Every few days I see another article about how “inescapable” Facebook is. I don’t buy it.
Listen, everyone has their own experiences and troubles. Lord knows I struggle with behaviors and habits that other people don’t. So, I’m not here to lambaste anyone who has a hard time giving up Facebook.
I’m not here to lambaste anyone at all, really. I’m just here to share my personal experience for the simple reason that it seems so badly underrepresented.
For those folks out there thinking of ditching Faceplant (zing!), here’s the testimony of a guy who did it, who is glad he did it, and who didn’t see his life implode because of it.
Listen, I dropped Facebook a long time ago.
It really, really wasn’t a big freaking deal.
For a While, Facebook Was All the Rage…
…seething, homicidal rage, that is.
I find Facebook’s data-collection habits to be questionable at best, but that’s not why I quit.
I quit because of the combative attitudes of many of my “friends” and because of the idiotic political posts that would slither into my eyestream and send me into a 24-hour-long binge of howling rage.
I’d get on Facebook and within seconds be ready to smash my own head through a window. This was concerning.
Listen, I’ve got a pretty, PRETTY face, and I didn’t want to ruin it over that nonsense. When I say pretty, I mean PRETTY. It’d be a loss not only for me, but for everyone else.
For the sake of humanity, I needed to preserve my gorgeous mug.
So, I dropped Facebook. Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom.
The City Exploded in a Cloud of Toxic Gas
Not a whole lot changed, actually. Getting rid of my smart phone had a far more positive affect on my life, really, but that’s a different story.
After ditching Facebook, I’ve had to miss out on a couple things and find some workarounds for others. Sure. Logging in to some sites became more of a chore.
None of it was really all that big a deal, though. Seriously.
The changes that were significant were all positive, and being off of there made me realize a couple things.
People on Facebook Aren’t Real People
Back when I was mainlining Facebook, I’d come to truly despise a huge portion of humanity. Perhaps all of humanity. Perhaps the very human condition itself.
The utter stupidity and callousness of the masses offended my pristine mind and lily white soul. After dropping Facebook, though, I realized that that whole bag is a bunch of bullshit.
Most people are decent, helpful folks just trying to maneuver through this strange Earth life we all share. Most just want to live meaningful lives and be left alone to pursue their goals and spend time with loved ones.
Right now, some of you are thinking that I sound insane or foolish. If that is you, you may be using too much Facebook.
The paradox is that the people on social media are the same as the people in the real world, right? So then why are the people I meet in the real world generally good, decent people, while the people I meet on social media are generally opinionated blowhards?
The only explanation I can think of for the fact that generally good, polite people become burning hemorrhoids on social media is that there is something inherent in social media itself that makes them that way — or, at least, that encourages it.
I know that’s the case for me. I’m by no means exempt from these critical observations.
I still have a Twitter account that I use to share writing and bitch about sports, but even with my limited use on there I have verbally laid into people in ways I never would in real life.
To go with my dashing good looks I also have a rapier-like wit, and that wit can be turned to dark ends. I don’t like when I’m a jerk to people. I’ve got one life to live, and I really do not want to spend any of my finite time in such pointlessly negative pursuits.
This is why I’ve come to believe that the people on social media aren’t real people (including me). We become a different version of ourselves on those platforms. We aren’t our fully human selves.
It’s generally pitched that social media adds something toxic to us, but I don’t think that’s true. I think social media takes something away. It makes us less than fully human.
The thing is, though, (and I promise you this is true), outside of those digital netherworlds, people are actually generally pretty cool. And, a whole lot of people are really, really cool.
Time, Time, Time
It’s simple. Less time on Facebook means more time elsewhere.
More than that, though, less time on social media means less time wasted with an anger hangover.
I’ve found that my relationships have improved, because instead of wasting my time with a bunch of clowns who will turn their back on me in a heartbeat if I disagree with their politics, I focus on the people I truly care about — the ones that will take me as I am no matter how hard it gets.
There aren’t many people like that in my life. They should be appreciated. They are worth the investment of my increasingly limited time.
Everyone else can blow.
Seriously, It’s Not a Big Frickin’ Deal
So, my point in sharing this little story? Simple: for me, personally, dropping Facebook really was not a big frickin’ deal.
I don’t want to marginalize people who feel they are truly addicted to it. I understand that’s a “thing,” just like I understand TV addiction is a thing. I’m not putting that down. I’m doing exactly the opposite, actually.
If Facebook is adding negativity to your life and you find yourself thinking about dropping it but can’t do it, then just know this.
One random guy with a beautiful face and flawless mind and glistering soul and rapier-like wit dropped Facebook, and for him it wasn’t a big frickin’ deal.
His life didn’t fall apart. The universe didn’t collapse. He wasn’t ostracized or attacked by any mobs. The only people who disappeared from his life were ones that really didn’t belong there to begin with.
It’s not a big frickin’ deal. Go for it.