At the time it seemed like a good thing to do. Our youngest daughter was attending college in NY at one of the first colleges to have Facebook and told us about it. It took me several years to jump on the bandwagon but I figured “what the heck” it seemed like a good way to connect with current friends and reconnect with old friends, relatives and long lost classmates.
At first I was pretty pleased with it. I did reconnect (to a degree) with all of the above and for a while the site was pretty easy to use and keep up with others. Unfortunately, along the way the shine wore off. There were more and more adds filtered in with the content. I could tell they were tapping into my buying habits and wants as the minute I checked into something in the internet my adds seemed to mimic it.
Over time, I saw less and less content from various friends and more and more adds. It also seemed like friends content popped up randomly at first then later on I would only get those from a chosen few.
I also never saw the purpose of all of the likes and loves because without associated comment I never knew exactly what they thought about what I said, and believe me I never posted unless I felt I had something to say.
I also felt compelled to comment or like anything I saw from a friend unless it was offensive which in retrospect made no sense. I also didn’t, like I heard a lot of people did, base my self worth on how many likes I received.
So sure it was nice to read about and see things that friends were doing but as I said before, if they really aren’t in your life it seemed a bit voyeuristic. I also at times had to wonder if their lives were really that great, their problems really that bad or their children so perfect. It tends to give one an inferiority complex when your life in no way matches up to it.
The one thing however that really turned me off to it was when somewhere along the line, seemingly before and after the election, that it became so negative and mean spirited. I never ditch a friend because we don’t agree on things and I try my best to be open minded but it was really troubling to read posts from friends that were so cutting and downright loathsome that it made me wonder if I ever really knew them at all. Many friendships were lost during that period which would make on wonder if they were ever really friends in the first place. Remember when people tried to work through their problems and disagreements?
The last thing that pushed me over the edge was when FB started to inundate my emails with prompts to see what this person or that person was doing and informed me about how much I had missed since my last visit to the site. It seemed like mind control to me.
So several weeks ago I shut down my site on FB as well as all other social media sites I was on and you know what I don’t miss them at all. My idea of a real relationship is to call someone or get together and as they did in the old days write a letter. Sure there are some folks I miss seeing what they are up to but if we didn’t have much of a relationship before social media then what difference does it make.
I had wondered how many people who I was friends with on FB that had my other contact information would check in on me to see what was going on but sadly only one has done so thus far. It was my cousin who emailed me to see if I was mad with him and unfriended him. After I assured him I didn’t he has since agreed with my decision and shut down his site.
For a long time I thought we were being manipulated by the social networks like Pavlov’s dogs (or was it rats?) and this week when one of the founders of FB came out to say we were I wasn’t a bit surprised.
So sure I’m disconnected from social media but it’s better than being disconnected with reality and life.
Thanks for checking in this week and I hope you have a great holiday season and happy new year.