I, like so many millions of others, have a Facebook account. I have a total of one friend. He passed away in 2012 and when I was cleaning out my friend’s list, I couldn’t bring myself to delete him. We were casual friends who met at work and lost touch, only to reunite through MySpace and then Facebook. We were always only casual friends so I don’t know what my issue is. I deleted my best friends and family members, but until I permanently get rid of my account, he’s staying.
I deactivated my Facebook for a while. I deleted (almost) everyone so the temptation to log back in would be erased. I messaged a few people to get their contact information beforehand, as I wasn’t trying to become a hermit. Some responded and some didn’t. Fair enough. I had forgotten something important though, and that was Facebook’s groups. I belong to a few resale groups and its an easy and convenient way to make quick cash. So I logged back in and have stayed in, although there’s not much to look at with no posts from my friends.
It feels empowering to not be a slave to status updates. I was addicted and would eagerly look forward to the times when I would finally get on after a day of being busy. I’d scroll, scroll, scroll, like, poke, comment. Then feel a little disappointment when I’d get to the posts I’d seen on a previous session.
I loved seeing what people were up to. Their victories: pregnancies, promotions, new homes, graduations, getting out of jail, and especially getting drunk. I so enjoyed interacting with drunk people from the comfort of my solitude, beer in hand. I also loved the confrontations. Yes! You tell those entitled drama queens who’s boss! Tell your boss he’s a little bitch! Tell that bitch she’s a hussy! I especially loved the complaints, even more so when the complaints were about status updates. (For example: People are too political, not political enough. Too many bathroom selfies, too much cleavage showing. People are so tacky putting all their biz online: fights with their SOs, child support problems, sex related ANYTHING, and their depression. Go away, real world!) I took a perverse pleasure from their dissatisfaction over something they could easily control. I think a few people that protested really liked all the juicy personal info. I think the rest were just afraid to appear rude by pressing the unfriend button. I never minded when I was unfriended. Facebook is one big absurd carnival of strangeness.
My most favorite thing about Facebook (and what led to my resignation) was creating my own status updates. It reminded of a Bloc Party song that said something about slicing, dazzling them with wit. I never managed that but I enjoyed myself anyway. But slowly and certainly I began to falter. What is there to say when you are no longer in school and you haven’t found a job and you aren’t dating and you stopped drinking? And you have no money to do anything fun and you are becoming horribly depressed? I made generic updates until it occurred to me that having Facebook was not my job. I felt empty inside for about five minutes after I deactivated. Then I set about recovering my life.
I’m definitely not trying to say that NOBODY can live a genuine life while enjoying Facebook or social media in general. This is certainly a personal problem. I’m trying to engage with people on a personal level now. And I’m fulfilling my need to vent here on my blog, where I’m anonymous.
In case you didn’t enjoy this post, I invite you to turn it into a drinking game. Every time I write, “Facebook,” you have to take a shot. That should do the trick.