After several series of unfortunate events, I’ve decided to get out of a longstanding, toxic relationship.
First time, it was my marriage; then, cigarettes. Now, it’s the Facebook.
We all know the list of reasons why:
- It’s too time consuming
- It disconnects us from real life engagement and experiences.
- It fosters false sense of community
- It breaks up relationships (friends, family, business and intimate), as
- It is a field of ego and misunderstanding.
Some of us have mastered the Facebook as a marketing tool. Some in kind, have mastered using the Facebook as a platform to spread their mission. It’s a fact that you can reach an audience of millions, with a single click.
And then there’s me. I use the Facebook as a something to do, when I could be doing something I should be doing. A distraction. My personal email substitute. A journal.
To date, the Facebook has been the single most comprehensive method of journaling for me. I go there and write something, daily. When I wake up, I ‘book. I scan and scroll. Search hashtags of interest and share to my wall, things that either catch my interest, or resonate with me, or hell, make me laugh.
This is my justification.
I send my friends inbox messages that say “you’s a brilliant, fine-ass muhfucka, just in case no one else reminds you today”, because we all thrive with acknowledgement. I’ve sent complete strangers messages in response to a status that says “you are extraordinarily brave for sharing your story. your voice is necessary. i’m here if you need to talk”
I can look back through years, and know the stories behind each post. Sometimes I share the stories. Most times I don’t.
All the while, I’m working for the Facebook, for free. (This is a tangent I’ll revisit another time.)
And still, roughly 24 hours ago, I did it. I deactivated my account.
But not before I had to answer questions:
Me: They’ll be fine.
The Facebook: Why are you leaving?
Me: Because I spend too much time on the Facebook!
The Facebook: Well, we have filter options that allow you to customize the content to your page. You sure you wanna deactivate?
The Facebook: Oh. Sorry. You can’t deactivate your account because you are the primary developer of apps associated with your account. You either have to delete those platforms, or, assign someone else to be the developer.
Me: Fine. Delete the platforms.
The Facebook: Are you sure?
The Facebook: Oh, sorry. You can’t deactivate your account because you are the primary administrator of groups and pages on the Facebook. You either have to delete those groups and pages, or assign someone else to be the developer.
Me: Fine. Delete the groups.
The Facebook: Well you know, if someone else in the group decides to claim administratorship over your group, when you return, you’ll have to ask them for your admin status back.
The Facebook: Are you sure?
The Facebook: Before you go, it’d be really awful if something happened to you while you were
away. Have you considered choosing a beneficiary for your account, in case tragedy strikes?
Me: Uh, sure.
The Facebook: Would you like to send them a message, explaining this honor and ask them if they’d
like to talk about it? You may want to keep your account active for
Me: Nah. I’m good. She knows.
The Facebook: Well if you’re sure. Good luck. You’ll be back. Until then.
The withdrawal was instantaneous. Within the first hour, I’d picked up my phone to check my
If I were to be generously honest, I’d say probably 10 – 12 times.
And just when I thought I’d eased into a comfortable space within the discomfort:
My goal during the hiatus, is to direct more energy into writing and sharing. Making consistent use of this space that I have paid for and played around with for years.
This is, for now, my substitute for the Facebook. We’ll see if I can divert my focus into quirking and musing, for myself.
I’ll also be chronicling the bat-shitness that I anticipate with the waves of withdrawal to come.
And this, is Day One.