It has been nearly 6 months since I deactivated my Facebook account, I think it is safe to say that I’ve “quit.” There have been some real-life benefits and consequences, along with a handful of questions and awkward explanations.
I had been thinking about it for a while and one day decided to just do it. Facebook is an attention machine above all else and provided very little benefit or pleasure to my life. A soapbox for people to overshare their opinions and beliefs on religion/politics, brag about some place they went or something they bought, and post pictures of their children doing things that I don’t find as cute as they do. Don’t twist this around in your head and blow it out of proportion, either. It’s not that I don’t care about the things going on in the world or hate my friends and their children.
- Facebook is far from the best place to obtain news or discuss issues – it’s one of the worst.
- I don’t care about the fact that somebody I kind of know bought a new car. Good for them, it’s nice car, but it doesn’t matter to me.
- Scrolling through album after album of baby pictures isn’t fun, nor interesting to me.
Also, I’m somewhat sensitive with my information and don’t particularly like the fact that everything I do is collected and shared with advertisers and government agencies. Do I have anything to hide? No, but I don’t expect to have a reasonable amount of privacy as long as I own a Facebook account and willingly provide this information. People have this illusion that what they do and say on Facebook is private and it’s not. At least with twitter and my website I know what I post is public and people are going to see it – and I treat it as such.
“Did you delete me off Facebook?”
Seriously couldn’t tell you how many times I have answered this question. Probably half of the people I have regular contact with outside of Facebook have accused me of deleting them. Sometimes it is hesitant, sometimes it is defensive or kind of angry. Once I explain that it’s nothing personal everything is fine, but there are a good number of people I’ve had no contact with that are probably pissed off at me. Now that I’ve learned all this, I regret not posting a “here’s how you can stay in touch with me” kind of post as a warning, but it has been 6 months and I can’t go back and do it now.
I don’t miss it
I traded in a few hundred shallow friendships for time. I use that time to do things that I enjoy. I browse websites with interesting content, websites where actual discussion is possible, and have real conversations with friends. I can ask them how they are doing, they’ll say more than “good, you?” and we might even have a thoughtful or difficult discussion about life. It’s much more satisfying than the shallow experience Facebook provides.
Facebook isn’t the only way to stay in touch with people, nor is it the best way. I appreciate when people reach out to me a lot more than checking my profile every few months or giving me a ‘like.’ If you are upset because you think that I deleted you or just happened to google me and read this post, go ahead and send me an email, I’d love to catch up. You could even send me a picture of your baby and I will actually look at it and maybe even enjoy it. Like I said, it’s nothing personal – much like the Facebook experience.