I tried to take a break from Facebook for a while. I logged out back in the Fall of 2019 and did pretty good for a while. I’d check in every once in a while just to make sure I hadn’t missed anything important (I hadn’t) and to see if I had missed any messages from people who I only communicate with on Facebook or via Messenger.
When the COVID-19 outbreak happened and we all ended up spending so much more time at home, I started spending a bit more time on Facebook again and noticed that I was falling right back into the same old traps: finding out people I knew and respected were ignorant or racist or both…or other things that made me sad. I also found myself arguing with people about those topics. I was hoping I could help spread accurate information about the situation among the communities I belonged to. I was hoping not to fall into those traps again, but…it became obvious that wasn’t going to be the case.
After yet another instance with a person I know where they were just spewing bullshit that they should have known better I decided I’d had enough. I made a cover image with my contact info for here and for Instagram and let it sit for a few days, then I requested an archive of my account from Facebook. Once that download was ready I posted another warning and let it sit for a couple of days.
Then I did it. Kind of…
I deactivated my account. I didn’t delete it yet, but I’m 99.9% sure I’m going to. I’m going to let it sit for a while just to make sure. It’s been tough…Facebook sucks you in and makes itself part of your daily routine. I’ve caught myself a few times heading for the shortcut in my bookmarks bar (maybe I should delete it…) I’ve also deleted the app off of my phone to keep the temptation at bay.
There are many people who are my Facebook friends that were important parts of my life at various times, many still are. Some of them, Facebook was the only way we regularly communicated and that’s what makes it hard to walk away. Some of them I’d lost touch with for a long time and I’m afraid that not being on that platform will mean that I’ll lose track of them again. I hope that’s not the case. I hope they find me here and on Instagram…or via email or just a text message.
Facebook as a platform has a lot of problems. Privacy concerns, misinformation, the spread of hatred and bigotry, etc. It doesn’t seem to concerned about any of them to do anything about it. It’s going to take a lot more people to #deletefacebook before any real change comes about. I doubt seriously that will happen.
In the meantime, I’m going to spend more time not arguing with the ignorant. More time outside, more time with my granddaughter, more time not tied to the small screen in my hand.
You should try it. It feels great.
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