A couple of weeks ago I have deactivated my Facebook account. I’ve been intending to do that for months. Finally, I’ve left the service for good.
Looking all the way back to 2006 I don’t have much to show for it. You can’t call me an addict because I’ve never been hooked as much as people around me. Nevertheless, whenever I had cared to open Facebook’s trendy blue interface I have been bombarded with meaningless status updates and viral junk. Numerous pointless apps and games just intensified the noise.
The noise itself never bothered me that much. What really bothered me is the dismal quality of what users share. It’s seems to be a common problem with all social media. Most users simply don’t share anything worth anyone else’s attention. Instead of sharing genuine experiences, reflecting on one’s life or authoring insightful writing I’ve seen boasting, junk videos, cynicism, meaningless quotes and cryptic posts. Combined, these make their authors feel special and invite pointless discussions.
Facebook always made me feel bad about myself or my life. Other people’s experiences seem just so much more authentic and full of life. It’s basically like trashy advertising that shows you happy folks cleaning toilets with a certain kind of solvent. But instead of random folks you see whoever you had added to your Facebook “friends” and instead of cleaning toilets you see them doing whatever is that they were doing.
There are ways to read the “stream” without feeling insecure and unsatisfied. But it’s hard mental and spiritual work. Despite spending considerable time to embrace mindful and present living I find Facebook to be a tough opponent. Facebook pierces through peace like a full metal jacket bullet. It’s better to let go and give it up altogether.
Generally, I like the premise of a social network like Facebook. In theory it could be great. Imagine having a close circle of people who exert an effort to distill and publish their thoughts. Imagine a circle of friends who take the time to break down their adventures and experiences into stories. I am in total awe when a person cares to think and write down her thoughts instead of just slapping a bunch of photos in my face. Even if a story is not very coherent or deep.
I understand why Facebook, or any social media for that matter, is like that. It’s easier to write and share junk. It’s our brains wired for infinite satisfaction. A collection of juicy and emotional posts trigger our long-forgotten instincts just like an unhealthy sugary/fatty meal does. Nobody voluntarily wants to spend time writing or reading long posts when a “Wall” is bursting with sugar-high gossip, funny and disgusting media. One must willingly overcome animal desires and instincts. Choose a high-value diet - provoking and challenging information sources.
Not to seem like a hypocrite but I can’t say I’ve shared much in a meaningful way myself. I have not shared much at all. I intend to change with this personal home page. It’s far from being a first blog of mine - there were many before it. For me the hardest part in keeping a personal page is finding a meaningful reason to share. It’s all to easy to make a blog nothing else but a collection of the same crappy posts you see in social networks. The reason I think it’s different this time is I feel no rush. I enjoy reflecting and writing down thoughts. I truly don’t care if there is no value in these musings. I truly enjoy doing it right now.
Hopefully, by some serendipitous encounter you will find this site and share either thoughts or values or hobbies with me. Although even less likely, I hope we meet and do something fun together!