I deleted Facebook 😱
What!? Why would you do that Bradley?? It’s too drastic! Can’t you just hide it? Or delete the app?
Great questions inner-me. Why did I delete it?
- The Beginning (How I got started with Facebook)
- Facebook Distorts Friendships
- Facebook Divides
- Wrap Up
I’ve had Facebook almost as long as I can remember technology. I’m not that old, but it’s been such a part of my life that for awhile I was a 30 year old man, so as to by pass the age requirement since I was 11 instead of 13. (Don't worry, I changed it later...not that you can check 😜)
My mom helped set it up since they didn’t have those parental features yet. Perfectly safe, and then I was free and did... nothing with it.
Okay, maybe not nothing, but I got on about once a month. I'd tag myself in photos, laugh at memes as they were yet un-named, and added friends.
It started with me slowly adding friends. And then more friends. And more. And... What can I say ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I had a lot of friends. Almost 1700 as of this post.
That's a lot of people that I'm "friends" with. 'Quite impressive,' I thought. Until I sat down about a year ago and realized that I knew very few of the people I was "friends" with.
What is a Friend?
This is a question that I don't think we ask. I got the chance to write about that during my Spoopy Season challenge and I think my biggest take away is that:
A friend knows the parts of you that you don't want people to know.
And you know their flaws. Now, I don't know if you've ever had a good heart-to-heart, that kind that was supposed to be 30 minutes and turns into 4 hours, but when you're done with that conversation, you're usually exhausted.
Why? Because you put your heart into it and emotionally and physically (for an extended period) invested in the other person. It should be draining, but it's what builds relationships.
Facebook Distorts Friendship
If friendship is an emotional and physical investment of two parties, then facebook is the least amount of investment. It's like throwing two cents into a jar and saying "I saved money".
You're not "wrong" but did you really achieve your goal of saving? Or in this case, of building a long lasting friendship?
But Facebook Helps Manage My Relationships!
While this may be true, I call it lazy. If you don't know someone's birthday without checking, then I'd say you're not close enough to them. You might say "that's heartless, I just forgot and it helped me remember".
While I'm glad it helped you remember, I point back to, it's lazy and you probably aren't cultivating that relationship since the only time you probably reach out is their birthday.
But let's say you do that off Facebook, what makes it dangerous then?
We do it with too many people.
150 People in Our Mind at One Time.
150? Yes, and it's even got a name: Dunbar's Number. That means whenever you see someone (cough cough, Facebook), you forget someone else. Kinda wild.
It also means that my 1700 friends was wayyy over capacity and sending a "happy birthday" would take way more time than I'm willing to put in for an impersonal message that means nothing.
It again may sound heartless, but they should be cultivating their group of close friends. Imagine if we all did that and all had 150 real friends. That'd be pretty cool.
Lastly (for now), Facebook is divisive because it wants you to use it's services and enjoy coming back. That means it's invested in making it as addicting as possible. Addiction, surprisingly, is tied with...emotions!
And what makes you feel more emotional than anger at other people's stupidity, wrongness, or silly mistakes? Even better, when you find the people who are like you and you are able to "be safe" with them without facing the world and growing.
You Become Stagnate
Even if you think you know the answer, building walls is not a good thing and you may actually be wrong. Or worse, you close yourself off to other perspectives that can help you grow elsewhere.
This means that although you're "safe" in Facebook, you're actually stunting any forward progression.
It Also Divides Time
Distraction abound in this world and Facebook is a black hole of time. It starts with a "quick look up" that turns into a 2 hour time sink. How's it happen? Even I don't know, but I want that time back.
Worse yet, after those two hours of emotional investment - laughing, getting mad, prideful, or even sad - about other people's lives, you're tired. This means you do't perform well with your other tasks.
It's also sad, because this "investment" isn't with a person. It's with a computer and yourself. And then we look up and wonder why we feel lonely...
Facebook has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember, but I think when you lose the ability to get rid of a tool it's no longer a tool. Facebook started as a social tool but has become a social requirement and is not something that I want to partake in.
It might seem a bit drastic, but I want to take a break and maybe one day start over with a few close friends. Some actual friends.
What do you think of Facebook? Feel controlled by it? Remember it's a choice! And as always,
Thanks for Reading!
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