I’ve had this discussion several times, mostly with myself, and I usually come to the same conclusion:
Facebook is an addicting time-waster and I should quit.
I know I’m not alone in this. There are articles and blog entries everywhere about people leaving Facebook. Not everyone has the same reasons so I’m going to go through mine and see if I can finally get to the point where I take some action based on the conclusion I’ve already made.
I’m wasting time that could be spent in many other ways.
What could I be doing if I wasn’t looking at my phone every half hour or less to see what the latest status updates are or who else has “liked” my comments or someone else’s? What else could I be doing if I didn’t need to get on the laptop every morning and evening? Well, I could be writing. I could go out and take pictures. I could be thinking about ways I could improve my photography/writing or ways to get more clients. I could think about work and how to improve my company’s website.
Why I could even give the people in the same room with me 100% of my attention instead of being distracted by this need to know what’s the latest post on Facebook.
I’m sharing too much information and losing privacy.
A very good friend who has known me for over thirty years once told me that she was surprised by the things I posted on Facebook because I was such a private person and my status updates and notes were so personal and public. I do have my profile, posts, and pictures set by default so that only “friends” can see what I publish, for whatever that’s worth in the constantly changing Facebook world, and I guess I felt that gave me some sense of security, while at the same time it gave me a platform from which I could vent and render opinions about my life and the people in it. It was a relatively safe place from which to respond to the drama surrounding me.
It leads to jealousy, whether it’s on my side or someone else’s.
It’s quite easy to make it look on Facebook like you are living a fabulous life. You just have to “check in” at fabulous places and post pictures in fabulous locations. When the person doing this isn’t you, you can feel left out or wonder why the grass is so much greener on everyone else’s side of the fence.
It’s too easy to be a casual observer of life instead of an active participant.
This reason could actually be rolled in with the first one. I am a shy, introverted person. On Facebook, I can hide among the millions of users and pretend that I’m part of the movement and actively participating in my community or with my friends. I can have conversations with people and in some cases say things that I would probably never dare say in person. It’s a cop-out.
We’ve just gone through a presidential election. On Facebook we declared ourselves as Republicans and Democrats and criticized anyone who voiced an opinion counter to ours. I know that I found myself just shaking my head at what people were posting and finding it very hard to resist chiming in with what I thought was the actual “truth”. I’ve heard of people being “unfriended” for their political views. Would we have done the same in person?
It makes it easy to avoid communicating directly with my friends and family.
One positive thing that Facebook has done for me is to reconnect me with some friends and family that I had lost touch with. I’m glad to have made many of these reconnections. I hope that if and when I do finally cut the cord to Facebook, I will not lose these ties. Before I make that break, I need to make it clear that I am not trying to disassociate or disconnect myself from these people, but simply break free from the medium that has me out of touch with the “real world.” I need to collect phone numbers, email and mailing addresses. Maybe I can work on the lost art of letter writing or having an actual conversation.
So, what am I going to do? Consider this your notice, friends and family: I’m pulling the plug. Who’s with me?