Wednesday, December 07, 2011

An Experiment (Facebook)

About 3 weeks ago, my friend and I did something a little bold, a little wild, a little counter-cultural; we deactivated our facebook accounts. I had been thinking about doing it for a couple months now for several reasons. One of the main reasons was that whenever I logged onto my facebook page, I noticed several things. Mostly, the lack of interesting things and posts on my own page, and secondly the plethora of interesting photos, posts, and comments on a lot of my friends’ pages. This phenomena made me feel kind of dull, flat, and even envious of others’ exciting lives. I also couldn’t help but expend too much thought and energy into the comments I would post on my friends’ pages. I would mentally filter myself as I posted, wondering who might see it and notice my wit or perhaps lack thereof. In a word, facebook made me feel empty. I was forever signing on looking for vitality and purpose, yet I always left it feeling disappointed. So, with the holidays approaching, my friend and I decided it was a good time to take the plunge away from facebook. So far, no major problems. Sure, I’m sure I’ve missed some social functions that are only publicized through facebook, and I haven’t been able to do any “researching” (stalking) on some of my facebook friends. A few people have contacted me and asked me why I am no longer their facebook friend. But for the most part, since deactivating facebook, life has felt less troublesome. I don’t have to worry about having a cool life according to facebook. I’m no longer trying to snap photos that make my life experiences look like something awesome. Each moment, I take as it is; I’m not worried about selling it.

I don’t have to feel behind or panicky when my peers post photos of their first, second, or third children. I don’t have to stay on top of Birthday well wishes or worry about filtering what I am going to write on my friends’ walls. I don’t waste time “researching.” I don’t look for someone online when I’m lonely.

Yes, the result has been quite liberating and has also freed up some extra minutes to enjoy life-giving activities. When formerly, I might have used an extra few minutes here or there to log onto facebook, and check out other people's interesting lives, now I’m not even tempted. Furthermore, the whole appeal of lurking purposely on the computer has also decreased substantially. In general, I feel as though I am tasting life more fully in the moment, being forced to actually pick up the phone or arrange a coffee date to talk with my friends, being pleasantly reminded to enjoy the experiences and people in front of me.

1 comment:

Norman & Joyce said...

We share Betty White's opinion that "Facebook" is a waste of time.