It’s been incredibly too long since I last posted. Life has been in a “high tide” as of late.
I recently made the decision to pull the plug on Facebook after much consideration. Once I came to the conclusion to do this, in today’s world it is considered “abnormal” to not be actively on the Book of Faces. I’ve challenged myself with this new change despite the potential for being a “social networking outcast”. While I will miss knowing what friends had for dinner, declarations of how amazing their love is, and even the occasion cat meme; the results should be interesting.
Now to the grand question of why? I realize that not everyone falls into these categories, but in my research the holistic conclusion is that the vast majority do.
Addiction: It’s only been a short while from deactivating my Facebook account and I have instinctively opened the FB application on my phone and tablet more times than I can count. I’m like Pavlov’s dog! It’s absolutely ridiculous how ingrained checking Facebook has become for me. Being a slave to something without even realizing it made me feel like a mindless zombie or sheep.
Time: Looking back, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve opened up Facebook and thought, “I’ll just browse for a few minutes”. Over an hour later I would raise my strained neck from the glow of my iPad and realize the time. It sucks you in the with the sweet siren’s song of curiosity about other people’s lives, political rants, funny videos, and in some cases way too much personal information.
Value: I had to ask myself, “for all of the time I have invested into Facebook, what have I received in return?” The best answer I could come up with was “information about others”. Yet, is it quality information? At times, yes, but that is only about 15% of the time, which is a horrible return on vestment. Sure, I might discover the latest news about a movie I am anticipating, but to get to that I had to weigh through how many posts about things I didn’t care about? Tons of crap.
Privacy: Sharing aspects of our lives is not a bad thing. It has been nice to be able to watch my friend’s children grow despite them living thousands of miles away. This is something to be celebrated and appreciated in the realm of social media. Yet, it has manifested into a whole different monster. There is a tendency to share every inane detail, like what we ate for dinner. We forget what we share is a part of our digital footprint and the minute we click post, it no longer fully belongs to us. I don’t think we understand the long term implications of this as we permanently record all of the seasons of our lives. I am personally glad there wasn’t a Facebook network when I was a teen. There are many things best to be revisited verbally among friends, but should not be floating around public domain. Some mistakes you can’t escape.
Ego & Insecurity: Social networking as a whole is a very powerful tool which can connect people in easy ways. Like most tools, it can be utilized in other aspects which are not so great. In my analysis I came to realize that the lack of value I was getting was in direct correlation to the masks we wear. I’m just as guilty as the next person for drinking the Kool-Aid on this one. Facebook is over saturated with countless posts of overcompensation and self inflation. This is all substantiated with rants about superior religious/anti-religious views, political commentators, out cry about reality TV star statements, or even the embellished declarations of love and amazement of one’s marriage. I fear social networking is contributing to the development of a society which over indulges in the importance of self promotion. We have a tendency to define ourselves through digital misrepresentations. I don’t feel good about my involvement in that for myself. Yes, I sound like the old man in his bath robe yelling at the kids to get off his lawn.
There over arching hope with this change is to earn back wasted time and redirect it into something productive like my writing.
Please excuse me while I go shop for a cabin in the woods to rise up my militia of trained ninja rabbits who will carry out my justice against ramped stupidity in the world.