I left Facebook back in November. It was November 29, 2016, to be exact. I didn’t just deactivate my account; I completely deleted it.
Of course, Facebook will allow me to remake a profile and begin again if I choose to, but I haven’t done that. I’ve thought about it a few times. I mean, it sure would be nice to hear from some old friends. I think. Maybe.
If you are wondering why the uncertainty, please read on.
I once caught the fever. I like to call it Social Media Mania. Like everyone else around me, I had to be on every platform out there. If it was social and I could access it from my phone, I needed it.
But then I started to notice what it was doing to me.
You see, I realized that I was beginning to feel like a total loser all the time because everyone else seemed to have these great lives going on and mine was just, well, average. And then I started to notice all the things people were saying online that were just downright mean and hurtful. People were generalizing entire groups and making scores of people out to be horrible in one simple status update.
So I started to scale back.
I refused to jump on the SnapChat bandwagon when everyone else did.
I stopped broadcasting on Periscope.
I left Pinterest. Let’s face it, if there ever were a platform to make a stay-at-home, homeschooling, special needs mom feel like a failure, it was and is Pinterest. I just can’t keep up. I’m not crafty enough, clever enough, skilled enough, cute enough, or organized enough. And that is saying a lot there at the end because I am a seriously organized person.
And then I did the one thing that seemed to send shock waves through cyberspace.
I left Facebook.
I had something like 175 Facebook friends. That really isn’t a lot compared to much of the social media world, but it’s what I had. I made a brief announcement that I was leaving. A few people commented. My favorite comments were the ones that went something like this, “But how will we ever know what’s happening in your life?”
Phone, text, email, Voxer, Instagram, Twitter, writing an actual letter… Read my blog!
Most of the friends I had on Facebook were people I had met in my online world. A few of them, and I mean a very few… three… have stayed in contact. Of course, those three are people I’ve known since I started my very first blog way back in the cyber day. It would take an electromagnetic pulse of gargantuan proportion to shut down our communication.
Some other Facebook friends don’t even realize to this day that I left. That is because they have friends lists of 500+ people and since they see me on Instagram they just never think about it.
But the real kicker, and the reason I find myself doubting my return to Facebook, comes in the form of people I know in real life. People I have shared a meal with, spent time with, hung out with, gone to church with, cried with and laughed with. The people that I thought would care to actually have some sort of further in person interaction, have shown me that Social Media Mania is a real sickness and unless I get infected again, we will not communicate. Ever.
Of all my real life, true to the original sense of the word, friends, only three have contacted me.
Three people out of so many.
Only three figured out that phones actually still work.
Basically, aside from people who subscribe to the social media platforms I still belong to (Twitter and Instagram), and those three in person friends, no one has bothered.
Does it hurt? Yes, it does.
And I don’t think it just hurts me. It hurts them! It hurts all of us! When the world gets to a place where people would rather look at a newsfeed than interact in person, something is wrong.
Part of this post is me whining. I admit that. Poor, poor, pitiful me who never hears from anyone… Why doesn’t anyone like me? But the other part is me saying that this society of ours has a serious problem and as a whole we need to wake up to it!
Our children are growing up in a world where they think friendship is only sought after on a smart phone. They are looking to the number of likes something has to give them value and worth. They are thinking about the next status update so often that they are missing the life that is right in front of their faces.
And as adults, we are just as bad, if not worse. The example we are throwing out is atrocious. We tell our kids to go outside and play, but never model it. They look at us like we’re crazy because all they ever see is our faces glued to a phone.
Do you hear me? Does anyone out there see the same problem I see?
So, will I ever return to Facebook? At this point in time, it doesn’t seem likely.
Superficial friendship doesn’t work for me. I need more. I crave more. I’m not even a very social person, and all I want is real life interaction. I love my Instagram and I love my Twitter and here I am blogging, but that’s as far as I can go. I need an actual life.
You know, there are people who lived two streets down from me back in my old state who still don’t know I moved because if they don’t read it on Facebook it just didn’t happen. That’s the world we live in.
*Update* 4/3/17 I rejoined Facebook. I don’t know how I feel about it yet.