So I deleted my Facebook account one week ago. One day I woke up and I didn’t want to deal with the people on there anymore. Not that it was anything personal against those so-called friends who practically only exist in the social media world. No, I enjoyed reading stories on how heartbroken my friend back home was. And her desperate posts on how she could get back with her ex who happened to be far, far away in Timbuktu at that time. Not to mention another friend who was constantly posting picture messages in intervals of 5 minutes to get some sort of attention out of other Facebook nerds. And have you ever noticed how depressing it can be when you update your status or picture and none of your followers actually hits the like button? In your mind you are begging everyone to leave a comment, which in turn provokes another round of forlorn posts, initializing yet another vicious cycle. You don’t care who notices that you went to the beach today. As long as someone does! Yes, even that loser you went to high school with and who is still part of your very intimate online life.
Boy, was I fed up with this online world at that point in time. So one day I decided to put an end to the pathetic existence of sharing my entire private world with 228 others. 228 people who I was seldom in touch with anymore and whose pictures didn’t evoke a feeling of happiness but rather repulse after seeing kitschy dog photos or hideous foodie experiments making out the rest of their days.
While at some point in time I had ferociously sucked up the latest news and was curious to see how other people’s lives had turned out (possibly worse than mine), I got exhausted by being everyone’s nice girl and leaving a comment on things I deeply could care less about. Not that Facebook ever imposed a feeling of peer pressure or loss of identity on me, don’t get me wrong here. But it did somehow compose an overkill for secrets and friendships.
All of a sudden my German buddies did not see it a necessity to write me lengthy e-mails anymore. After all, they’ve seen the picture album of me touring the Grand Canyon with my former roommate and read my status update on how I had moved for the quazillionst amount of time. And as soon as a feeling of sadness overcame me and I was talking about how weak this world can be, people I had not heard of in two years thought it would be a great idea to express their rightful and happy opinions on my own personal wall. Smack, right there, one of the highest intrusions into someone’s life, quite unthinkable.
I know of people who only have this site to be a part of the hype. Who never post a dime except for Christmas and their birthday. Whose 3 annual picture updates compose an uproar among their other 500 friends and an outpouring of “where are yous”. But I am just not that type of person. When I do something, I do it full-heartedly. Same with social media. No update can be left uncommented, no thought unscrutinized – at least when I am around.
So after this animated discussion I had during one of those New York Magazine Launch Parties in the TriBeCa Grand Hotel (hey, we all love to brag, don’t we?), I was inclined to put some reason and thought into this topic. The opponents were talking about how Facebook will soon be gone (soon as in a time frame of 4 years). The younger generation was vehemently shaking their heads and neglecting the fact that other networking sites had slowly departed the picture. True, FB had outlasted the kinky MySpace, which in the end had only been a means of socialization for failing musicians and wanna-be-pornstar teenagers( see half-nude profile pictures all over the Web). And had digressed to a dating site for one-night-stands in the conversational Europe and it’s 30-something-year-old inhabitants. But overall, Facebook has lasted quite a bit, hasn’t it? And it’s come a long way from being the Facemash of Harvard’s finest to the best tool of advertisement for a teenage Japanese singer, no?
The first 24 hours or so were hard. What am I talking about? For two full days my thumb had automatically pressed the Facebook button on my smart phone, just to be re-directed to a de-activated site. And what’s the sense in disturbing the sleeping whale when I am so much better off without? Strangely enough, I adjusted to the circumstances. It didn’t even take me more than half a week. And puff, towards the weekend all my social media anxiety was gone. I had more success in staying in touch with my German friends over Whatsapp and E-mail than I ever had been the previous months over Facebook. And after consulting with the lives of others and sharing some experiences, I wasn’t missing out on too much after all. As it turns out, even my blog stats have not been affected in the least tidbit as far as referrers go.
No, in the end I figured that everyone who wants to stay in touch with me either has my e-mail address or possesses my cell phone number. And it still rings very true that my closest circle of German friends never actually started an account with this Social Media Giant. Since they refuse to read this blog, I guess I really do have to stay in touch with them over the hard-earned way of a personal E-mail.
The only thing I might be missing? These small wisdoms a day my particular friend kept posting every 5 minutes or so… If she had only kept it to once a day, oh boy, maybe I had left the account open!
Not that I am not nourishing the idea of opening up a different Facebook… Perhaps one only dedicated to my musings and photography. But in this case it would be less personal and more public. Oh, and what about twitter? Is anyone an avid tweeter among you?