Before I quit Facebook:
My friend Kelly Neighbor called me to ask if I wanted some froyo. I said YES after Googling “froyo” and feeling stupid because OF COURSE it’s frozen yogurt, and OF COURSE I wanted some. She gave me a brief summary of the various flavors and toppings available. There were so many choices I about peed my pants.
I gave her my order. Then I returned my attention to the task at hand: Defending myself on Facebook.
Two minutes later, the phone rang again. It was Kelly. I’m such a grateful, kind friend, my response was a flippant and vaguely annoyed, “OMG, Whaaaaaaat?”
To which she replied,
Ugh, Rude. I’m trying to be fucking generous, asshole!
She had called to give me the ACTUAL summary of the various flavors and toppings available, as opposed to her previous brief summary.
And she was completely right.
I was an asshole.
Also of note: This is how we speak to each other on the regular, because we are friends and we have senses of humor and because that shit is just funny.
I wouldn’t answer the phone like that with just anyone — you have to be a special kind of awesome.
She wouldn’t have called just anyone an asshole — at least, not to their face — but I’m a special kind of awesome, too.
I realized in that moment that THIS was the perfect friendship for me, and that I didn’t need to waste my time on relationships — especially superficial online relationships — in which I was not free to laughingly call the other person an asshole. Or, as would more likely be the case, to be called an asshole and not be offended.
That was my first epiphany.
I got really excited, and took my enthusiasm to Facebook, where I shared this story with a select group of people in a list I entitled “Kewl Kids” because that’s just good fun. Since you’re reading this, chances are that you were on the list.
I put a lot of faith into this private list. I knew it might require some weeding, but still! Ultimately, I was really happy with my effort. This seemed like a positive step forward.
Instead of concentrating on the negative aspects of society, I was now free to focus on the positive.
Yeah. Should have been awesome.
Still doesn’t explain why I quit Facebook, though.
Let’s go a different direction for a bit.
There is this idea floating around called “FOMO” — or, the Fear of Missing Out.
I don’t have it. Like, at all. In any way whatsoever.
I actually WANT to miss out, because 95% of society’s shenanigans aren’t worth knowing about anyway.
What I *DO* possess, however, is a very unhealthy “FONHIZ” — or, the Fear of Not Having Inbox Zero.
When most people get notifications on their smart devices that somebody somewhere said something, they are curious to check out what the person is up to.
I admit, I am not most people. I’m an asshole, as previously established.
I am less interested in what somebody somewhere said and VERY interested in removing that notification from my device. It’s almost an illness. I feel very stressed out when the notifications start to pile up. It’s like a never-ending to-do list. I’m not good with infinity when it comes to chores, errands, and tasks.
And that’s what conversations — status updates, memes, funnies, political signs, comments, arguments, etc — are to me.
Let me say this again:
You are work to me.
Facebook feels like a job instead of a means to expand and maintain relationships.
That was my second epiphany.
Still doesn’t explain why I quit Facebook, though it comes close.
But let’s go a third direction.
Stay with me. It all comes together.
Have you ever experienced a slightly frustrating moment? Yes, of course you have.
And, if that situation repeats itself, do you ever complain about it? Yes, of course you have.
Does that make you an asshole with anger issues? No, of course it doesn’t.
Here’s what happened:
[No. Never mind. I just deleted like 1000 words detailing a frustrating conversation I had on Facebook. I kept the next three sentences, because that’s the important bit.]
This logic was so flawed, I pretty much lost my shit. And it happened in my Kewl Kids group. I was bereft.
Then came my third epiphany: I can’t do Facebook.
See, I’m an all-or-nothing kinda gal. I don’t really have any middle ground. I see most things in black-and-white, with almost zero shades of grey.
So when I am in a conversation, I am ALL IN. And when it goes off the rails, I get all worked up over it.
Which, yeah, is pretty stupid. But that’s just who I am. And instead of trying to change Facebook, or, to a larger degree, society… and instead of trying to change ME… maybe we should just part ways.
So that’s what I did.
I quit Facebook…
With absolutely no preamble, I shut down my personal Facebook account. The relief that washed over me was immediate and immense.
I quit Facebook.
Facebook, society, and I each possess wonderful qualities. We just don’t go well together.
Oh, but yeah, I’m keeping my bloggy-blog’s Facebook page.
Let’s not get crazy or anything.
Have you ever gone on a social media hiatus?
- How long were you on sabbatical?
- Did you notice any personal benefits?