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 work...ie 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.