It's been over a year since I deactivated my Facebook account. How do I know this? Because I've been counting the days on my desk calendar.
I'm not that much of a loser. Jeez. I was cleaning out old emails, and I noticed my deactivate notice was dated April 2010. I was shocked when I realized that meant I haven't been a member of Facebook for over a year. Wowee!
Being off of Facebook for a year has been interesting. Like anything in this life, it has its pros and cons. I'm not writing this post to persuade you to deactivate your account, nor to make you feel bad for being a member if you are. I'm writing this post as a reflection and a way to sort out how I feel about being away from something that was such a big part of my life for awhile. Yes, it got bad, and I got way too involved. You've got to admit - it's quite easy to become addicted to it. No? Just me? Okay.
When I quit, it was in reaction to a series of online mishaps. Facebook, once a positive mainstay in my life, had become a world of negativity and passive aggressive behavior. I quit in anger. But like any good junkie, I assumed I'd be back at some point for my next fix. Strangely, it didn't happen.
In the beginning, I was really afraid that I was "missing out" on "so much" by not popping back in. However, at the same time, I was also gaining strength knowing that each day that passed was another small victory in avoiding unnecessary bullshit.
As the months flew by, I fought off a few huge temptations to peek. I wanted to know what people were up to. I wanted to know what friends were referring to when I would hear, "Did you see what so-and-so posted on FB?!" Heck, a few times I've wanted to brag about things going on in my life, post pictures, etc. But I didn't. Each time I was tempted to rejoin that world, I remembered why I had quit.
I remembered how much better it was for me to not know what that acquaintance from 1998 was doing with his/her life these days. Because really, does it matter? Back in the day, I was a Facebook friend whore. I had hundreds of friends, most of whom I would have never re-connected with had it not been for Facebook. I think people exist at certain times in your life for a reason. People come and they go. There is no sense in dredging most of them up.
Sure, I could re-join and delete all of those people that didn't matter. I actually thought about doing that. Then I realized that was a lot of work, and Facebook really didn't mean that much to me anymore. I had survived long enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
To this day, I still don't know if the 'book is gone from my life forever. Never say never, right? But, this year has taught me a lot about friendship. It has taught me a lot about what is important in life. The people who really matter are here. When people want to know about my life, and I want to know about theirs, we find ways other than Facebook to connect. Thankfully, it is the communication era, and there are dozens of ways to connect with others.
So, I guess the point of this post is to let you know that it's possible to leave Facebook, and not fall off the edge of the planet. I'm living proof.
Photo Credit: Dan Taylor.
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