Farewell Facebook

Hello dear reader(s)!

WARNING:  This post is pretty ranty, and that’s about all.  Read if you want.  I am venting here.  

Yesterday I once again went off Facebook.  I have done it before, but that usually involved deleting it and reactivating it in times of boredom.  But this time is different.  I’m not deactivating it, I’m not even suspending it.  I’m just walking away from it for a while.  I know I’ll be back on it, and I’m fine with that, but I don’t want to be on it right now; and hopefully the break will help me to not want to spend much time on it when I get back.

Of course, since I have this here blog-type-thing, and occasionally people check out my posts from Facebook, they will still auto-post to my page, but that will be the extent of my involvement with the site for a while.  I haven’t decided how long.

I think for everyone, taking a Facebook break (if you have a Facebook) from time to time is a good idea.  It is important to realize that the people actually in your life that you have the means or desire to communicate with outside of Facebook are more important than the friends who are too busy or not close enough to communicate with you by any other means.  It is important to remember that human connection is better when it is more than words on a screen.  (I am not saying people can’t connect online, it happens all the time.)  The priority should be placed on actual connection.  Someone’s voice, someone’s touch, someone’s smile, someone’s body language, can all make a big difference in the message conveyed.  Even when you are great at reading between the lines, there is still more to be conveyed in inflection, tone, and body language than in words.

Beyond the need to re-prioritize actual human connection over virtual connection, there were some things that led up to this decision.  They are:

  • Memes.  The whole reason I had a Facebook prior to my blog-type-thing was to keep in touch with the people I otherwise would not keep in touch with.  But so many people just post these memes over and over again, with absolutely no relevance to their lives.  In fact, one of the memes even states that just because someone is posting about it, doesn’t mean they’re going through it, they may just like it.  Fair enough, but if they never update with an actual status, all you know is that they like introspective sounding words on a graphic.  You are not keeping in touch.  You have no idea what is happening in their lives, how their day is, what they care about (since so many of those things are contradictory).  You just know they like text on graphics and occasionally minions.
  • Messenger.  I like using messenger.  Sometimes.  I hate the way the chat head pops up in front of things when I’m in the middle of something else.  It is like a built-in guilt trip to answer someone’s message right then.  I know it is only one step to swipe their head bubble down to the X and close out, but it is a step I don’t want to take when busy in another app.  It also seems kind of like a dick move for someone like me to do.  When someone sends a text, I just end up with an indicator.  No steps required to get to it when I’m good and ready.  There is also the fact that I give out personal details like my phone number to people for a reason, and may not want to “chat” with some of the people who are less close than those I choose to share that information with.  I don’t want to go through and turn chat off for certain people though, because occasionally I may be open to it.  Just not every time I log into Facebook unless I want to change settings.  There is also the fact that people can tell when you’re active (even when chat is off) by looking at you in the chat window and seeing you sitting at 1m since active for longer than a minute.
  • Dishonesty.  There is a fine line between not wanting to air your dirty laundry on Facebook, and outright lying about your life.  If you believed Facebook, everyone is happy all the time, life is perfect, and you are not nearly as interesting as everyone else.
  • Drama.  This is the other side of the dishonesty spectrum, and the straw that broke the camel’s back this time around.  Beyond reading whiny posts from a few people every single day (as if their Facebook friends could solve any of their complex issues or could even empathize after so much complaining) as well as all of the “I’m single and lonely, but I’m really not lonely, but I’m totally lonely so love me, but I don’t need anyone but me, but why won’t anyone love me?” posts…there was a couple incidents.  I don’t want to go into the incidents in detail, but basically they amount to receiving information well after the time when having that information may have either changed the course of things, or at least would have been good to know at a time I really could have used it.
  • Games.  Sometimes people like to play games with other people.  I’m not talking about Candy Crush or Words With Friends (which I don’t care about because I know how to block those requests, it’s not hard, look it up), I’m talking about head games (not the Foreigner song, but the same type).  There is no better place than Facebook for that.  If you could see what people post publicly on their walls, verses the messages I have received, you probably wouldn’t be that shocked because it has likely happened to you too.  But if You don’t do Facebook, you’d be shocked.

All of these things can happen in the real world, but Facebook makes it so easy and so commonplace.

What about you dear reader(s)?  Do you have a Facebook?  Do you get any of these types of things on yours?  Has it seemed to lost a lot of its usefulness over time?  Have you taken a break from it?

Advertisements

Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

62 thoughts on “Farewell Facebook”

  1. what shud I say..its just 2 days since i deactivated my account nd i kinda feel i m living a life beyond the screens!!! I 100% AGREE with whatever u hav typed so far!!! a timely break that must be taken

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I, like you in the past have deleted and reactivated due to boredom or to see people’s wedding pics ect…ect….. This last time I deleted it, it is gone for good. No more Facebook for me. I have caught people in so many lies on there, and have plans with friends, then they claim they are sick and can’t do what we had planned, then they post pictures on them on the beach, or out on their boat. I thought they were so sick they couldn’t get out of bed????

    Friends like that aren’t friends…… EXCEPT when they need you for something.

    Even thought my friends have my email, phone, and can text, they don’t anymore, cause I am not on Facebook. It is like if you don’t live on facebook 24 hours a day, they don’t want to talk to you. These people are the same ones that think because they LIKE something on your page, they are in your life and you are good buds.

    So, I get it what you mean. Facebook could shut down and it not hurt my feelings at all. I have lost friends due to Facebook, and they can also kiss my. hiney. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Right on, Josh. I’ve bulldozed Facebook several times over the years. I only still have it, really, for the one or two people who exclusively contact me through the messenger. But they know other ways to contact me, so really I should consider it their problem and bulldoze again. Because you’re right..even with my whopping 20+ “friends” (mostly coworkers), the feed is chock full of drama, headgames and memes. I’ve unfollowed the posts of soooo many, especially the women who spend all day posting about god, guns, and country. Wooo..I just wrote an essay on your space. Sorry about that.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. The great thing about checking these from my email is that I only see the text. So fail on your Rick Roll attempt! Ha! Now go make me salsa! On Jan 7, 2016 10:54 AM, “My Friday Blog” wrote:

        >

        Like

  4. I would be surprised if I spend more than 15 minutes a day on Facebook. I’ll post a status update now and then and maybe spend 10 minutes reading my feed. Beyond that I get bored. WordPress is what gets my time and attention these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Messenger is the only reason I still have an account at all. If only I could convince my friends to all use WhatsApp or Google Hangout/Chat, I would be completely at ease with deleting my account. All the lies by omission and oneupmanship are ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would never get a WhatsApp because I get messages from a spammer claiming I have voice messages on it and I never signed up. Google Chat would be my favorite, but they won’t use it. At any rate, I will not have messenger on my phone again, even when I go back to it.

      Like

      1. Wowsa! I haven’t run into that, thankfully. I have it mainly to talk to friends in Australia.

        When I took a mini-FB-break last year, I deleted the FB app on the phone but left messenger. Then I turned off my chat settings for all but my son to see me and got rid of the floating head notifications. That seemed to work except I wish there was a stand-alone way to get to the messenger online without going through the “regular” FB. I get frustrated when I can’t type very quickly or on the phone at work.

        Like

  6. Unfollow was my best friend with Facebook. Uninstalling the messenger app from my phone and only using it on desktop was another good step. I hardly use Facebook any more other than to share stuff with friends I see in life or friends that have moved across the country. Good choice to step away though it’s a place that breeds false connection

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, just a break. Definitely leaving messenger off my phone, even when I come back to it. I still wish there was a better way to hide my presence on it when I do go on. When you turn it off, if anyone is paying attention, they can still tell you’re on. Pattern recognition tells you a lot about your Facebook friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh I totally feel you. I haven’t gotten around to deactivating my Facebook yet, but I have the same problems as you. And let’s forget the idiotic, insane videos that keep going viral for no reason. Oh, yeah Facebook is annoying to the point where I’m jumping on and off in less than five minutes. And some days I ignore it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I won’t deactivate. I still like to check in from time to time. Right now, I just need a break,. and also, the people I check in on haven’t really been updating with anything of reality lately anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I still have a Twitter, I rarely tweet, I do read some of them sometimes. I still have my Facebook but just need a break. I’ve never had a Pinterest, but usually get good recipes from all of the people who share their Pinterest finds on Facebook.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wait. I have a facebook account that I check a couple of times a day. Is it cold hearted that I have no problem blocking people who bug me? Where else would I get updates from Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, and Frontline all in one feed!!! And how can you not love the fb page, “I fucking love science”?!! I actually don’t give a rat’s ass about people’s lives. If I want to know, I’ll call or email them…..Or read their blogs. 🙂 But there are also a lot of indigenous sites that are getting some good work done over facebook because its a way young and old can connect, share knowledge, and organize. I think it can still be a social media tool that we can enjoy. Plus, I have fellow bird nerds that post pics!!!!
    Sorry, I’m a fan. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I use Twitter for my HuffPo, Frontline, occasional Al Jazeera, Mashable, and MentalFloss stuff. IFLScience was one of the few things on FB I read regularly. When I go back, I will catch up though. Don’t be sorry for being a fan. I’m keeping mine, just stepping away for a while because of all of the negatives I listed, as well as just taking more time to be away from it and engaged in real life. And of course because I have a tendency to react to things before taking time to cool off, and I’d be tempted to react to things right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve been there. In fact, when I deactivate my two Facebook accounts, I started my blog! I still need to share, to write and to do whatever else I did because of social media. I have since rejoined FB, but it’s nothing like what it used to be for me. I find my blog is much more suited to my needs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. I won’t deactivate, I just need a break, and to let a few things blow over so I don’t blow up about them. I’ve also been having more fun living life with actual people in person or at least who can take the time to shoot me a text or phone call.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love my Facebook because I’ve set it up to avoid all the crap I don’t like. I put a lot of people in Restricted, I Unfollow a lot of people so I don’t have to see them every day, and I set up Lists. 99% of my interaction on FB is with people I love, who are supportive, kind, open, and authentic, even online. As with my blog, if people are rude, I simply ignore it.
    I have never turned my chat on. It’s like a ringing phone; just because I hear it doesn’t mean I have to answer it.
    BUT, I will say, I use it less and less, and for that matter, I post less and less. I notice this when I look at those On This Day posts.
    I truly think it’s wonderful to have all the people in one place. At a nice distance. lol
    I’m sorry you’re not getting the best of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I unfollowed people, but even the people I do want to hear from, occasionally post something that I can’t stand. I liked messenger, because I type better than I text, no autocorrect errors. But I have it off and took the app off my phone for now because of some of the messages received. If I took a full day or two to configure everything, I could probably make it a little better, but I’d rather step away for a while anyway, and live life off of it. Like I said, the people who need to reach me in the meantime have other means.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello Josh,
    Happy New Year!
    I’ve been wanting to comment on so many of your thoughtful and thought-provoking posts for a while, but just about each time I gather my thoughts and try to write, I notice there are already many other fine messages, and I don’t want to just repeat everything that’s been said 😉

    I never signed up for Facebook (omg, right?) and never had the desire to, because of all the things you mentioned in your post, and the fact that while online communication is great (and yes, of course it’s possible to make real lasting friendships/relationships), there was something about the “share everything, me-me-me-” culture that turned me off. Over the past 10 years, genuine communication seems to be getting more and more rare. Even amongst close friends. Everyone has their face plastered to their screen, people seem less aware of their physical environment. And I find that disturbing. I also believe that it’s not a bad thing to maintain a degree of privacy. Why the obsession to know everything about others’ lives – it happens enough in “real life” with nosy relatives 😉 😀

    Again, happy new year. I’m so happy that you’re looking forward to many things, and to living each day to the fullest.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And a very happy new year to you. One of my best friends at this time and I reconnected again through Facebook, so I can’t say it is all bad, but just seems to be less useful than it was when I started it. And of course, for all the reasons I mentioned.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I like that I have connected with people who have become real friends outside of Facebook through Facebook and might not have without it. But now I only have it for those real friends I talk to outside of it anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Being an old guy I just recently got on Facebook. It was good because I found an old college buddy of mine who I have not seen in over 40 years as well as a nephew in Europe. And for some reason my infrequent blog posts also appear on my page. Have no idea why.. But there are now all kinds of junk and posts and friend requests. I don’t want any friends! The only good thing about it is it does not clutter up my emailbox.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think Facebook is useful as a tool, but also dangerous as it seems to promote the idea that instant gratification should be sought after.

    These days, I mostly use it for sharing my photos but not much beyond that. Aside from the above, I find it to be tragic as to how much people seem to be attached to it, as well as odd that people will stop talking to you if you’re not on it.

    Once again, a good read.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I pretty much never use facebook except to post stuff for my site and to occasionally get in touch with someone. Like you said in your article, it just felt very dishonest. Even like from myself- either I was just trying to show all of my good moments, or I was putting up little blips of bad things that no one liked and in general made me just feel worse. I’m not a fan of it at all. Although I do love this meme.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Personally I think there is something about the internet that turns people into idiots. Maybe its just me, but I got to a point where I had restricted so many people, unfollowed a lot of them that there seemed to be very little point in keeping it. In the end I deleted all but about 8 people

    Liked by 1 person

Comments appreciated

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s