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It's been more than a week since I quit Facebook, and I'm starting to feel that going back to it, to the old levels of interaction, would be about as appealing as re-entering a dysfunctional relationship. So yes: I recommend quitting Facebook. I'd be deeply pleased if the next mass exodus online was from Facebook. As long as we don't replace it with something even more annoying.

Because, see, as I've said to some friends today, what’s unusual for me this time is that I’m not replacing FB with some other online network. From about age 21 to 27, I was deep into IRC. Then I segued into LJ. Then when LJ started to become a ghost town, I went with everyone to FB. But this time, after axing the majority of my FB connections, I’m not transferring my online interaction to any new site. If anything, I suppose I’m replacing it with books and real life, which is probably where my focus should have been all along. It does take some getting used to, though, since I’m turning 40 this year and that means I’ve spent almost half my life entangled in these sites, more deeply than was probably ever wise for my quiet-loving and sensitive personality.

And when I put it in those addiction-ish terms, I begin to think people aren’t so far off when they throw around words like “detox” and “withdrawal” for leaving a social network. OMG my problems are so nerdy. But the detox, I think, is working, and the withdrawal symptoms are clearing, so if I dare, real life is here, waiting for me to dive in. Or books, in the hours I can't take real life. Always fine to dive into books.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 4th, 2015 01:00 am (UTC)
If only I could quit... But alas, all family/friends live 30 min to an hour away. I would never know about anything without Facebook, especially my friends from college who all live more than an hour away.
Jun. 4th, 2015 03:12 am (UTC)
That's the protest I've heard most often, and indeed I had many out-of-state relatives and friends on my FB feed too. But if they have FB, they have email (given that you need an email address to set up a Facebook page), so if people need to tell me something, they can email. Or text. Or find another way, which they will, if it's important. And that's the thing: too much of the stuff being posted on FB *wasn't* important, and in fact the important news was *not* always being posted on FB. So, on the average, I don't think I'll be missing much. If it means a once-a-month highlights-reel email as a catch-up with people far away, that's much better for my sanity than trying to monitor every momentary high and low on an hourly basis. But if your feed doesn't leave you feeling drained like mine did, then there is no problem. :)
Jun. 4th, 2015 09:08 pm (UTC)
Nah, I mostly get pictures of my little cousins and friends babies doing cute things. I never get tired of those :)
Jun. 5th, 2015 04:18 am (UTC)
I like those too! I wish that's all my FB had been. :)
Jun. 4th, 2015 05:12 am (UTC)
(Here via Home Page)

I left FB a couple of years ago mainly due to family drama. We all live in the same city. It was getting to the point where I was terrified every time I opened it.

Plus, the other stuff was all so trivial. I'd post something actually important, looking for interaction and there'd be dead silence. But post some silly photo or whatever and there's a zillion replies.

What really drove me nuts is when old friends would go through the trouble of locating and contacting ME, wanting to reconnect. I'd hear once or twice from them and... never again. Even if I made the effort to reach out to them. YOU reached out to ME! Why would you want to "friend" me when you don't want to TALK to me at all? What's the point?!

Jun. 4th, 2015 04:10 pm (UTC)
Yep to all that. I hated that feeling, which occurred on too many days per month, of going to FB and thinking, "Oh gawd, seven notifications; what do I have to respond to now?" Even having sworn off internet debates (and having stuck *mostly* to that vow), there was a lot of ruffled-feather-smoothing, commiserating, and diplomacy work to be done.

And the old friends reconnecting (temporarily) was sometimes rather surreal. "OMG, hi, it's been. what, twenty-five years??? Well anyway, since you bring it up, here is the kind of gutter flashing I recommend, which has been working well on our house." I mean really. Was that necessary?
Jun. 4th, 2015 04:36 pm (UTC)
I mean really. Was that necessary?

*dies laughing*

Oh, internet. What we've become!
Jun. 4th, 2015 10:26 am (UTC)
Ghost Town
I haven't followed anything on Facebook, only this blog and my favourite writer in Sweden.

The Illusionist

Jun. 4th, 2015 04:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Ghost Town
Very wise of you! Keep it that way for continued happiness. :)
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 5th, 2015 04:28 am (UTC)
Ha, good timing. May they be instrumental in the mass exodus!
Jun. 5th, 2015 12:19 am (UTC)
Well, I would love to quit, but it's now my main source of social contact. :(

Much as I would like to reconnect in RL, that would involve a flight to Seattle. Ah well, if I'm ever there or you're ever in Melbourne, are you up for a coffee?

And in the meantime, I shall read too! Memo to self: get on with leaving GoodReads reviews already.

(I hope I didn't ever leave you feeling drained. :( )
Jun. 5th, 2015 04:33 am (UTC)
Of course, if either of us hops the pond, we should indeed meet up for coffee (or tea, or chocolate)! And I send hugs and implore you not to feel down. You certainly weren't any major source of drama. In fact, most people weren't, on an individual level. It was more the collective effect of everyone's ups and downs, monitored too many times during the day. I know; I need to become less sensitive, but until I can accomplish that, I'd best stay back.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )