I never thought I’d say this, but I had to say goodbye to Facebook. I didn’t want to, but I had to. It became a habit before I noticed that I had turned into a FB thinking, posting, checking, liking machine. An addict.
In my defense, I started spending more and more time on FB when I was ill and housebound.
Let’s go with that anyway.
I realize now that it is a shiny object that lured me in like a zombie. Except I have (or used to) a brain and FB ate it slowly, mindless post by mindless post.
I’m not judging, I had just as many mindless posts as anyone else.
I decided to quit cold turkey as a test to see what impact it would have on my life. It’s been 2 months now and all I can say is…Wow. I’m so done.
And here are my top 10 reasons why;
Reason #1 – It’s Not Real. It’s what everyone wants their audience to believe. It’s life edited for affect. Status postings love or hurt deeper, live better, go farther, jump higher, run faster…oh snap, I just morphed into an old PF Flyer commercial! I’m tired of feeling inadequate in the wake of everyone’s fantasy posts. If I want to read about a superhero, I’ll pick up a book or find a blog. We all know comparing our lives with everyone else’s doesn’t end well…but it gets hard not to.
Reason #2 – What Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen. – And I’m not talking about the 300 pound twerker, although that’s 1 minute out of my life I’ll never get back. I’m talking about the shock pictures or videos that show up in my news feed depicting some sort of horror that is meant to go viral. I will never ever get the images of the hanging puppy or the baby being hit with a throw pillow out of my head. Ever. I understand that bad things happen in the world (see Reason #3), but the idea that these bad things were done so somebody could get a million shares? It makes me afraid for the human race, and I don’t like that feeling.
Reason #3 – The World Got Too Small. If I want to be abreast of crime in LA, I’ll turn on the news or check it on the news feed when I log onto my email. I don’t want to know about vandalism in Minnesota. All the bad news in the world is depressing, especially for the 30th time. I have nothing against Minnesota, I just know my limits on exactly how much of a negative feed my psyche can take. Besides, if it’s on Facebook how do I know it’s real news? Refer to Reason #1.
Reason #4 – The FML’ers. I try really hard to remember that everything is relative, but when someone posts FML because Starbucks forgot their cup sleeve when someone else is battling cancer and never says FML, it’s difficult to be sympathetic. And you know what the FML Starbucks posters’ turn into? A waste of my time. Which leads to Reason #5.
Reason #5 – It’s a Time Thief. Let’s just say I spent an hour a day on FB (and on many, many days it was more). That’s 365 hours a year minimum. What could I have done with 365 hours? I’m embarrassed to say quite a bit. If my days are numbered (and all of ours are), I am not going to spend them on FB. I would rather be in a moment that does not involve staring at an electronic screen. I would rather be outside feeling the sun, smelling the air, and accomplishing something, if only to keep my muscles in a minimum of working order. I would rather spend the time to talk to a friend face to face, shake their hand, and give them a real facial expression, not an emoticon. If I’m going to waste my precious time, I’m going to waste it on something that makes me feel a little better when I’m done. Facebook just isn’t worth the time it steals.
Reason #6 – FOMO. Fear of missing out. Increasingly my friends and family have used Facebook to announce really important things. I became scared to death to miss a post or postings for fear I would not know about an engagement, a health problem, an accident, etc. the list is endless. If someone wants me to know something important now, they’re going to have to let me know the old fashioned way. They’re going to have to text me.
Reason #7 – Save The World. This one I feel a little guilty about, but the truth is I can’t join every cause or fix every broken thing on earth. I would be out of time and money by tomorrow. When I share a status to raise awareness about an issue that is unquestionably a good thing, but when I am sending it from my couch to someone else on their couch and so on, how much is really being done to change it? If we as FB users believe we are bringing about change on any issue by sharing a status, I would like to see the statistics. Again, I don’t want to minimize the importance of global awareness, but I’ll pick an issue I am passionate about and actively work toward change. That will require getting up off the couch, I can guarantee it.
Reason #8 – There Are Some Things I Don’t Want To Know. I don’t want to know the results of a bathroom visit. I don’t want to know who got lucky last night. I also don’t want to know that someone I admire is actually mentally disturbed. Well maybe I do, but not through a series of really disturbing posts. I’m still mad that someone I looked up to as a strong spiritual advisor was actually hooked on posting some pretty graphic sexual smut. When I tried to discreetly unfriend him…oh man I’m still dealing with that cray cray drama. Mentally disturbed people don’t like being called on their BS, even if it’s through what’s not being said or “liked”.
Reason #9 – Friend is Such an Overused Term. You know what a friend is in my book? A friend is someone who puts up with being seen with me in public. That’s what a true friend is. I may be unique in that everyone on my Facebook friend list is someone I actually know, but maybe 5% of those would put up with being seen with me in public on a regular basis. THAT’s what a true friend is, and I vow to spend my time nurturing those nuts. Those who only wish to be associated with me (or vice versa) from afar probably don’t even know I’m gone. Oh yes…and the haters. Why do people want to see you fail so badly? When I fall down, I’d rather do it around those that want to help me get back up with actually lending me a hand, not a like. Or a smug comment. Bitches.
Reason #10 – What Would Jesus Do? I imagine the conversation would go something like this upon my arrival to the pearly gates.
Jesus – “Welcome my daughter, I have forgiven you of your many sins and am pleased that you tried hard to be good and help those around you. Why did you stop so near to the end?”
Me – “I didn’t stop Lord. I sort of cared about all of those people that the people that I know shared their postings on Facebook.”
Jesus – “And what did you do to ease their suffering?”
Me – “I liked their posts.”
Whew…thank God I stopped myself in time to change this conversation.
Until next time dear diary.