Well, the time has come. I need to live up to my internal obligation. I’m going dark. I’m leaving the ‘community’.
Goodbye Facebook! I think I might miss you, but probably not.
I decided this spring it was time to quit Facebook. I’ve been thinking about it for many months on and off again, and I think its time to ”fish or cut bait”. Its like spring cleaning, but for your mind.
As part of my mental journey away from the ‘book I’m compiling my reasons, a pros and cons list.
What I genuinely like about the ‘book:
- connecting with my friends who are far away, or to staying up to date with family
- challenging myself with different perspectives from how I think, learning these differing points of view
- selling things I don’t need, its a much better platform then Craigslist; Ive had much better success selling old things I no longer need
- reading the ‘trending’ news
- I have some friends engaged in ministry who post their sermons on the site, so its cool to watch and stay connected
What I ‘secretly’ like, but recognize adds no value to my life, or worse – lessen the value of it:
- dank memes
- political “conversations”, especially ones where I make a ‘point’ instead of a difference
- trolling people in said conversations
- especially the ones who can’t see past their own brand of cool-aid
- posting controversial things, that I KNOW is aimed at getting a rise from certain people
- I try not to do it, but ‘if the monkey will dance, keep throwing it peanuts”
- the way the platform causes us to voyeuristically look at each others lives – always through the ‘best’ filter, always with the #longestHashtagToValidateMyExistence
What I strongly dislike about how I interact with it:
- I habitually check it – too much. I know this is on me, although Im confident that FB is engineered to be as addicting as possible (its actually a thing)
- therefore I literally waste an inordinate amount of time. WHY? I’m pretty sure its because I like it when the ‘little red notification’ pops up that means I have a message or a post comment. #DoesPavlovRingABell?
- I use it as a PLATFORM to make a POINT – and that is a lot like riding a stationary bike – you feel like you are doing something, but you aren’t really going anywhere.
- I allow FB to affect my way of thinking, the way I perceive life around me. Some of that may be good, but I find it not an ideal source of nourishment.
What I don’t like about FB, because of the bigger picture:
- We are the product, not the consumer – no surprise there I hope, but that means:
- FB is gladly using me, my effort, my life, as its product. I give them MY information of my own free will and allow them to profit from it
- I do not trust FB to be a platform that can handle my data with respect
- I am also treated like the mouse in the maze
So what’s stopping me?
Probably a fear of missing out. You can’t laugh at the memes you do not see. Okay, sorry that was me redirecting. Probably a fear of missing out on things like validation, inclusion, and affirmation.
What are you going to do?
Well, I have a litany of thoughts. So here they are in rapid fire succession:
- I don’t actually attend any events I see on FB. I always connect with friends about doing things via different communication mechanisms.
- I can use this wonderful technology called “E-mail” to stay up to date with friends and family. Its a different communication methodology because its PUSH rather than PULL oriented.
- To challenge my thinking, Ill read books, listen to people, and enjoy documentaries.
- When I want to get a rise from people, or push the social boundary,
Ill do it the old fashioned way, in person, face to faceIll reflect on why, and strive to make a difference rather than a point.
- To stay in the know, Ill use an old Indian trick – I’ll continue to make friends and talk with them.
Ill start a blogI will continue to blog, I find it helps me focus my thoughts, and even if no one else reads this, I enjoy it.
I know this will take a bit of work to rewire my brain, but Im worth investing in it. I’d hate to think on my death bed, Id still find myself mindlessly scrolling in search of one more meme that will make me laugh; so today is as good of day as any other to start to change… Memento Mori
I also know that leaving FB won’t fix things – It wont eliminate, nor should it, that internal drive to be affirmed, included, and loved, but Ill work more on filling it with meaningful interactions, not this ‘artificial sweetener’. And Yes, I know Ill still be tracked by companies. Ill still be a product to companies like Google and Amazon (but for some reason I like them more – maybe its because I PAY them!). I’ll still be on social media (albeit a twitter account I don’t really use). So I think my plan as of right now is to deactivate, experiment with this new way of life ‘post-facebook’, and then probably permanently delete it.
I’ll also do the cliche thing and post about leaving FB, but that is for mostly (hopefully) non-vain reasons, like A) telling people where they can find me online – nieuwsma.net B) letting people know that if they get a friend invite from ‘me’ that Its not me, because I am leaving.
-See you around in the real world!