I deleted my Facebook account. And it doesn’t matter.
It literally doesn’t matter why I deleted facebook. I had over 14k ‘friends’. Hundreds of which I had met professionally and personally over many years. Some were real friendships extending into real life. The great news? I still get to call those friends my friends because I still actually make time to go and meet with them. Or call them if they’re elsewhere in the country. And if we aren’t committed to meeting each other in that way, then we were never true friends to begin with.
Facebook may as well be called ‘AcquaintanceBook’ because most of the people there on my feed were people I didn’t remember, recognize, or know how to respond to their thoughts and paragraphs. How personally do you tend to take news articles? How badly do you suddenly want to share a piece of your mind with someone who wrote _________________ anything at all, ever?
You’re reading this very post, agreeing and nodding along until I say something you don’t remotely agree with–may well be a small point, a large one, or the entire post. Whatever it is, you suddenly feel the need to charge in on the comments and ‘speak your mind’. Set me straight. Yet, if you’re anything like me, you’re burnt out from all that ‘straightening’ of other people’s clearly identifiable ‘messes’ in the form of words on a screen. Why aren’t we smarter? Why don’t we get it already?
Anyway, social media and I have a long and sordid history. I don’t like who I become while using it. I feel like a mindless zombie scrolling through an endless loop of the same twenty people sharing different thoughts from different days, sharing pictures I want very much to ‘like’ or ‘love’ but don’t have the will to. This would mean I would have to spend more time doing something that I already determined was difficult for me to begin with online: being sociable.
I want to see the person who took the picture, or better still; share the moment with them when they would have taken the picture. Enjoyed their company, made an offhanded joke about something and hear their laughter, or just be in blissful silence about it together. This is never more of a true feeling than when I see a good friend or even a great acquaintance whom I really like, sharing a picture of some exotic place I’ll not soon afford being able to go to. If I were the kind of guy who let jealousy run my whole being I would find ways to troll and put down wherever it was they took that picture. Oh, Bali? Gosh, have you read about their crime rates recently? The worst of me would inevitably try and peak its head out–masquerading as me.
If I take a picture while I’m out and about, it’s truly because I want to remember it later on for my own sake. It brings back memories of a time and place that are important to me–eventually. It’s of no concern to me at all that someone on Instagram is going to see it and like it and start following me. If I want to promote a book, I will do so here on this website unless I get rid of the website (that could really happen, by the way), or I might post it on, say, Instagram. And I know that Facebook owns Instagram. I didn’t get rid of my account with Instagram because I barely ever use it, and so didn’t think about it. Twitter is probably the next of my social platforms to go. I’m never on it, I rarely understand what’s happening when I peak at it, and I feel exhausted by the idea of needing to figure out what everyone is temporarily up in arms about now. It usually has something to do with a political leader, a war or skirmish or terrorist outbreak somewhere in the world. Or, even more disturbing to me, it has to do with some natural disaster. Is it just me, or are natural disasters becoming more frequent? Maybe it’s just our hyperconnectivity which makes it seem like there are more natural disasters than ever before. I don’t really know.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter that I left facebook. It doesn’t matter if I write another book or another hundred books. Those that want to see and hear from me will find me here, there, or somewhere and those that want to read my books will find out about them with a simple search of my name.
That’s good enough for me.