It has been more than 24 hours since I have deactivated my Facebook account. I have deactivated it with the goal of permanently deleting my account. Under Facebook terms, if I do not log in for 14 days straight, the account will be permanently deleted and become inaccessible and impossible to restore. That is what I want, to go back and build all over again and connect better, and this time without Facebook. This is not the first time I have attempted to quit (this must be my 3rd attempt over the last few years). Facebook is like an addiction for me - a seemingly harmless but unhealthy kind of addiction.
I've had Facebook since 2007. For the past eight years, it has always been something that I looked at all throughout my every day. A routine that simply made a life on its own while I had my morning coffee, or after I had dinner at night, or just when I was on a break at work. I posted photos and personal updates, I wrote my feelings, I commented on other's posts. It was wonderful! My digital world (Or should I say, Facebook world) was thriving.
Thanks to Facebook, I had an easy way to connect with my Friends family and acquaintances. Over the years, I was able to gather so many people that I've known throughout my life. People who I shared common things with at some point or another, like a huge reunion of everyone I've ever met and hope to meet again. Being updated about others and what's important to them has drawn me in and I loved it. However, seven years and almost 600 friends later, as I had constant feed of what was going on with everybody, I felt the paradox of being connected yet disconnected. I felt lonely as I looked at how everybody was having such a grand time without me. As much as we all want to be together, that is simply impossible. That is simply the reality of things. No judgement there.
I would sit there in front of the computer for at least an hour every day, sometimes even more, and get totally lost at all the updates, interesting links, everything that involved everybody else but myself. It was a wonderful place to escape to. I realize that was what it was. It was an escape to other people's lives. It was like reading books, only different. It was like visiting, but not really. I've tried to connect, message my so called Facebook friends and real life friends, but something about it was just not natural. All of this digital convenience feel so distant. It's so ironic, because as easy as it is to keep in touch, no one was really seriously keeping in touch. Everyone knows how easy it is to call or message at a touch of a button, yet nobody does it, nobody says anything. I saw this growing trend of non-communication. It was the laziest form of communication and I see it spreading all throughout my nearly 600 connections. The like button. One touch. That's all it is, in an attempt to communicate. It was so mindless it turned me off.
But given the nature of how disconnected I feel, I need to achieve balance in my life. I need real human connection. Digital connection just doesn't seem to do anything for me but make me feel increasingly disconnected from everyone I Care about. I recognized how unhealthy this was for my well-being. I had to go through a lot of soul-searching to have the courage to quit Facebook.
Time.I have lost some precious time in front of the computer. The time I need to go out there and experience my life in the real world, doing real life things and having real-life experiences. I have books to read, and music to listen to, things to write about, personal projects to build, long walks to take, places to see, people to meet and greet - endless possibilities of things that bring joy into my life. These won't simply happen when my time is spent in Facebook world. I can only do so much in a 24-hour period. I simply prioritizing what I do with this precious time.
I realized, that my friends will always be there for me regardless of whether I am on Facebook or not. There is still the celphone, text messaging, Skype, and all other digital conveniences meant to communicate. Then of course, there's also the traditional ways of communicating, like real visiting, or talking or going for coffee, you know real communication. Facebook reminds me of 1-800 customer service number given by myriads of corporations - claiming to be there for you only to be directed by a recording directing you to a website. In the end, you have to help yourself. It is all self-service. Facebook has become impersonal. It has become the greatest Irony of this age.
Facebook is not the only means of communicating or should I say, disconnecting. In the end, I guess I realized, All I wanted, was to see everybody happy and everybody seems very happy. For that, I am glad. That is enough for me.
I have always been one to go with whatever life takes me to, and I had no fear of going with the flow and let my feelings guide me, however this time I didn't like the feeling. Something in me tells me I should stop. Something inside me tells me to be cautious. And for that, I will listen. I do not need to Intellectualize it or reason with it. There is a nudge. This nudge may not be for everyone, but I felt it. And I will not ignore it.
I know that Facebook will be there for me, and it's so easy to get sucked back into it especially with almost all my connections and loved ones being members to it, but I hope that somehow I will manage and thrive without it. To all who'm I love and who love me, I will still be here. A phone call, a text message, and e-mail, a visit. I would rather we had that together than nothing at all. Sending good vibes to the universe! Cheers to real life! Cheers to real living!