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?