Sunday, May 22, 2011

Why I deleted my Facebook account

I like to think of myself as a clever person. Funny. Hilarious, even.

So when I sat down on Facebook I usually found myself putting something witty in the status line.

It has been discovered that dishes are actually an alien race sent to take over the population of planet Earth.

Paul is running around with underwear on his head. He gets that from me.

I'm having an affair with cream cheese. Please, no one tell my husband.

But then something happened.

I didn't feel funny anymore.

Now I just felt like a desperate comedian telling just one more joke hoping this one gets a laugh. Was this something my friends even wanted to hear? Or did they want to know what I was having for dinner and if Beau just peed in his pants? It came down to a philosophical discussion with myself about what an appropriate facebook status update was. And that's when I realized

I'm giving this thing too much of my life

Seriously, why was this one website consuming my every thought. I'd be standing at the sink, up to my elbows in dirty dish water, writing and re-writing in my head my next funny status. I'd be having a beautiful moment with my kids and be thinking 'I should put this as my status' .

And don't even get me started on the hours I would sit in front of the computer refreshing and rechecking my homepage to see if anyone has posted something new. New pictures of their kids, new pictures of their house, vacation, party, dog, grandma, shoes. Seriously, why do I care?

Now, Facebook does have its uses. I loved being able to find old friends from high-school. People I barely talked to then are now informing me of their trips to the grocery store, the job their husband got and the name of their new puppy.

Eventually I came to the conclusion that Facebook, for me, was just a form of validation. I wanted people to comment on my posts, or at the very least 'like' them. I wanted oohs and aahs over every picture of my sainted children. But why do I need other people to tell me how awesome I am? Why do I feel that I'm not good enough unless people tell me so?

This post just got deep, and it's about facebook. Kill me, kill me now. Jeesh!

And I don't want to come off as some kind of anti-social witch. I really did enjoy seeing where people are now. I really did enjoy seeing pictures of someones new baby. I really did enjoy hearing of my friends now with kids and spouses. Those things make me happy. Really.

It is very possible that someday in the future, I will reactivate my account. I do miss all the obscure yet totally awesome news articles that one of my friends would always post. And there is a certain acquaintance from high school that always cracked me up. So and so is expecting a baby and I want to see pictures, not to mention pictures from that girls wedding.

They say all things in moderation, and if Facebook was a snowy, cold season, I'd tell you that I'm enjoying the sun now and getting a nice ,golden tan.


Kristy said...

Good for you. That facebook is seriously addicting, and such a time suckage. I'd originally just deactivated my account, but I found myself slowly getting sucked back in by reactivating it every couple of weeks just to see what was going on. And then I'd be so irritated with all the useless crap people were posting and so I'd deactivate it again. And last week I did the unthinkable--I sent an email to facebook and told them to DELETE my account. For good. And a weight has been lifted off. Again. I like blogging better, anyway. :)

alisaterry said...

I'm on every day, but to be fair, that's how my playgroup and homeschool group and I plan events. I don't blame anyone for not wanting to be on it, though. It can be addicting.

Sallyseashell said...

I've been trying to FREE myself from Facebook, but I keep going back. I hate more things about it than I love about it, and more and more I want to leave. The number one thing I loathe: how it can connect people and alienate people all at the same time. I love connecting with friends and family, yet I've seen more family fights, and hurt feelings than ever before, since I joined FB. Thanks for remindingf me, Abby. You are right on so many levels!I need to leave FB once and for all.

Janet said...

I admire your guts, Abby! I only got back on FB once we moved out to CA, so I could keep up with everyone easier and not feel so alone. It's hard not to be checking it constantly and doing inane stuff, but I don't feel ready to quit just yet.

Georgia said...

I came across your blog in search of someone who might see Facebook in the same light I do.

I made my account in senior high school initially to be able to better communicate and collaborate with other members of the yearbook committee (Class of '09). I then became a little bit too concerned about it and stressed needlessly over it.

Just this week, I decided to deactivate it. Then I came back moments later just to "check on it." When I then took a moment to actually think about what I was doing, it occurred to me how much valuable time I've wasted on it and how stupendously fickle friendships become because of it being such a fundamental means of social interaction now.

I too relished posting witty status updates and am ashamed to say the number of likes or comments on it made me happy. An important reason being, I myself am naturally socially inept. Facebook allowed me to express myself in a way that I couldn’t with people face to face-and I notice other people similar in nature take advantage of this too. BUT! It doesn’t do anything to improve what I was like in-person. What did I gain from Facebook? Nothing that would last or count to anything.

I can understand to an extent the joys of Facebook- being able to reconnect with people you wouldn’t be able to in real life. And sure, everything in moderation. It’s just another thing. But on the whole, it’s all just an instant way for everyone to get a mild ego-boost, which is rather sad (whether it be posting pictures of what you did on the weekend, the brilliant breakfast you made or even your darling kids). Maybe I’m a little old fashioned, maybe even a little backward.

But it all is a little too invasive for my liking and I find it particularly disconcerting that many people choose to put their lives on show the way they do. That is why, when I came to my senses after logging back in when I’d only just deactivated it, I deleted all of my friends, all of my information, all of the pictures and THEN deactivated my account.

I can’t say I feel a whole lot better about it now and that I’m not suffering from any slight forms of withdrawals, but I sure as hell won’t be making a new account. I now find that I get more things done, I stress over things that need to be stressed about and I’m practising my social skills in a way that’ll be much more practical-face to face with real people.

It’s not ‘hippie’ to delete your Facebook account. We’re just like any other person who went about their day to day lives before the thing was invented.

I thoroughly enjoyed your post-except for the part where you mentioned at the end of the possibility of reactivating it.

Very strange times we live in.

Christine Eret said...

I just found this blog, and was amazed. You touched on so many things I have been thinking of, and I wanted to say that you are a person who would understand what I am. The hippie in you is there as it is in me. I was a hippie back in the late sixties and seventies. That part of my life will always be with me forever. I quit wearing earrings recently, and I do not wear makeup as a rule. I usually do not wear hosiery of any sort, or heels. I love longer dresses and skirts, and I like being barefoot. In short, I love your story and blog. Keep up the good work...