I've lost a bunch of Facebook friends over the last month. It started when I noticed that people were dropping off like flies, deactivating their accounts and choosing to live Facebook free lives. At first I was like, what is going on here! And then I realized, I can't say I blame them.
I'm beginning to wonder if Facebook is bad for our health.
I log on far too often and check out statuses. More often than not I'm like, "why the eff would she/he post that?" or "who the hell cares that your dinner caused you heartburn?" or whatever, or "why does the world need to know that you are desperately in love with your husband/boyfriend?" (who you probably hate enough to have to overcompensate by posting such things.) These aren't thoughts we would necessarily share during a "real life" conversation with random acquaintances, so why do we do it on Facebook?
Why have the minutiae of our lives become fodder for our own personal bullhorns?
Lately, some of the stuff I've seen has been really crazy. Updates lambasting other friends, a play by play on the imminent death of an acquaintance's family member, news on new couples - all in a status update. And I haven't even witnessed all of this myself. I got a call from a friend the other day - actually several this week alone - saying , "have you seen so and so's status update?" And I thought - OMG, it's update insanity.
Appropriate? Who am I to say. All I know is I feel like these are things I don't want/need to know. Not as often as I do. They constitute the overshare in my book and they're not things I need to know about anyone other than close friends, who are confiding in me. The intimate details of your life make me somewhat uncomfortable.
But - it's my problem, not yours.
That's not to say that I don't enjoy seeing pics of your kids, yourself, your family, your trips. I do. I love the funny stuff, the jokes, anything that makes me LOL. I like the links to articles containing interesting stuff. I do enjoy keeping up with my friends - to a certain degree - via social media. But if you're breaking up with your husband and you want me to know? Gimme a call. (I've seriously been able to deduce divorce news from statuses.)
This week I started my disentanglement by "unfriending" people who have no place in my life. I mean like, at all. Not as a former schoolmate, not even a colleague (although most of the former ones went too). People who floated into my life for a hot minute and are now gone. Gone as well from my contacts.
Phase two of operation un-Facebook consisted of deleting the app from my iPhone. The point is to spend less time perusing status updates and more time focusing on whatever I'm doing. It's also a way to decrease my engagement with the otherwise addictive activity. Which, I've noticed, seems to be a trend among people I know IRL who have had actual addiction problems. Those people tend to turn into shadowy figures (what a profile pic looks like after deactivating) like clockwork. To me, this speaks volumes.
The goal is to spend more time in the real world. Focusing on my real life. With people who don't live in my computer. Because the results, I'm thinking, can only prove positive. And I can use as much positivity as I can get.
And yes, I'll be sharing this post on Facebook. The irony.