Facebook, it’s not you…it’s me. I know we’ve been together a long time (15 years to be exact)…but, well, it’s time to go our separate ways.
I know, I know. I’ve been by your side since the day you opened your platform to college students in Bean Town. I was ecstatic when I could connect with students at other colleges — especially former classmates. But, then things started to change. You decided it would be a good idea to open the door to high school students… and eventually the rest of the world.
Several months ago, I decided it was time to make a change. A change, I knew, would only lead to positive changes in my life. I decided to break up with Facebook. I’m not going to lie — it hasn’t been easy. I’ve grown to love using Facebook to follow groups, to share pieces of my life with family and friends afar, and to help extend the reach of our local city mom’s blog. But, I’ve also come to loathe Facebook for the following reasons.
How many of you wake up in the morning and check your FB news feed to see what you missed while sleeping? I will guiltily admit to checking my FB page some days before even saying hello to my family. What would start out as a quick check would turn into a 15-20 minute scroll through events, happenings, pictures, news stories… etc. Then I’d check again while waiting at a red light or waiting for coffee. Then it turned into a “quick check” whenever I could squeeze it in. I was addicted to having to know what was going on everywhere else — except in front of my face. And, trust me, nothing I was reading was worth that time. My husband would come home at the end of the day and say, “hey did you hear about what happened in so & so?” My response was always, “nope, I didn’t have time to keep up with the world news.” Except, I did… just not the news he was referring to.
So how am I solving this problem? First, I deleted the app off of my phone. I kept messenger because it is how our team communicates. But that’s it. Instead of checking FB multiple times a day, I now sit down at my computer once in the morning and for a few minutes after the kids have gone to bed. Now, I have time to read for a few minutes in the morning or just ponder the meaning of life.
The Great Relationship Ruiner of Our Time
Facebook is responsible for some great things. Our world is more connected and friends and family thousands of miles away are only a click away. Anyone with an email account and an Internet connection is able to turn Facebook into a soapbox. It helps highlight problems facing communities across the world. And made local communities tighter in times of tragedy.
But, it is also the great relationship ruiner of our time. I say this because Facebook has made us lazy when it comes to our friendships and relationships. Instead of writing a letter or picking up the phone, we can now just “check in” with a click. The problem is that we aren’t actually part of that person’s world… we just get a sneak peak into what is occurring at that exact moment. We can “like” a post (now “dislike”) without ever having a conversation about it. We’ve almost
completely lost the ability to have real relationships with people. Which leads me to my next point…
True friends and friendships are not the same as acquaintances. Just because you are friends with someone on Facebook does not mean there is a friendship involved. I took a real hard look at my “friend” list recently and realized that I have not had a face to face (or phone call) conversation with some people in over ten years. Yet, they (or I) still considered us friends. So, I did the unthinkable and started to “unfriend” people. *GASP!* Trust me, it wasn’t as hard as one might think. I mean, seriously, if a person is offended that you “unfriended” them on Facebook, maybe they’ll pick up the phone and actually talk to you about it!
Rose Colored Glasses
Face it… you are only catching a glimpse of a person’s life when it comes to social media. What you see is not always what you get. And, the pressure to be “happy all the time” or an “always on an adventure” families can become overwhelming. Now, you are comparing yourself to a world of people you’ve never met! Live your life… in the moment… be present… not through someone else’s Facebook feed.
False Sense of Bravado
One of my biggest pet peeves is “beating around the bush” or vague type of posts to elicit drama. Or, to write something that you would never have the balls to say to a person in person. Between the political bashing occurring during our recent election circus to comments left on news clips… everything is fair game. Why? Because now people have the protection of a keyboard or phone screen to hide behind. Common decency and manners fly out the window in Facebook world. Society has gotten so good at communicating through social media and texting that we’ve lost the art of a respectful, objective and productive discussion. This has to change — especially for the next generation.
We’ve had some good times Facebook. And, don’t worry, I’ll still check in from time to time. But for now, it’s time to disconnect.