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The Zero Cost Lifestyle

Several years ago I was sitting with a bunch of friends at a restaurant. Dinner was winding down and we were all stuffed.

My friend next to me asked me how I made so much money. I always had the money for everything, she said, and she was always struggling.

The bill came and everyone went down the list adding up their stuff. Before tax and tip mine was around $7. Hers was $30, more than four times what mine was.

Facebook Struggles

On The Constance Chronicles

I have 638 Facebook friends at the moment. This site keeps track of all 638 for me. Essentially, I know what friend 376 had for dinner last night because they posted a picture of it from their Instagram with the hashtags #foodporn #dontyouwishyouwereeatingthis. Friend 583 has stomach cramps, friend 263 is newly single and ready to mingle, and friend 124 is worried her colleagues are trying to get her fired. Is this too in touch? I've had Facebook friends openly call each other "fag" on a comment thread, feeling like the only gay person at a dinner party, I wanted to raise my hand and say, "Oh, hey...I'm here, remember me? Gay." Facebook has definitely worked more in my favor than not but I wonder how different my life would be without it. Would people be more interested in what I was doing if they didn't get tiny glimpses of it everyday? Aside from that, Facebook constantly puts me in distraction-first mode. Over the years though, Facebook has become a fixture in my daily routine. I compare it to keeping a Chapstick in my pocket. Facebook is with me at all times and I use it multiple times daily. My name is Constance and I’m a Facebook addict. I’m permanently in Facebook-mode.

Option 1: I’ve made a plan to become a better, more sophisticated user of this social networking site. Facebook actually has many options to ensure people will use the site to fit their needs. My updates should serve the purpose of keeping those who are close to me in the know about important transitions or announcements. I will also spend less time on the site, browsing and using it as a distraction. There is a “Close Friends” option on the side left bar which will keep those friends with access to your full profile, status updates, and pictures. Everyone else will get access to what you make “public” or what you would allow any person to know about you regardless of the status of your friendship. The only issue is, if someone on your friends list no longer has full access to your profile if they visit your page it's quite obvious you've been put on the limited view list. What happens when you friend someone you don't want to be friends with anymore? Deleting or limiting your online friendship has now been taken as a sign you no longer want a connection with this person even in the real world. That somehow disallowing them access to photos of friends, family, and other candids of your daily life translates to the end of any friendship. How has this become true? I will also have to go through my friends list and decide who gets voted off the island.

Option 2: Use Facebook only as needed and keep everything else private. This seems to be the easier of the 2.


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