Last night I deactivated my facebook account after five years of being fairly active there. I slept well! Today I have had several meaningful and long conversations in real time with live people, and I received a few ebullient texts from people who wanted to say “atta girl” and check in with me about how life after facebook is treating me.
I discovered a few things, so far. One, that the world didn’t end. Two, that people who really want to reach me actually do it quicker and with less fuss. Three, that it is so much easier to tell who actually wants to reach me and have meaningful interaction rather than bragging, fronting, selling me a product, concept or cause. Four, that anyone at all who is empathic or psychically sensitive might just face sensory overwhelm on facebook.
I also had time to ponder what the addictive ingredient is in facecrack. One idea that surfaced is that we have become a nation of grown children whose parents both worked entirely too many hours. We feel we never got enough mirroring and approval as kids, so we love, even well into our fifties, signing on somewhere we can post pics of ourselves, our pets, our projects, our meals, our yards, our cars, and get told that people “like” it/them/us. We can get that instant approval. We can vie for fabulousness and popularity and visibility in the way that used to be reserved for high school girls. What 10th grader in the 80s didn’t want a “friend count” to prove how cool she was? We get to cut people off in that same way junior high school students used to : “Oh her? She used to be my friend but now I’m not talking to her.” It is a big junior high where people get to act out and brag and bully and backbite. That’s my feeling today, and I feel relieved to be out of it.
There were many positive moments; early morning chats with friends on the east coast or in England; quick question and answer sessions about recipes; check-ins with neighbors and relatives I’ve not seen in decades; heartwarming story posts. But so much of it baffled me. Today I felt as if I have been playing naked in the street, and only now thought to go inside and put on some clothes. It is quiet and peaceful here. I do not need to share everything with everyone. I do not need to comment on anyone else’s day/beliefs/politics/religion/thoughts. I do not need to wish someone I’ve not seen in years a happy birthday and be asked to buy them a gift card.
Perhaps I’ll sell my facebook stock. More later.