Wednesday, 14 October 2015

10 Reasons I'm Thinking About Quitting Facebook

Just to be clear, I haven't done the deed yet. Quitting Facebook has been something on my mind for a while, but it's going to take *shudder* effort... I need to make sure all the right people have my email address or other contact details, I have to make sure I've downloaded and backed up all my photos, and I need to switch my Goodreads and other accounts to my email address rather than the oh-so-seductive 'sign in with Facebook' button.
This was the first photo of me ever posted to Facebook. I am as graceful and co-ordinated as ever. Like an elegant snow deer.
As a writer and a blogger, I obviously am not opposed to social media. I love Tumblr, I love Goodreads, I love Pinterest... in fact, I'm noticing that my social media tendencies lean towards anything where you don't actually have to talk to people. Just kidding! No, I prefer these accounts rather than Facebook or Twitter because they are actually relevant to my interests, instead of simply a platform for the general banalities of everyday life. So, without further ado, I'm thinking of quitting Facebook:
  1. To redirect my energy into the friendships and relationships that mean the most to me, instead of fielding notifications from twice-met acquaintances inviting me to play games fifty times a day and making me feel fed up with other people in general. I am an introvert, and although I love people (some of them anyway), I don't have enough energy to go around everyone and still feel happy and relaxed at the end of the day. I'd like to be able to focus more on specific people and, frankly, let the rest go. (I was planning to do some cord cutting at this last new moon but instead I had a lovely migraine, so that will have to wait until I shake off the post-migraine collywobbles.)
  2. To avoid self-consciousness and comparing myself to others. It's easy to fall into the trap of worrying too much about what everyone else is doing and forgetting to focus on my own life. I'm currently going through a sort of refining process, tweaking my existence into something that feels good... it doesn't have to look good from the outside and it won't necessarily look good on Instagram (although I like Instagram - I try to not take it too seriously. Mostly I post photos of books, new T-shirts or me doing daft things in public rather than trying to take the prettiest selfie or whatever. I went through that trying-to-be-Instacool phase earlier this year and it was fail). 
  3. Similarly, because I hate feeling like an image or a brand more than a person. I don't want to plaster only the best bits of my day all over the internet in the hopes of impressing somebody. Even in people's holiday photos now, you can see that a lot of us have worried more about our hair, make-up or outfit than the beautiful scenery behind us. Facebook has turned us into witnesses of our own experience - we frame things and edit them rather than throwing ourselves into them. I want to see more photos of scruffy bastards enjoying themselves. I want to BE that messy-haired scruff in the nerdy jumper grinning madly because, wow, there's a mountain behind me, not worrying about my eyebrows or the fact that my smile is too gummy and this amazing experience I'm having might not look as good to other people if I am not perfect enough (the horror). 
  4. Because it intrudes into the actual, real life that I'm living. Even if I don't delete Facefail, I will remove the app from my phone because I'm tired of having interesting one-on-one conversations interrupted by the aggressive buzzzzzz of an FB notification. Perhaps it's because I'm a bit of an old lady, but I find it inherently rude that we seem to be intended to drop whatever we're actually doing (and turn away from the person we're actually talking to) because somebody we went to school with back in the mists of time has sent us a poke.
  5. I realise this might be a bit on the passive-aggressive side, but I for one slipped easily into the habit of inviting people to an event with just a couple of clicks (a problem in itself for me, because I end up inviting all and sundry so as not to offend anyone and then having a larger group than I know how to cope with), and I kind of miss the days when, if someone genuinely wanted to see me at a gathering of any kind, they'd text or call me and speak to me about it. I want to know that if I'm invited to something it's because somewhere along the line someone has thought 'Oh it'd be nice to see such-and-such at our party', and not 'Oh but if she sees the photos and knows we all got together without her she'll be upset,' or, even worse, 'Well, the more randomers we invite the more popular we'll look.' Spoiler alert: I do not mind if I am not invited to every single thing. I have books and Tumblr and box sets of Thrones. I'm sure I'll be fine if you'd rather hang out with your other friends this time.
  6. On the flip side, feeling like crap if I can't make it to a specific event. I love you, friend, and I will try to come to your important thing, but I don't drive and I work in retail which is not a good combo for getting to things/having weekends. I don't need a case of the guilts for six weeks afterwards. 
  7. Also, sometimes I'd like to be able to say no to things that I just don't feel like doing without it being a huge deal. I know this sounds anti-social but the trouble with Facebook is that one's calendar can get a bit overcrowded, and I really need a lot of recharge time. I am the epitome of Netflix and chill, and sometimes I just need my space.
  8. Because I miss when I used to get together with buddies after somebody had been away somewhere and look through their holiday photos. That was a whole social convention that has just vanished into the ether and I know it's sad but I stubbornly miss that.
  9. To keep my private life private. Maybe it's ironic for a blogger but I don't want to fall into the oversharing trap. Some moments of my life are just for me. Or just for me and the people I'm sharing them with. I don't want the temptation to splurge these bright, shining, life-changing instants for the delectation - or amusement - of others, I want to hoard them and treasure them all to myself.
  10. I have better uses for my time. More and more often I find myself looking to my phone for entertainment when I'm waiting, travelling or on my lunch break. Uh, hello, but I have books for that. When did I get so interested in what everyone else is doing? If X friend did an awesome thing, I'm sure she'll tell me about it when next we talk. I don't have to hang my eyeballs out on FB all the time for fear of missing something.
So what do you guys think? I know I'm a cranky old lady in a twenty-four-year-old body, but how do you feel about Facebook? Would you quit? Are you addicted? Let me know. ^^

6 comments:

  1. I think these are very healthy reasons. Or at least if not even quit for good, it sounds like you could use a good and complete break from it.
    I hate failbook. :p We're two in the "old cranky lady in a 24 year old body" boat it seems. I don't want to say things like "back in the days"... BUT back in the days, friendship meant more than that. Contacting someone was more than that. People who remembered your birthday for instance, remembered because you were actualy somebody in their lives, not because some mindless notification reminded them. Or like you said about inviting people to events or being invited. It was more personal, more "quality over quantity" kind of deal.
    It is annoying when a notification disrupts the flow of an actual conversation, I agree with that.
    It's too nosey. Too many people are too much on it/ take it too seriously. The list goes on, but I'll stop ranting here. XD
    You know what I miss?? MSN Messenger. Now THAT was the stuff! ^^ Less stressful to use than a phone, yet still more personal and not as intrusive as failbook. : D

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    1. I'm finding it strangely difficult to actually do the deed. Currently being kept updated on both a baby shower and a tattoo appointment (the latter for myself, the former definitely not!) through Facebook messaging and it's making it so hard to actually make the break... I'm hoping to cut down usage and become less dependant and then actually press that deactivate button by New Year!

      God I remember MSN... those were the days!

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  2. I'm a cranky old lady in a 59-year old body! Right there with you about FB. Both my offspring aren't on there ... 22 and 26. The eldest has never even had an account and I'm proud of him for that.

    Love Instagram and Pinterest, cause I love pretty pictures. I wish I could figure out how to follow someone on Instagram because they've followed me (since that's the polite thing to do) but not actually have to see their photos in my feed though!

    If I didn't have to manage my own and another business FB page plus keep track of the markets and such I need to attend, I'd probably just delete my personal account. And I only have around 30 'friends'! I've turned chat off though. You get a few people who'd love to talk all day if you'd let them. And I seldom post anything on my personal page. Unless I'm gutting chickens or something and I think it's amusing. :)

    Anyway, I hope you figure out how to enjoy life in the here and now, and probably deleting FB wouldn't hurt. Life goes by far too quickly to spend it on a phone checking out what exciting and glamorous things everyone else is doing! IMVHO. ;)

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    1. Yes, I have chat turned off as well. Not that I don't want to talk to people but... it has to be at least a little bit on my terms!

      Thank you very much :) I agree entirely. I always enjoy your VHOs, you've given me some great guidance over the years! ;)

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    2. OMG Amy, you don't actually take those VHO's too seriously, I hope! ;)

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