I did it. I pulled the plug on my facebook account. It’s something I’ve pondered doing before, but never did before now. I don’t know how long I’ll stay away. Permanently? I’d say probably not, but who knows. It’s kind of an experiment.
So what would make me want to kick Facebook to the curb?
Well, let’s start with the reason I talked myself out of deactivating my account for such a long time. When the subject of Facebook came up in real world conversation, any time someone would speak of it in a sense such as “I don’t really use it,” I would generally say something like “Yeah, I probably wouldn’t use it at all if it weren’t for it letting me keep in touch with people I otherwise probably wouldn’t.” That was a true statement, that is what convinced me that I should stay on.
I kind of hate shallow relationships. I’m an all or nothing kind of guy. If I like you, I’m in it 100%. I’m not a big fan of small talk and the like. Now, since I’m in it 100%, but I’m all or nothing, it gets weird when it becomes difficult to maintain that 100% (say, you live on the opposite side of the country). Well, Facebook offered this neat little thing where I can be “in it” in the world of cyberspace, but not so much in the real world. And that is kind of OK in some circumstances.
However, I feel like in some situations Facebook has been stressing me out on an almost subconscious level for some time. That can be for various reasons. There’s that whole effect of seeing the best of one person’s life and comparing it with the worst of yours, which can definitely mess with your head. It’s certainly a kind of addiction because it makes you feel that you need to see what is going on with people. Certainly, I was far less addicted than many people are, and also probably the least I have been at any point in my own life. Still, it consumed time and attention… and I’d flick over to it randomly so often that it really feels weird that I can’t do that right now.
The biggest reason goes back to that staying in touch with people and my hatred of shallow relationships though. I sort of realized Facebook is just sort of fostering ultra-shallow, casual, passive, not really real relationships. There are some people who I just sort of felt like I was bothering them when I’d message them, and well, I don’t really need that. Sometimes I’d want to actually talk to the person and I’d just get a few minutes of sporadic messages of fluff and then nothing. But I’d still feel compelled to send messages to certain people if I noticed them on and hadn’t talked to them in some time.
And so, I decided to rid myself of it. No more stress. If you have my email address, you can email me. If you have my phone number, you can call me or text me. With the exception of a short list of people, I’m not likely to contact you more than once without you contacting me, because I’m tired of being more in it than you are.
So we’ll see how this goes. Maybe without Facebook in the mix I’ll be better at all of this.