I deactivated my Facebook account for a while… this was in essence to “break the habit.” My week off of Facebook was a very successful experiment… Facebook… you can have it! I know, I know, for many Facebook is a playground of fun… for me it was a source of ever-flowing anxiety, and here’s why:
1) I hate parties. I hate standing around at a party, all alone, and having to make awkward small talk with numerous people that I probably have precious little in common with. I don’t need a thousand acquaintances, I need a few good friends, or as I once heard, when it comes to friendship, “I’d rather have four quarters than a hundred pennies.” By the way, there’s still room in my purse for a few more quarters.
2) The incessant politics. OK, it’s cool that many of my friends are political, but I am not–like… not at all. I frankly resent our culture’s political obsessiveness. If we’re looking for answers and solutions through politics… we are looking in the wrong place… whatever we need… it’s not under that rock. I preferred it when we watched the six-o’clock news and forgot about it. I just don’t need to be constantly reminded how the world is coming to an end. I don’t need to know anymore than I do about holes in the ozone or plastic in the ocean, and I especially don’t need to read one more opinion on how we’d all be safer if everyone carried a gun. I only need to know so much about Gaza and Ebola, and I already know that Republicans are EVIL (you know, like that black lump of pure evil in ‘Time Bandits’). The point is, I need some sleep and some peace of mind, and confronting this stuff in an all-day-long never-ending stream of misery via Facebook was not helping me sleep or feel calmer. My political beliefs are very personal, very conflicted, very unpopular, and I have no interest in joining a group-think with those on the left or those on the right. Besides all that, I have other interests, so when it comes to politics… you guys can have it, that’s totally cool… but count me out–and I mean WAY OUT, baby!.
3) I don’t like cats.
4) I have uncommon opinions, very uncommon and very unpopular opinions. When I post an opinion it is not a call to be challenged or scolded, it is an attempt to find that one like-minded person I might get on well with. Usually when someone disagrees with one of my opinions they simply regurgitate the popular opinion I was contesting… see… now, how is that fun? Facebook does not make me feel at all “connected,” it instead leaves me feeling all the more alienated. Yeah… I don’t need that.
5) I really really really dislike pictures of cats. But babies are cool!
6) I don’t need challenged or one-upped every time I post an opinion, especially about the Beatles. Dig!?!
7) Facebook is one more giant popularity contest, and I had plenty of that in high school, thank you very much. By the way… I didn’t do so good in that pubescent popularity contest, either.
8) Facebook is a huge time-suck! I get sucked into it… like quicksand. “Quick… I’m on Facebook… someone shove a branch in my face so I can pull myself out!”
9) I never really cared much for computers anyhow. I crave real friendship with real human interaction… intimacy, babe! My best friend lives in Ohio and the only way we can connect is via Skype… I guess I don’t need anymore virtual friends or Max Headrooms in my life.
10) I weigh things in my life, and if I find I am experiencing a greater percentage of anxiety or frustration than joy or peace in an activity… I bail out. I found the percentage of anxiety and frustration far outweighed the joy and peace when I spent time on Facebook.
In other words, Facebook is really a huge monolithic example of everything I avoid in social interaction, so I won’t be participating anymore. However I will keep my account open because I realize that a few people are following my blogs via Facebook, and I want to leave that avenue of access available to them. Also, people need Facebook to message me sometimes, and I need to leave that avenue of access open as well.
Please, by all means, Facebook on… but now y’all know why I’m no longer participating. All that said, if someone really needs to show me a picture of their cat… my email account is still functioning just fine.
So, I guess this is goodbye Facebook! See y’all out there in the real world…
Oh… and if anyone wants to get together to watch Bollywood, Disney, drive-in or Godzilla films, talk about how groovy Paul McCartney, Harry Nilsson, Nat King Cole or Serge Gainsbourg are, have coffee, Thai or Indian food, go for a walk, shop, spend a day at an art festival, or do just about anything that doesn’t involve computers and drinking… I’m your girl, and I’m dressed and ready to go!
“Turn on, tune in, and drop out.”