Why I Did It

I chose to give up Facebook. I don’t regret it, not even a little bit.

Sure, I know Facebook can be a useful tool. You can share photos, keep in touch with long distance family and friends, schedule events, share funny videos, favorite articles or interesting news. But on the flip side…

Did I really need to see 184 photos of "Fran’s Dirty 30 Party," filled with enough drunken divas to last a lifetime? Or did I really want to know that you “just cleaned the grout in the shower and now its time for a sleepy sleep!" Or that you’re “burning the steaks on the BBQ!" Perhaps they wouldn't be burning if you were actually in front of the barbecue, instead of telling your Facebook friends about it? Or do I really need to know that you “just ate a hot dog and a diet coke for lunch”. I came to realize that no, I don’t need to know any of those things.

After some time without it, I’ve begun to think that Facebook actually does a lot more harm to relationships than it does good. With news about babies and houses and jobs and marital statuses, social networking can create a false sense of intimacy and lead to pretty lazy communicating. You don’t have to carry on full conversations anymore: Instead, you can click a thumbs-up signifying just how much you “like” the fact that the girl who sat next to you in your high school English class landed a new job.

Quitting Facebook hasn’t made me call people more, nor has it inspired me to answer all of my emails in a timely manner. But I have noticed that I can genuinely ask people how they’re doing and not already know their answer based on their hourly updates. I have more time to write notes and cook  meals (cooking is a skill I seriously need to work on) and send emails. I ‘m no longer curious about what my old army (yes, I was in the army) buddies are up to, nor do I spend hours wondering why I wasn’t invited to a party I never would have wanted to be invited to in the first place.

I know these feelings are my own fault. I know that Facebook isn’t evil and that there are plenty of other mediums that can be just as detrimental to human relationships. But for me, Facebook was by far the worst.

Through blogging, I’ve met creative, interesting people who inspire me and uplift me. Many of us have formed true friendship. Blogging helps me stay in-tune to the ideas of others, and it inspires me to be better.

Facebook wasn’t doing any of that. And guess what? 

People still, amazingly somehow, get a hold of me if they need me. They call, or comment on this blog, or text, or email. My life did not end when I quit Facebook. Instead, I think it got better. At the very least, that simple act of quitting has helped me to become better. 

And that’s enough reason for me to stay off for a very long time.



Comments

  1. I wrote a post almost identical to this a while back! So true, but sadly I am back on the facebook train.

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  2. I never really got into Facebook - I have a page but there's no picture and it's so neglected it's not even funny. And now that I am going through IF I have no desire to look at everyone's baby pictures so I have even less incentive to use it. Bravo for getting off, hopefully your relationships will all benefit...

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  3. I only have very few of my nearest friends and family on FB. I don't have co workers, former co workers, random high school class mates, friends of friends, or anyone like that. Which is the only reason why I can still stand it. First off, I won't get random 'guess whose pregnant' posts, because I know these ppl too well for it to be random. And secondly, my best friends from high school and college have scattered all over the country. FB allows me to chat with them, see pictures of their new car, get their long distance support, things like that like I would have in High School or College. No, I can't hang out with them anymore, but I can keep in touch. And when things need more in depth conversation, I can follow up with a call or a letter.

    I think the most important thing about FB is who you choose to have as friends. If more ppl just selected their FB friends to ppl who they really are interested in enough daily to talk to without being annoyed, then they wouldn't be annoyed with FB. And if ANY of my friends post what they are having for lunch, I feel totally free to say "hey, who the hell cares?" Just as I would if they were here in person. :)

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  4. I was considering doing this too! I just don't care anymore, or maybe I will just go on a deleting spree and get rid of the people whom annoy me the most? Go you for clicking deactivate! I think its great!

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  5. You're gooooood! I may do this someday, although I will say that unsubscribing to people is the best option FB ever gave us.

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  6. Janet, i agree with you - facebook can actually be quite depressing - however, i am a fb junkie - I promise to start following your blogs - if thats what its going to take to be closer to you! big love always

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  7. Oh how this resonated! I had quit my FB 3 times, each time when I got back on I would cut down my friends to actual friends and family (not just acquaintances), weed out the junk, etc. But it always felt so fake even with the people who knew the real me.

    I agree that it has the possibility to do more harm than good to relationships which is why I ultimately quit it for the last time the other day. It's not even the jealous "they have a better life" stuff, it's the "I was better off not knowing so I won't feel compelled to judge and now have to pretend I don't know this and that it doesn't tick me off."

    Relationships are just easier that way for me.

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