When I read those first four words of my title, I think of Superman. He’s Superman for crying out loud. He is this famous super hero with awesome powers. He saves lives. Heck! He saves cities. Somehow he manages to have somewhat a love life and work for a newspaper. Enough about Superman err… well maybe. This is about Facebook.
Back in 2004, while the hype of Myspace was still pretty good but weaning, I kept hearing about this awesome thing called Facebook. I had just started college; so needless to say, I had to know more about this great thing. For anyone who started out in the early days of Facebook, you know how things went down. You discovered long lost friends. You may have found the one! You possibly made friends in other countries. It’s a bird? It’s a plane? No!!! It’s the greatest thing on earth. A new was to connect and reconnect with everyone! Facebook was this new awesome thing!!! It was better than Myspace!
Fast forward a couple of years…. You have the addition of games, groups and other great features. Connect Facebook to everything. Use the Messenger instead of texting because it’s not costing you data using wifi…Superman, I mean, Facebook will save us!…. And here we are ALMOST to the year 2015… okay let’s back up to October 2014.
I’ve thought about it so many times, but it this time is really sank in. With the upcoming holidays approaching, I came to the realization that Facebook is an over glorified obsessive tool. Our need to connect has cause us to actually do the opposite and repel relationships. Our need to stand on soapboxes has become so strong and we over share so much that we have desensitized ourselves to everything. Our manners have vanished because we are entitled to have and voice opinions and we need to be heard. It all starts to look ugly.
Friends? Are they really friends? Facebook says they are.
I don’t know about you but the new generation might as well be called Scrollers. I scroll all throughout my day. It got so bad that my husband threatened to take away my phone so I tried to rein it in. He seems to be just as bad. The first thing he does after waking up is go to Facebook. There was a time when a man would spend too much time on social media that most women would worry. Luckily, I don’t.
The other part of scrolling is the eye rolling and the desensitizing. You see a post. Someone hates their life. Someone is flashing their dirty laundry. Someone is cursing their family. That stuff didn’t bother me as bad as scrolling past the posts where people want prayers or help. I should feel a need for helping. Not to mention the more vulgar posts that seep through or get shared. Every time I see that stuff, I flag it. I find myself usually infuriated that Facebook deems it okay to post. The comments under some of those are horrible as well and makes you wonder about your fellow man.
There seems to be a lack of respect that comes with having a Facebook. There is all this bad… Where is the good in it? Superman, are you there?
I made a big decision. I decided that December would be the month that I would stay off of Facebook. I would delete the app. I wouldn’t go on the internet. I would still use Instagram and other apps if I chose to share with the world but once it hit Facebook, I wouldn’t see what happened with it. I did keep the messenger so I could talk to Belle Starr.
The big day came and I said goodbye to the world of Facebook. Laugh if you will that technically I didn’t go cold turkey, but it was still hard. I kept having these needs to pick up my phone. I would look at it a second and chuckle. Luckily, I had picked the best and worst month for this experiment. It was useless to me unless I wanted to communicate, read on my nook, or post a pic. No Facebook to get on and scroll, like, share, and creep.
Over the next month, I was asked if I had been on the site. Told I was missing out. I was told I had lots of buzz on a post. Chastised for still being on the phone… Mind you, I was reading. I am a book nerd. All this hype and I couldn’t care less. It was like a vacation. I would sit down and watch a movie all the way through without looking at my phone. I was able to give my fully undivided attention and be in the moment without thinking about getting on Facebook.
While I wasn’t able to get on the app itself or online, there seems to be that pesky F logo everywhere else on the web. “Sign in with you Facebook.” “Like us on Facebook.” You really can’t escape Facebook unless you throw technology out and move to the woods where no soul lives. Somehow someone will manage to talk about Facebook. I wonder how many times I have used the F word in this article.
2015 is here and I have downloaded the app again. 100+ notifications and most of it is just the updates of people I follow. I feel like I didn’t miss much. Does the world need Facebook? No. It’s entertainment but just like any entertainment, too much of a “good thing” isn’t always a good thing. I am trying to focus more on the people I care about and not spend too much time using the app in the scrolling manner. It was once used as a tool for connecting to people instead of you just trying to connect to the world. There are better things to do than spending all day with your neck bent down squinting at a little screen.
While I don’t feel like doing it now, I’m sure there will still be days where I want to delete it forever. That just seems like a big thing to me. To delete your Facebook… It’s like burning a diary or your credit history. If you have been on there as long as I have, it has memories stored on your personal page. That may be the one way that Facebook is underutilized by so many. Maybe one day that will change, but I’m not counting on it.
Facebook has become a necessary evil and the world could use a Superman.
Thanks for reading,