So it has finally happened. After a couple of false starts I’ve done it. I’ve left Facebook. It has been 5 days since my last post, apart from yesterday when I quickly logged on to tell people that I had left. So why did I do it?
Facebook Was Taking Up Too Much of My Time
Although I only logged on twice a day, this was taking up about half an hour of my time. This comes to 10950 minutes, or over 182 hours, or nearly 8 days a year. For what? Instead of spending this time looking down at my phone, I’m spending the time interacting with my children, family and friends instead.
The Facebook World Isn’t Real
I was comparing my less-than-perfect, but happy life, with the lives of people on Facebook. It was getting me down. These people were just showing me the best parts of their lives, rather than the everyday normality of them. I never saw the bad bits. For example, I saw someone’s amazing wedding, but she never mentioned that this guy was a two-timing adulterer who she left the following year. There is another woman who is always boasting about the gifts her husband has bought her, but I’ve met her husband and he treats her like scum. Others put pictures of furniture, house extensions, parties out. Things that make you think that they have got their lives together and you haven’t.
People Use Facebook to Air Their Dirty Laundry in Public
A couple I know split up last year. Firstly, she put posts of herself in a bikini on Facebook with a cocktail in her hand. This was because she was having an affair with one of her Facebook friends and these photos were for him. Then her mother started posting passive aggressive status updates about her son-in-law. Then the husband started posting photos of himself, topless, with various women. Needless to say the couple no longer live together. The sad thing is they have two children who will eventually see all this stuff on Facebook. There must be a far more dignified way to end a marriage than this.
Facebook Brings Out the Worst in People
When you scroll down the Facebook news feed, you see what posts people ‘like’. I was disheartened when a relation ‘liked’ a far-right Neo-Nazi group. The problem is that many Facebook posts bring out the ugly underbelly of British society.
Facebook Friends Are Not Your Real Friends
I have had a difficult year this year. I have had pain in my heart and darkness in my head. What has got me through are my children, my family, and a handful of wonderful friends who have made an effort to meet me, have interacted with me, and have treated me like a human being. I had 163 friends on Facebook. I wouldn’t recognise most of them if they walked past me in the street. A lot of my real friends are not actually on Facebook and they have a much better quality of life than the people who are constantly posting status updates on Facebook. As well as this, you do feel left out when people are having a lovely time on Facebook, going to weddings or parties that you haven’t been invited to.
Facebook is a Bit Vulgar
In the old days, you’d go out with your friends, take a few photos. A couple of weeks later you’d get them developed and perhaps share them with one another. Now, in an instant, you can take a selfie of yourself at a flattering angle, filter it to make yourself look like an unreal version of you, and then share it with hundreds of friends. This is showing off at an extreme level, especially as the photo isn’t actually the real, authentic you. Then you wait for the likes and the comments to pour in. The problem is that validation is coming from an external source. I want my children to be confident enough to know that they are beautiful without having someone whom they hardly know tell them that they ‘like’ a photo-shopped version of themselves. I also want to interact with real human beings, see their eyes, their smiles, and hear their laughter, rather than chat to digital friends who I’m unlikely to ever meet.
Facebook Makes You Feel Unpopular
Regardless of how many friends you have on Facebook, there will always be someone who has more. There will always be someone who gets more likes than you. In this way, you will always feel unpopular on Facebook.
You Give Away Too Much of Yourself on Facebook
People find out things about you that you probably don’t want them to know. In an instant you can share a status update and it is out there, whether positive or negative. The issue is that even if you delete that update half an hour later it has already been seen and you can’t take it back.
I Can’t Be Doing with the Drama
This year, someone I don’t even know blocked me on Facebook. She wasn’t even one of my friends. I have no idea why she did it. All I can think is that it gave her a bit of power. I’m too old and too tired for all of that nonsense. The friending, unfriending, blocking, unblocking. It’s just juvenile and immature. You expect it from children but not from middle-aged women. If I have a problem with someone, I’d rather just talk to them and resolve it in the real world rather than the digital one.
People Judge You Negatively on Facebook
There are some really nasty people out there. When they see your photos on Facebook, they are thinking bad things about you, not good. It’s sad but true. You also have people who stalk your wall with the sole intention of viewing you in a negative manner. There are also stalkers who are trying to find out about your private life, but don’t actually talk to you when they see you. I would rather people saw and spoke to the real me, rather than the artificial online version.
I have changed a lot this year. The person on Facebook isn’t the real me. In 2017 I want to make more of an effort to see people in the flesh, get to know them, look them in the eye and interact with them. Facebook was great while it lasted, but I don’t need it anymore.