Saturday, November 9, 2013

Goodbye Facebook

I made a big decision.  Well, big for me.  Can you guess, can you guess?

Yeah, I deactivated my facebook account.  I guess that doesn't seem like that big of a decision.  It's not like I decided to move out of the country, start a peacock farm, or adopt a Chinese baby.  But it's big for me.  I've been on facebook since 2008; my account was very well-established with five years worth of pictures and memories.  So why would I deactivate it?  Here was the reason I gave facebook when it prompted me to "please explain":

I guess I'm sort of taking an ethical stance.  I hate how social networking has replaced flesh-and-blood interactions.  Moms who used to go on play dates and take their kids to the park now sit on facebook all day posting pics and playing Candy Crush.  Facebook breeds nothing but laziness and pseudo-friendships.
That's my reason in a snapshot, but that's not the entire reason.  I think part of it is feeling perpetually annoyed by all the fakeness on facebook--those who feel compelled to talk up every mundane aspect of their lives--but the other reason is lately I have just wanted to keep a lower profile.  Last year, I had to take one of those personality/learning inventories at a training I attended, and my results came out 100% "intrapersonal" (some other inventories call it "introvert").  I was shocked by this.  The last time I had taken one of these tests was in high school, and at that time I remember I was very much on the "extrovert"-side.  But more than that, I have always considered myself as a social butterfly who thrives on being around people.  I also like to lead, and have almost no reservations speaking to a large audience.  Yet no matter what version of this test I take, I keep getting the same result: introvert.  So I think sometime in the past few years, my personality has changed.  I  still get energized when I'm in social settings, and I love talking to people, but I have a huge introspective component to my personality that wants to do nothing more but sit in a quiet corner of a coffee shop and work on my novel, or curl up in front of my fireplace and read a good sci-fi.  Somewhere in the last few years, regular "alone time" not only became desirable for me, but necessary to my sanity.  On the other end of this, one social gathering can keep me satisfied for months.

That being said, facebook is an extrovert's faux-paradise (faux because, let's face it, interacting on social networking is like skiing on Wii; fun to a degree, but pale in comparison to the "real" experience)  Unfortunately it's draining on introverts.  The average newsfeed is chattery and convoluted and overwhelming in mindless stimulation.  For the last year, this fact was begging the question: Why are you forcing yourself to be a part of something that's such a burden to you? My answers were always the same: 1. My family is on facebook, and it's become our way of sharing our lives with each other, and 2. I hope to be published someday, and I will need my facebook account to glean support and to possibly promote a future novel.

Both of these were valid points--and still are--which is why I chose to deactivate my account, as opposed to deleting it all together.  Deactivating my account gives me the option of returning to facebook in the future and fully restoring my account whenever I'm ready.

Until then, I'm going to enjoy this break.  I've been without facebook for a full 110 minutes, and so far, it feels wonderful. You'll have to excuse me now as I make myself a cup of hot tea and curl up with Cinder, my latest sci-fi read, and NOT check my latest notifications.