I used to be the kind of person who was always very successful in peer-pressuring individuals to get Facebook accounts. “Come on,” I would say, “how do you expect to even be connected with your friends without one?” Due to having friends in other countries and others states, I always found Facebook to be a very convenient way to connect with all of my friends. After much, thought, however I am starting to believe that the costs outweigh the benefits. So, while this post deviates from my usual retail ramblings, I feel that posting this on Retail Robot may help others who are looking for new year’s resolutions or ways to improve their lives.
Thanks to social media and technology constantly at our fingertips, the way that people socialize has completely changed. Now, it seems, even the most outgoing individuals have succumbed to the new, more introverted persona of modern day technology. One could even argue that Facebook has made being antisocial more popular than ever before. Instead of calling a friend on the phone and hearing their voice, we text, write on their wall, “poke” them, tweet them, ping them, Google chat them, Skype them…all these crazy names and applications for something that we were all born to naturally do as human beings–communicate! Sadly, however, our lives all seem to be so busy and so consumed with ways to make more money that we have to find other ways to substitute being a good friend.
I have decided, in 2011, to run an experiment to see just how much Facebook affects my social life. My guess is that it will not change it at all because the people who I am truly close with have my phone number and usually make contact with me outside of Facebook quite often. Those kinds of people are the ones that matter anyway! I will admit, though, that Facebook is very addicting, so I will be limiting my access to Facebook and then, hopefully, eliminating all access altogether. I will only allow myself to check my Facebook once a month for six months, and then after six months I will not go on it at all.
I have been contemplating this change for a while. It all started when I realized that one of my ex-roommates commented and “liked” every little thing that I liked. If I liked yoga on my page, she would go and add it too. If someone left a message or video on my wall, she would find a way to comment on it and even try talking with the other person. In addition, the amount of updates she made a week was just, well, embarrassing. The icing on the cake, however, was that she would always post on my wall about how she wanted to hang out, but whenever I would invite her out, she always had a way of isolating herself—either by being with her boyfriend, or being at home. I realized that I did not want to become one of those people that really have no social life but try to compensate for it through interacting on Facebook. It makes all of us look desperate for attention that we really don’t need. What we need, instead, is to draw attention to ourselves.
I used to always feel so smart. I have been a bookworm all of my life, I’ve always enjoyed learning new things, especially about other cultures. I realized that all of the time that I have spent of Facebook could have been spent doing things that could actually benefit me. The amount of time I spent on Facebook each day, once taken away, would probably be equivalent to reading five chapters of my book each day. The amount of time I spend comparing myself to others and making myself feel inadequate could be replaced with time spent getting homework and studying done so that I could actually find time in my day to relax for once, or even write on here more.
Basically, when you think about it, Facebook is a waste of time. The friends you truly need will find other ways to contact you, and the ones you don’t need won’t. No one needs to see pictures of your ultrasounds, your engagement rings, your new puppy…why do we make ourselves all so vulnerable for only a few minutes of happiness? It just doesn’t seem right. I want to live in a world where I can focus on bettering myself, spending time with the friends that matter most to me, and enjoying the real world–a world that is slowly disintegrating because all we can seem to do is destroy it through our greediness.
I made my Facebook almost “unstalkable” today: I hid all of my tagged photos, my place of employment, and even my relationship status. I left an update explaining that I would not be on a lot and that people should find other ways of contacting me…this post was “liked” by five different people within a matter of an hour. I bet those five people won’t delete their accounts, though! It’s a hard thing to do and it certainly is going to make communicating a bit more difficult for me. But I’d rather take this year to become a better person and to not get caught up and depressed about all of the stupid things we would never know if social media did not exist.
So! Please feel free to join me. Also, if you have gone this far and are still rolling your eyes at me, consider this video that a friend showed me (who also deleted her account yesterday):