Hello and happy Sunday Funday. [Blogged while giving my little digital home a new lewk.]
I remember the first time I heard about Facebook. In fact, I remember it rather vividly. My neighbor across the street introduced me, showing off its then-simple and innocently-fun features. It was like a more polished Myspace. Cool, I thought. Sign me up. I used Facebook to share idiotic pictures of me and my friends, publicly write inside jokes on people’s walls and post embarrassing, dramatic statuses that no one cared about and still make me cringe to this day. One of my best was an obscure Linkin Park lyric that emo-Foj felt people needed to see because I was the most dramatic human in existence circa the early 2000s. I’m feeling emotional and Facebook should know. But, it was all in good fun. The stupid pictures, jokes and friendly jabs. Facebook was a platform to share pictures and connect with new people — it was how I stayed in touch with high school friends as we made our way to different colleges. And it was how I stalked my new college roommate before we met. It was awesome.
As I grew up, so did Facebook. I think it was right around the 2008 election when the rhetoric in my feed changed. It became a place where people vented, complained, ridiculed, judged and argued. The fun pictures that made me smile were now few and far between — sprinkled in among the sea of soul-sucking posts.
But I still spent hours scrolling with SVU or Sex and the City playing in the background. After the election, people my age went back to posting pictures from nights at the bar, funny videos and more inside jokes. If I had to guess, I probably spent an accumulative 12 months mindlessly wandering around Facebook during my time at college. My roommates and I would literally sit in the living room cross-legged with our laptops to creep on our exes (and their new girlfriends), watch random videos and write on each other’s walls while sitting two feet away.
And now, in 2021, Facebook is the last place I ever want to be. In fact, the only time I ever go on is to share a new blog post or check how someone spells their name. The social media political climate is at an all-time shit show. People are nasty. And to be honest, I don’t have time to get sucked into a negative (and never-ending) scroll of opinions from a network of people I’m not even that close with. Sorry, but I’m not having regular coffee dates with 683 people. Are you? I’m v happy that you got a new job, I love pictures of your dog and congrats on the new baby, but like, we probably haven’t spoken in 10 years.
I should actually clarify and say that most of my newsfeed (today, like right now) is still filled with things I once loved about it. I guess my deep-rooted disdain goes beyond what I see when I log on. I think I’m just like, over the social media everything. I’m over what it’s become. And I loathe the bureaucracy behind the curtain. Social media is now a toxic tool to spread agendas and make money (off me), and I’m not into it. It’s 1,000% absolutely tearing us apart and it makes me really sad. We’re better than this. I know we are.
So, I feel like I don’t need to convince you. Perhaps deep down we all agree, to some level, that social media is maybe the worst? Connection is great, yes. But, the social media platforms we have today. Not so much? A deeper dive on that in the near future. I parted ways with Twitter a few weeks ago. And even though I hadn’t used it in years, clicking that delete button brought me a strange sense of freedom. Like I was no longer tied to the temptation to tweet or the dramatized dialogue between strangers. I could almost hear my mental stability going, Ahh. I don’t need more noise in my life. Do you? For me, this was a step toward mental clarity, more self-awareness and investment in just a lighter energy.
So after I post this on Facebook, I’m deactivating my account for a while. Because the hoarder inside of me is like, but what will happen to all your photos and videos and memories if you totally delete it? You might need those one day. A single social presence is enough for me right now. So I’ll be over on IG every now and then to post the same kind of weird shit I once did on Facebook. And maybe even a few thoughts of substance.
Internet noise takes so much of our time and mental energy. (And honestly, my right thumb muscle hurts from the constant scroll.) I bet if you gave yourself and your relationships more of that time and energy, you’d actually be a happier, more fulfilled person. If you’re not getting joy from social media, give it up. Or at the very least, take a short hiatus. Grab a book. Learn a new hobby. Spend time with family. Or read my blog.