Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why I deleted my Facebook & what it's taught me

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About a year ago I decided to “delete my Facebook”. I had absolutely no reasoning at all, except I just wanted to do it.
At first, I was only deactivating my Facebook temporarily. I guess to take a break, in a sense.
I was somewhat reluctant and felt like I would be losing a huge connection between some important people in my life…

Once I got over the tiny hurdle of figuring out what to do in my spare time, like: cooking, gardening, practicing my photography, BLOGGING. I was also able to spend more true quality time with my husband, my loved ones, friends, my pets, myself!
Time in which I was ALL THERE, not haphazardly listening while flipping through my feed.
I began to realize it was one of the most refreshing decisions I have ever made.

Deleting my Facebook gave me a whole new boost!

For some, Facebook provides a primary & vital source of information, networking and communication to those we love and know.

But, reflecting back on my hiatus on Facebook has made me realized a few things:

1. Information Overload. The abundance of completely ridiculous information that is flooding through Facebook is quite startling! Between millions of targeted ads, bright and shiny new items lacing the pages of those I knew, and nearly every last detail of someone’s day was really starting to take its toll on my mental state. Becoming so overloaded with unnecessary information I began to notice unhappy thoughts sinking in, bouts of rolling my eyes all the way into the back of my skull, and fits where I called my Mom and would ask her if she “saw what so-and-so posted on Facebook??!!”
What the hell was I doing with my life?! And, why in the hell did I care so much about someone I haven’t talked to in years?! Truth is, I didn't care. And if I saw that person face-to-face I probably wouldn't have even said a word, much less cared about their terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  Weird. We all have good days and we all have bad days. We don’t need to blast it all over social media or have a virtual pity party. Get over it! No one on Facebook cares. I promise they really don’t.

2. Loss of contact. Contrary to my belief, I actually felt more disconnected with those I held near and dear. Instead of getting a phone call or a text to see how I am doing, how school is going, what’s new in my life - People already knew. No phone calls, no texts.. NOTHING. I really wanted to feel that true connection. If someone what’s to know how I am or what I've been up to I want to have real contact, I want to hear their voice.. Not a damn thumbs up icon. Bleh.

3. Privacy. One HUGE thing I learned while teaching a technology course is that Social Media is NEVER private. I don’t care if you set your privacy settings to Fort Knox-style, there is always a way to access your information. ALWAYS! 
Oh yea, and those annoying targeted ads, well they are targeted for a reason… think about it, do your research. It’s a scary virtual world out there, People! Use caution and be smart.

4. Starting to dislike those close to me. There’s a vicious war occurring on the Facebook battlefield. Either you pissed off someone by something you posted OR someone pissed you off with what they posted. Oh and those little digs, where the post ends a little something like this: “... and you know who you are” Yea, that is why I will stay as far away from Facebook as possible. It’s so childish and dumb. If you have an issue, pick up the damn phone and hash it out like humans have been doing for centuries. We ALL don’t need to be brought into your petty fight over the INTERNET! Just move on and avoid blasting it all over Facebook. You look and sound ridiculous trying to solve the world's problems over posts and likes.

Now, I want you to know. I am guilty of all of these things! I was once that annoying Facebooker that posted about all things amazing in my life, called people out in a post, over-shared articles,  and started full on drama… I just didn't (and don’t) need that in my life anymore.

Instead, I enjoy talking on the phone for hours with my girlfriends catching up, reading something of substance instead of the dramatics of someone else’s life. I feel like my true connections are only growing deeper because instead of saying “Yea! I saw that on Facebook” I now have the joy of being told something for the first time, in person, from a real human about the great things going on in their lives or the BIG NEWS they've been dying to share. Like the good ‘ole days. And you know what, IT. IS. SO. NICE! And you know what else? I haven’t missed a thing!

That being said, I've also lost some connections over the last year. Probably some that needed to be lost long ago. No tears shed here. It was bound to happen and I’d rather it happen now, than later - most likely over Facebook.

Call me old fashion, but if someone really wants to know what I've been up to, I want to truly talk to them. Have a real and genuine conversation. Hear and feel emotions.

But please don’t get me wrong, I think social media is great! (ummmm hello, Instagram). Sites like Facebook CAN really help you connect to people on another level, or those you may not have ever met.

So, yesterday, I decided  to reactivate my Facebook and I am still on the fence about it.

As a new blogger I know how vital Facebook is to readers.. so my thoughts are to merely help grow this blog’s readership and to help connect with new readers by using Facebook, along with other social media sites.

I can’t blame Facebook, BUT I can choose when and how often I check it. So for now, I am vowing to use Facebook to connect to FITO Blog readers. And, if you’d like to follow the blog on Facebook you can do so by going here.

I’d love to know your thoughts. Have you encountered any of these issues? Do you love it? Hate it? Post your thoughts in the comment section, I’d love to hear what you think!