near a city park, where neighborhood children and their mothers gather in the afternoons. Most of the mothers don’t work outside the home, and they gather for non-child interaction. Recently the conversation turned to Facebook, and how wonderful it was to communicate with others (including with the other women having the conversation). One mother turned to me and asked for my Facebook information. When I told her I don’t use Facebook, her face took on an expression similar to those you see worn by people about to change a diaper.
“Why?” Several women asked the question at the same time.
Definition of a Time Sink
In electronics, devices called heat sinks are used to pull heat away from sensitive components. Their job is simply to collect the excess heat and disperse it.
Likewise, a time sink is anything that collects excess time and disperses it. Dictionary.com lists time sink as “a project that consumes unbounded amounts of time.”
Good Ol’ ROI
To me it all boils down to Return On Investment (ROI). In order to maximize the enjoyment and results of my time, I have to be very careful how I invest it. Reading provides a lot of recreation for me, but certain types of books do not hold my interest, and so provide little in the way of positive experience. Some activities are a good way to fill time, but I do not particularly enjoy them. And if I’m not enjoying what what I voluntarily do, why do it?
This is where Facebook comes in. To me, Facebook is a time sink.
Why I Don’t Use Facebook
While I do engage in many online activities (such as blogging), getting linked up to people I haven’t seen in years or people I have seen in the last few hours holds little value for my time investment. Does it help my life to know that my neighbor’s favorite movie of all time is “Gone with the Wind”? Does it provide any positive value to my current life knowing what a person I haven’t spoken to since high school has listened to recently?
I’m not knocking Facebook users with this. I’m just saying that for me, Facebook is a time sink.
Photo by aprillynn77