Friday, 16 August 2013

Why I have done away with Facebook (for the moment anyway)

Hello, and happy Friday to you all....

I have recently suspended my Facebook account. It was something I had been thinking about doing for a while.

Facebook is a bit like alcohol, smoking or cocaine, insofar is it often takes a few goes before you quit for good. And, like them, it is probably best if you never started to begin with.

Here are some more FB/ Drug similes: [Drug addiction is much much worse! I know!]

  • It made me aggressive, sometimes. Like when I saw a status update that was whiny, passive aggressive, or one bitching about one's children, I had a strong urge to write something tactless in the comments section.
  • It affected my I wasted a lot of time.
  • I would have a craving, have a hit, then wonder what all the fuss was about (I realised a lot of my "friends" are boring), then feel guilty that I did (ie people's lives are boring)
  • Like a hit of heroin is often cut with junk substances, like ajax or baby powder, facebook came with its own (Candy Crush)

I had a think about quitting.

My main concern was that I would lose touch with people. Then I worried that people would worry about me, think that I had broken up with the fella or something else had happened.

Then I had a think some more

The important people in my life can find me easily. The 280 or so others can find me if they want to. They could google me if they were desperate.

If they were worried, then they could jolly well call me. So far I have had 2 friends call and say "hey, I see you have deleted FB, everything OK?"

Facebook "friends" can be a bit of a fake currency. Often it's a whole bunch of people who I once knew whose lives I am semi-interested in stickynosing (I am a big stickynose), who I would never actually go out and share a bevvy or meal with.

Try as you will, for some people, facebook "friendship" is as far as it will ever go. I had a few promising FB exchanges with a girl I went to uni with. We tried a few times to go out, but, on all 3 occasions, she piked at the last minute.

There are people who put out cries for help on Facebook - feeling down, feeling lonely, feeling anxious. They get a few "everything ok?" on their comments. I wonder where their spouse is, where their entourage is, who they can rely on.

It has been said many times but we are more connected than ever, but more lonely than ever. It is very easy to type "you ok?" on a comment but that is a very poor substitute for a call on the phone or even, God forbid, a knock on the door with a bottle of wine and some chocs and a box of tissues. If I had any inkling that a friend was upset, I would call them, not inbox them.

I think we spend too much time on Facebook and not enough time engaging with others meaningfully.

Facebook is a nice distraction. I like making witty comments on there and getting lots of likes. But it is extraneous.

In a way, Facebook was my way of keeping very tenuous friendships alive in my own head, a way of keeping the lines of contact open.

But dammit, I want to mean enough to people that I can call them, or they can call me. A bilateral effort is made to keep contact.

Generally I have become weary of putting more effort into friendships than the other person. It is energy sapping, and I am putting a stop to it. Closing FB is my way of saying "If you want to be friends, you make contact in a meaningful fashion." Those who are the most meaningful will stay in my life. As I get older, I care less about the attrition and focus more on those who are present. That is a good way to be.

A more streamlined, authentic life.

And more time to blog and talk to my other "imaginary friends" (you guys)
But hey, at least you guys write more than a sentence, there are no hashtags and your spelling is generally good.


  1. Ha yes. To fb or not to fb, that is the postmodern question. I have tried myself - as an ex smoker I was way more successful with my marlboro lights than with fb. I try and rationalize that as having gone to an int'l school and moved around so much it is easier to keep tags on people i like. I have a lot of those never speak for years and then when i see them its like time never passed. so i try and limit my fb to people i can actually have a good chinwag with over lunch. i waver about in once a semester bc then i think perhaps i like some people bc i never see them but for me the good outweights the bad. furthermore zuckerberg has gone into my brain and rewired it completely. its just so easy to use - i find it so much easier than twitter...Sorry to ramble and sorry about capitalization issues!

  2. All the best with quitting. I rarely check my personal Facebook page, but like to have it there in case I want to contact anyone of importance. I'm forever losing my phone, so it's nice to have a backup.

  3. I agree pretty much with everything you say but do find it annoying when people are not on fb and you are trying to organise a get together. It's easy to have everyone invited in one place. But then again, I've found people are shite on fb anyway for that - say they are going to turn up then don't with no explanation or advance warning, which is esp shite when it's something you have to book for.

    Ha, trying not to make snarky comments on ppl's statuses is tough. I tried to give it up for Lent (not that I'm catholic or anything). I tend just to defriend them now.

    I'm quite happy to have under 100 "friends" and they are just people I want to talk to.

  4. Totally agree with everything you have said. I deleted my facebook for a while, and was amazed at how many people noticed and asked me if everything was ok. Like I'd just made some massive life changing decision and they wanted to make sure I wasn't losing the plot. No, I just ceased to continue using a stupid WEBSITE. Relax!

    Also, be prepared for an onslaught of web traffic.... my anti-facebook post was one of my first and still gets the most hits over everything!