I have quite a few friends who are wondering why I left Facebook. I toyed with the idea for several months, and even announced my intention to leave at one point. Due to an overwhelming response of friends and acquaintances who wanted me to stay, I did so. Then came October. I recognized that I had a problem, and I needed to get away from it. I had become dependent on the social networking service as a social outlet for myself.
What was the catalyst, you wonder? I know that I am nowhere near old enough for such a thing, but I missed my high school reunion. I do not regret it in the slightest because I did something for someone that I care about greatly instead. What bothers me is how easy it was for me to decide that it was not a big deal if I did not go. I told myself - "I talk to these people on Facebook every day."
Think about that for a minute. These are the people that I grew up with and experienced the turmoil, heartbreak, joy, and elation of all things high school. Some of these individuals I have not seen since we graduated all those years ago.
I was fine with blowing off my childhood friends because they were instantly available on the internet. That was not okay. I had a problem. I was giving up real time with real people. It had to stop. Instead of me announcing what I would do, I quietly went to my page and deactivated it. No fuss, no fanfare, it was just done. I let people find out on their own.
Gingerman* was one of the first. Bless his heart, but he had to have thought that I had deleted him. I think that is what everyone thought. I have had a few people come over to Twitter to ask me what the Hell was going on, and I just told them that I was taking a break. People have come into my workplace asking where my Facebook page is, and I cannot go anywhere in the vicinity of my hometown without people drilling me about Facebook. I was getting more questions about my Facebook page than I was about my life, daughter, family, etc. It is mind-blowing.
I am not taking a break.
My Facebook is gone. I value the non-electronic relationships that I have with people. If someone needs to talk to me, I'll be glad to meet him/her for lunch, coffee, beer, whatever. It is so important to me to have a life that is not advertised on my timeline or page. Sure there are snippets on Twitter and blog, but I am not as tempted to post every aspect of my existence. I want to see people and talk to people. Even texts and phone calls are preferable to lurking on someone's page without talking to them. It is so easy to think you know someone from reading their Facebook life story, and not bother to connect to that person further than that.
I crave interaction.
So there it is. That is why my Facebook is gone. Sure, I am working on my novel, my other writings, and my painting, but my art is not main reason. It has benefited from its demise, though.
*I cannot stalk the Gingerman now (not that I ever did). I am not his girlfriend, so I do not need to know everything he is doing or who he is talking to. He does not have a Twitter. We have privacy. Unless you count me staring into his window. Yeah.