I did the unthinkable last week. I deactivated my Facebook page. Much to my dismay, Facebook did not come to an eardrum splitting crash when I hit the ‘continue’ button. Nope, the world stayed ‘connected’ without me. So why did I do it? What made me want to pull the plug on…me?
There were a few key factors that influenced my decision, first and foremost the frequency with which I checked Facebook. It was part of my normal routine to wake up and almost the first thing I would do was to look at the FB newsfeed to see what the world had been up to overnight. Note: I refer to my FB newsfeed as ‘the world’ – I didn’t look at CNN’s webpage, I didn’t watch the morning news, I turned to FB to see what people were doing. I would continue to habitually check it throughout the day. Sometimes, I would check it up to three times per hour if I was studying, or at a computer. I’m not sure what I was even looking for or hoping to get, but it had become ingrained in me. When you add it all up, that is a lot of time. It’s time I could be spending doing homework, studying, attending to projects at home, talking with friends in real life, interacting with my husband. Lots and lots of precious time. Time not well spent, in my opinion.
The second biggest reason I dumped FB is because I noticed that I routinely would be sad or aggravated after looking at FB. I think it may have to do with political commentary, religious commentary, rants, stories about sick people and animals, ads, etc. Also it was becoming a primary means of communication and connection, yet I couldn’t hear a person’s voice, tone, inflection, laugh. I couldn’t see their face. In a place where we were supposed to be so connected I felt completely disconnected. I got sick of sending a message on FB when someone inquired about how I was, or hearing important or exciting news over the newsfeed. I was craving actual interaction and frankly in some respects it hurt me that someone couldn’t reach out and call me instead of posting a random “I miss you” on my wall.
After only three days of being unplugged so to speak, I am still suffering from a bit of withdrawl and some interesting ‘symptoms’. I’ve found that I’m filling the time gaps with more studying, reading and doing things for work. But the biggest symptom is still feeling out of the loop, so to speak. I have no idea what any of my friends back in IL are up to – the only way I ever knew since I moved was through FB. I’m not seeing funny posts from people or advertising what’s going on in my own life. I wonder does anyone notice? Does anyone care? Does it really matter? It’s funny, before confirming deactivation, the question appears “Are you sure?” Followed by pictures of some random FB freinds with the captions “So and so will miss you” and “‘What’sherhead’ will miss you!” The irony is that the four people that FB showed me are people I haven’t spoken to in person or on the phone for over 14 years. So yeah, pretty sure they’re not gonna miss me too much!!
I don’t know how long I will stay ‘disconnected’. I’m liking the feeling of having more time and having some privacy. I like that when I call a friend I can tell them somthing and they don’t say “Oh yeah I saw your FB post!” I feel more connected to people that way. I may live here a while, but I can reactivate simply by signing back in. Would anyone notice? Would anyone care? Maybe those four people that FB told me would miss me. In fact they might still be crying about it right now.
See you in class and the studio.