On Sunday, I finally took a step I’ve been wanting to take for a very long time. I deactivated Facebook.
This has been a long time coming, but I kept making excuses. “Oh, it’s the best way to keep in touch with friends and family in the US” or “I am admin on a couple of pages so I need to have my account.” But I found that when I opened Facebook, connecting with friends or family, or administering those business pages didn’t happen. Instead, I was wasting hours upon hours of reading posts that varied from funny to meaningless to political. I found I was reading more from strangers than I was from people I actually wanted in my life, or knew in real life. I found I was drawn to political discussions and could not tear myself away from them, wanting desperately to share my opinion, and to persuade others to see my point of view. And so I was essentially getting into pissing contests with people I didn’t know, over things that people don’t just change their opinion on, and I was wasting hours to end up cranky at the world!
I used to think Facebook was great for connecting with people. But it seems to have turned into a political platform, or a place for people to show their highlight reel. I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase now, “Don’t compare your worst day to someone else’s highlight reel.” Its all sunshine and fucking roses for everyone on Facebook. Fair enough, too, because who wants to wallow in misery, or read other people’s misery. But at the end of the day, literally the end of the day, it was the last thing I looked at, and the first thing I looked at every morning.
Facebook has enabled us to be a generation of Look-At-Mes. If someone goes on holiday but doesn’t share all the highlights on Facebook, did the holiday really happen? Look at me! I have a new job! Look at me! I have a new baby! Look at how clever/gorgeous/athletically skilled my children are! Look at me – I’m out to dinner! Look at me – my life is awesome! Is it? If you have to share everything with everyone on your friends list, every day, is your life really THAT awesome? Are you even paying enough attention to your life to know if it is awesome or are you too busy living life with your nose in your phone?
Oh look, I am not bagging everyone on Facebook. I am not bagging Facebook. I am bagging the way I let it take over my life, and the way I let it make me feel. But I know I am not the only one.
I have been a bit lost since Sunday to be honest. I can’t stop wondering what news I am missing out on. Because lets face it, no one sends emails or makes phone calls anymore. People communicate through Facebook, even to the extent that if you aren’t on Facebook, you might miss out on an invitation to some big event, like a 40th birthday party, a Christening, or a Wedding – yes, all events I’ve received invitations to through Facebook!
My goal is to be Facebook Free for 3 months. November 1st is the due date of my very last assignment for my Masters program. So for the next 3 months, I am going to concentrate on work, uni, my family and friends who are in my daily real life, and see how I go. Maybe November 1st I’ll be itching to get back on Facebook. Or maybe I’ll be cured of my addiction once and for all and will be able to say Goodbye to Facebook forever.
What do you think? Have you quit Facebook before, only to go back, time and time again? Do you feel like Facebook controls your life?
Linking up for IBOT with the awesome Essentially Jess,
who has been great while I’ve taken a break from blogging, Team IBOTing!