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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