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Wasting too much time talking about Facebook and what’s on Facebook and what we saw on Facebook and oh my gosh blah, blah, blah Facebook
I can’t be the only one who is completely sick of talking about Facebook, thinking about what I read on Facebook, or wishing there was an IQ test before people are allowed to post on Facebook.
So yeah, here I am writing about Facebook again, but maybe that’s because I’m logging off Facebook for Lent. No, I don’t usually celebrate “Lent” in the strict sense of the word, but this year I am trying to focus more on relaxing, my relationship with God and simply detoxing my brain. And to do that I have deactivated my Facebook account for an entire – gulp – 40 days. (I do, however, have a business page that is being maintained by a “ghost account” simply for blog posts. I won’t really be checking it because not too many people see the page, however, and I have no “friends” on the ghost account.)
Incidentally, the phrase “detoxing my brain” makes me think of sliding a toilet brush in and out of my ears and after reading the cesspool that is the current state of national news, I think that might be a good analogy. I’ve really been trying to avoid the news as I begin to detox, I really have, but almost every day I find myself peeking through my fingers, hoping something positive has happened, only to see it’s only gotten worse every, single day. It’s completely insane how crazy the national media is and I no longer know what is true or who to believe so I decided not to believe any of them. Part of my detox, therefore, will also be trying not to look at any news sites, which I have actually blocked on my phone.
Note I say “national media. My husband is a member of the small town news media, and I used to be, and that is a whole other “kettle of fish”, so to speak. Smalltown news is pretty tame and less prone to sensationalism, though some people are convinced that the behavior of the national media is trickling down to the local newspapers. They look for conspiracies even in the coverage of the school board meetings, as if any of the small town reporters have enough time or gumption to concoct stories slanted one way or another. Most small town reporters want to get in and get out of their meetings and go home on their meager salaries and eat some beans out of a can while binge-watching Netflix, since they can’t afford cable on their salary.
But I have digressed – as I so often do.
My brother and his wife have decided to completely delete their Facebook accounts after Lent, if not before. Adapting to a world without Facebook will be a challenge, but it’s needed, my brother, who will turn 50 in a few more months, says. Turning 50 has apparently caused him to reexamine his life and I’d rather he give up Facebook than dump his wife for a younger woman and buy a Harley during this phase. I’ll miss tagging him in all those memes about being the favorite child, but texting him to say so will do just as well.
I am torn between wanting to completely delete my account and keeping it to stay in contact with some friends and family, but honestly, most of those friends and family don’t actually speak to me, even on Facebook. Most likely I’ll decide to say good-bye to Facebook by the end of Lent. I highly doubt I will be missing much when I do and I might even have more time for other activities like I did when I took a break from the social media giant in December. The best thing about shutting my account down? Never writing another bloody blog post about Facebook and hopefully never talking about it again either.
Planning to take a Facebook break yourself? Here is a link to some tips I learned during my last Facebook break.
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.
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