Comixxen Blog

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The Facebook Affect

I ‘deactivated’ my FB account yesterday, after being an every-day balls-in user since 2007. I am doing this for oh so many reasons, but the funniest thing is, up until I decided to do it myself, I thought the people who left (or never signed up at all, gasp!) were missing out on the fun. I claim it is an addiction, I make no bones about being the first person to “like” something, as I’m always watching, from phone, work or home. I upload photos, artwork, agonize over tagging people in unflattering photos, constantly search the recommended friend category for some small sliver of my life I missed, for a 30 second boost of a gold star and briefly communicating with someone I don’t know that well. (Ignoring the fact I’m quite often surrounded by friends, family, or friendly coworkers, who I am ignoring for facebook)

My friend quit FB on Monday, and soon after his boyfriend did too. I contemplated why I would ever quit myself.

“I put in so much time and thought into Facebook, and I get a lot of rewards out of it. But what if I put all that time and thought into other pursuits? Perhaps I’d get even MORE rewards out of my time than FB gives me.” Its certainly not an unreasonable postulation.

It certainly couldn’t hurt to find out! The worst thing that could happen is I learn and grow from a habit change.

My boyfriend approved. He’s often thought my flashes of seething discontentment that we don’t have a baby or go to Hawaii are direct results of my gazing at other people’s lives on Facebook, and comparing until I find a difference, then getting sad and frustrated about it.

Another issue I have with FB is how PG-13 it is. I’m no porn fiend but I do know the internet, and there should be dirty jokes and sexy images and foul conversations alll over it. Not so much on FB. Spending all my time there is like living in Texas when I could be living in Amsterdam.

So the plug was pulled. DEACTIVATED! The immediate effects were instant. I felt less FRANTIC. I felt less compelled, less compulsive, less “there’s something I forgot to finish.” Soon I felt like the psychic Suki Stackhouse from “True Blood,” when she screams and demands the deluge of other people’s voices in her head go away.

So far, so good. I spent a lot of time this morning thinking about how things would be different. I do a lot of artistic promotion on there, and also a lot of show-n-tell. I would create different outlets for these things. Friendships would revolve solely around email, IM and phone. I realized all the friendships that REALLY matter to me, they have a way to contact me and vice versa. And the ones that don’t really matter to me, why worry?

I wrote a long and poetic morning blog post here instead of a short, artless, FB morning post. I took photos of myself and uploaded them to Twitter. I shared treasures and treasure hunted on Tumblr and Flickr.

By the middle of a work day, however, I sure wished I could check FB. I worry my resolves (I did Run #7 today!) and social events will wane without that constant support and reinforcement, that I’ll lose hits for my artist page, and generally fade from favor in people’s minds. I won’t be able to get easily access things with a ‘login with your facebook,’ or ‘like’ my favorite local businesses. But if any repercussion seems unbearable, then I’ll just open my account again.

I am quite relieved to finally have some e-quiet around here, though!

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5 comments on “The Facebook Affect

  1. Sherah
    June 28, 2012

    Yay! Glad you found out how to sever ties…I tried to last year, but it didn’t last for me. I sometimes think about doing it again, and now realize some of those arguments I made are half baked, but alas, I am weak. I could stand to simply cut back, though.

    Easier said than done, though, when you’re all alone in a new city and working from home. PITY ME OMG POOR ME OMG

    • tatianagill
      June 28, 2012

      I remember when you left FB, thinking I could never do such a thing! But here I am…I’m not sure if its a breakup or a ‘break,’ hehe, if I return after any amount of time I’ll still consider it a success that I grew, learned, and tried something new. You already have that under your belt!

      • Sherah
        June 28, 2012

        so positive! at any rate, love adding new blogz. blogfriends 4 eva!

  2. crackerjackheart
    June 28, 2012

    Ugh, I’m a little jealous. I want to quit it, but every time I talk myself out of it because my family is 2500 miles away and they are all on FB and I like seeing them and interacting with them. And then I think, “I’ll unfriend everyone who isn’t related to me!” But that isn’t realistic given the art and music community I live in and then I feel stuck with all over again and I fall into the trap of leaving and wanting comments and it goes on and on and on and on.

    • tatianagill
      June 28, 2012

      haha exactly, the idea of ‘cutting back’ or ‘moderation’ just don’t fly…I’m too ‘into’ it! I’m so all-or-nothing. The hardest thing today is that someone took a flattering photo of me on instagram and I know they will upload it and can’t tag me! Sob! A moment of e-fame, lost forever. But its interesting what I learn from myself from this kind of withdrawal.

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