Leaving Facebook is like dying.
Some people probably even think you have died. You haven’t posted in a week and you’re not liking their posts to show them you still care about their thoughts (because this is the only way people communicate or feel validated anymore). They don’t see you in person because, well, you’re not online so they figure you might be depressed (and who wants to deal with depressed people? Yuck!) or sick or mad about something and they don’t want to know about any of that stuff.
If they do see you in person they tell you how much they love the photos of your kids, which you stopped posting several months ago, and then stare awkwardly at you because, since you no longer post status updates, they don’t know what is really happening in your life. I mean, what if it is bad? Then they’ll feel bad they didn’t know. And what if it is good? Either way they’ll be trapped listening to you share about your life without the ability for them to simply click like and scroll by you so they can quickly move on to the meme with the kitten clinging to a limb (aaaawww! Kitties!)
I thought leaving Facebook back in December would make in-person interactions with friends become more of an occurrence and when they did happen it would be more meaningful. Such was not the case and I know it will not be the case again when I walk away from Facebook again in March.
I accidentally restricted my posts from someone even before I left Facebook and they told me they had no idea what was going on in my life because they couldn’t see my status updates. They told me this on messenger. Because apparently picking up the phone would have been way too mentally taxing. Can you imagine if they had had to speak to me in person? Why I just shudder to think of the horrors that might have entailed. Actual human interaction? Ew.
Thankfully they sent an apology for their actions via messenger to a family member of mine. I feel much better now, knowing they still don’t care enough to pick up the phone or actually speak to me about what’s actually happening in my life, but hey, at least they can talk to a relative about me – via text.
So, yes, I went back to Facebook after my break from it in December and instead of being excited and feeling refreshed to handle it all again I almost immediately felt annoyed. The break was a wake-up call to me to how vapid and ridiculous Facebook is.
The first week or so I was back on I watched someone rant about people complaining about the walk to their car in the morning being cold. People had no right to complain about how cold it was to walk to their cars because by doing so they were clearly spitting in the face of every farmer in the world that has to go out at 4 a.m. to milk the cows in such awful cold. I wasn’t sure of the logic behind this post but I guess the poster wanted us to be sure that we remembered that farmers are suffering in the arctic cold. In other words all they had to write was: “Remember that farmers have to go out in this cold, no matter what. They don’t have a choice. Think of them and say a prayer.” That was way easier than the virtual smackdown that was clearly unnecessary but is a common occurrence on Facebook, where someone is always more important than someone else (and don’t you forget it because if you do they’ll be sure to remind you in a passive aggressive meme.)
Then there were the passive-aggressive, leading questions.
“Does anyone know why school is even closed today?”
The person could have easily written: “It’s stupid that school is closed today” because that was obviously their opinion in the first place or they wouldn’t have added “EVEN” to their question. The leading questions dripping in sarcasm are always fun to read – over and over and over again throughout our feeds.
And, really, that’s what my disdain for Facebook comes down to these days. Ninety-eight percent of what is there is unnecessary. I’m not only preaching to other people here. I’m preaching to me too. Almost everything I have posted there in the last ten years (my word! Ten years?!) has been much of the same. Looking back at my posts over the years is like looking at my journals from seventh grade. It’s definitely cringe-worthy; like mental fingernails on the chalkboard of my immature past. I would definitely say the site has brought out the worst in me, the grumpy, judgmental and complaining person I used to keep locked in my private, tangible journal. For many of us Facebook has made us think complaining about everything under the sun should be a normal part of our life when, newsflash, it shouldn’t.
Choosing to no longer log on to Facebook every day or maybe even every week has been a decision I have felt I’ve needed to make for a long time. I can’t imagine how much further in life I’d be if I had never logged on to the site in the first place, all those years ago. It will be interesting to see where life will take me as I plan to log out and leave it behind for a long while, if not for good.
For now the breaks from it have taken me behind the scenes of the real-life walking dead (in some ways) and out back into the land of living, where I am able to seek out new friends who can still talk to me even if I don’t post for everyone to see which emotion I’m feeling at any given moment.