Life Without Facebook

It's been nearly a week since I deactivated my Facebook account. "Why would you do such a thing?" is the question I've received most frequently since I made the decision. There are plenty of reasons to enjoy the famous social networking site; but I find that the habit forming, sometimes privacy destroying website is better off left out of my daily routine.

I don't need to be updated every 10 minutes about what my friends, family, and acquaintances are doing. I think it's become ingrained in our psyches, since the launch of the site, to over indulge in what others are doing. Especially the non-since and personal updates that have no effect on my life. It also seems since-less to share 'every' aspect of my life with people that I hardly know. It leaves nothing special and sacred to myself and my immediate family. Facebook has become an acceptable form of bragging and boasting, and usually about trivial things.

"Facebook has frequently changed its privacy settings in the past and will do so again, always in favor of less privacy."
Facebook is also a complete time sink. The average person spends at least 6 hours on Facebook every week. With some people, including myself, having Facebook active on their computers or cellphones 95% of the time. When we detach ourselves from Facebook, it is easy to see how people put more of their time and emotion into their cyberlives than their real lives.

You can argue that all internet activity (blogging, Pinterest, surfing Google) is a waste of time. But these options allow people time to self reflect, create and inspire themselves. While Facebook generally offers insight to other people's lives. You find yourself stalking people, looking at pictures of friends you haven't seen in years and generally sacrificing your precious time on people that you only know through Facebook. Of course I am not, nor would I ever, advocating anti-social behavior. Many people see Facebook as their only means of social interaction, that is where the problem stems. Being social means (should mean) having real conversations, face to face, and experiencing life for yourself. Not living vicariously through someone else, through a computer screen.

Not only does Facebook alter (and in many cases destroy) our private and personal relationships, it's also a source of nagging idiocy. Too many people with too many opinions constantly nagging about their beliefs. I admit to my involvement and contribution to this dilemma. With the recent election, government issues and all other soap box preachers there is so much diversity that it becomes a competition. There is nothing evil about sharing your personal views of the world, as we do in blogs etc, the problem comes when we want to tell everyone how they are doing it wrong. Many people engage in harmless activism, but there is plenty to protect yourself against.

"Note to self: if you try to talk to bigots about their prejudices, you will be treated like an a stupid fool, either stop entering into these conversations, learn to let the argument go before you start feeling like a masochist banging their head against a brick wall, or remember that it is futile trying to change people." source

Deleting my Facebook has been a relief. I have more time for myself, my family, and other things in life besides the drama involving my "peers".  I feel my brain beginning to regenerate since Facebook has caused it to rot and revolt. Occasionally I get a reminder of how "left out" I am from things on Facebook, but I have to remember what it is I'm missing out on. Drama. As far as loosing my friends, those that really care about me (or you for that matter) will take the time to get in touch with me outside of Facebook. The rest aren't really friends anyway. Maybe one day I will return to the cesspool that is Facebook, but for now (and for the foreseeable future) I think my life is just fine without this distraction.