I deactivated my Facebook ten minutes ago. It’s not as adventurous as it seems, really. It wasn’t like I was plotting this out for days or anything. I just logged on to my account and this feeling of dread and nausea just sunk in (this may or may not could be accredited to the dangerous number of double stuffed ores I’ve consumed today) and I just couldn’t stand it. Now, I’m not going to deny it but I was probably an addict, checking my facebook account numerous times throughout the day, I never hit the double digits but on some days I was close.
The minute I told my sister, she flipped out, she asked “Are you one of those people who’s deleting her facebook only to come back later for attention?” First of all, I am appalled that people have the time in their day to do this. No, I am astounded by the lack of self esteem that drives people to do this. Are there people who are really this deprived of the comfort and security that comes with family and friends that they do these acts just to get a tiny glimpse of recognition? Are we really that bored? (Second of all, I was appalled that my sister actually threw me under that category, but that’s a firm talk (lecture) I will have with her)).
Now, please don’t throw me under the bus with the cynics, I liked Facebook, I won’t say loved because I think that was more obsession, but, yes, I liked Facebook. I liked the idea of talking to friends who lived states and countries away, it is an effective tool in communication. What I didn’t like about Facebook was the stalking aspect that came with it. I’m not going to deny it, I have stalked people on Facebook and at that point, it wasn’t a big deal, but now I look back at it and it scares me. This is pure stalking, google tells us that stalking is to “harass or persecute (someone) with unwanted and obsessive attention”, this is a crime. Unwanted and obsessive attention, hmmmm… boy, that does sound familiar. At one point or another, every one of us has looked through everything in a person’s profile – everything, don’t even try to deny it. We have retained little pieces of people’s lives like, the color of the person’s bedroom or the type of care they drive, or even where they live. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like its all our fault, why would people upload these pictures if they didn’t want people to see them? But, I think at one point, we need to just evaluate our intentions, there is a fine line between stalking and a friendly browsing.
Aside from the stalking aspect, Facebook doesn’t make me feel… happy. People uploading pictures of when they went to Moscow or saw Coldplay or met the President or just out having fun and here I’m at home in my fuzzy, flannel pajamas thinking “Why don’t I have a life?” There has been a debate linking Facebook to depression (divorce, narcissism, the list is endless really). Now, I’m not saying that depression is as easy as looking at a picture of people having fun and saying bam, I’m depressed, because that’s inaccurate. But say, my friend, Jonny, has low self-esteem, doesn’t have many friends, and is struggling with the battle of finding his worth (like every teenager is) and he goes on Facebook religiously. Maybe one picture doesn’t affect him, but numerous can.
Lastly, I have a love, hate relationship with social media. I love it when it’s used to spread awareness for causes, bring to light injustices, or just making peoples’ stories known. But, we’ve become so fixated on social media that we have forgotten how to communicate. Everywhere I look, people are on their phones, face to face interaction is decreasing by day. With texting and social media, people are losing their ability to hold down a conversation. I’m going to stop before I enter the man vs. technology debate so I’ll just end this post with a quote by Rick Pukis, an Associate Professor at Augusta State University ”Text messaging has made us a very impersonal society today”, I fear it’s not just texting.
P.S – If you’re thinking of deleting your facebook there is a massive difference between deactivation and deletion. Deleting it gets rid of all your information where deactivating still allows the website to keep your information.