Just last week I deleted my Facebook. It wasn't a hard decision but I wanted to share with you what I have experienced since.
So I got Facebook back in... oh I don't know, 2007-ish? It wasn't exactly a momentous occasion 'nothing will be as good as Myspace'
And just like everyone else it became a part of my everyday internet regime. Facebook was a word that was used on a daily basis. What was a bit of fun became something we thought about at all occasions. 'Will this picture end up on Facebook?' 'I need a new profile picture' 'Let me just update my status so he knows I'm awake too...' (come on, admit it!)
I'm glad I didn't have Facebook in my teenage years because even as an adult I see so many childish games and bitchyness.
"That was awkward, I unfriended her the other day and she just walked past..."
How many arguments have you had over Facebook? Far too many I imagine. There’s just so much over-analysing going on. ‘Why did you like her picture?!!’ In the real world if a friend showed your boyfriend a picture and he went ‘ah it's nice’ would you kick off? Probably not. My point is that real life is different to this online circus.
When I was pregnant I had so many people sharing their opinions on my prgnancy, saying I was too small or generally disagreeing with some of my choices. Some of these were people I hadn't seen in years. In the real world people aren't that blunt with their opinions, Facebook stops people thinking before they type.
Being behind a screen leads to a mob mentality, you are faceless, therefore there are no consequences. Cyber bullying is always on the way up, as is depression and obesity. I believe half of these bullies wouldn’t be so tough face to face, but behind a screen you can be who ever you want. It terrifies me how many kids commit suicide over bullying through Facebook.
I digress.. never mind the seriousness of certain factors, the drama was too much. I just don't need that drama in my life, I have TV for that. My first port of call was to delete a load of people and just keep friends who I had actually spoken to in the last year.
A great test to see if you should even still be 'Facebook Friends' is to ask yourself 'on their birthday, would you text/call them to wish them happy birthday?' If not they need to go. I found with some people, when I was kindly alerted by Facebook that it was their birthday (the only way 90% of people know it's anyones birthday) I'd go 'well I cant write on their wall, that would be weird.' WHY WERE WE EVEN FRIENDS?
I limited my friends list down to a lovely 65. This was ok for a while but I soon got fed up of constant 'like this if you love your parents' status's, and the links! GOD THE LINKS!
Facebook turned into the guy at the pub who constantly showed you 'hilarious' youtube videos all night.
It was time to go. And here were the steps that followed...
1. You feel the need to tell people you deleted it
Once that button is pressed and the email is recieved you feel the need to pass on this information. You have a strange sense of pride. I did this in the form of instagram.
yea yea... Instagram are owned by Facebook now. blah blah blah....
2. you realise how much better life is without it and you have to share that too, but get this.. you do it with words REAL words! Actual noises from your vocal chords where people can react to what you're saying rather than just 'like' it.
3. You reconnect with people properly. You have full conversations again. You don't cut someone off when they tell you something by going 'yea I saw it on Facebook...' Just 1 day after I deleted I had a long conversation with someone who I hadn't seen in a while and we spoke in more detail than we ever did when we were Facebook friends.
4. In comes the influx of people who are amazed by your actions
oh yes they do...
"Why did you delete me?"
"I didn't, I deleted my account"
You'll find when you meet new people they'll ask to add you on facebook and when you tell them you're not on it they'll think there's somthing wrong with you.
5. You will lose touch with people. Most will be people you really don't care about, the ones you only added to see what they were up to since you last spoke. You typed a polite 'hi, long time! How ya doing...?', when you first accepted but then you just sat back and watched, the online equivalent of curtain twitching.
I'm afraid some of the 'good ones' will drift away too. The reason why? The deadly virus that is Facebook has got them.
Psychological symptoms include:
- Constant paranioa -over analysing peoples status's '...is this about me'?
- unwarranted bitterness- writing indirect status's to make themselves feel better in case it was about them
- Feeling intolerant of others -'look at her status! What an idiot! I hate her!'
- The urge to share everything -yep, EVERYTHING
physical symtoms include:
- Neck and finger strains from over usage
- Disturbed sleep- 'I'll just check it one more time..'
social symtoms include
- Spending more of your working day online than actually doing your job
- Taking part in less real life interaction 'at least I can just unfriend you on here...'
- Constantly playing games in social situations- rather than talk to the people in the room
You know when you have an extreme case then you reach the worst stage-
Not being able to socialise in the real world anymore
People forget how to make a phone call or even hold a conversation without a delete button. The worst affected will crave for there to be a day where you can just put a thumb up when someone says something and not have to engage in any more interaction than that.
So these people will be like a Sim trapped behind a chair and shrugging. They can't go anywhere.
"No Facebook? Well there's no way of me contacting them... now let's get back to candy crush saga..."
I realised I only checked my Facebook out of habit. Every time I picked up my phone it was e-mails, Twitter, Facebook... and nine times out of ten I was just irritated by people on there and came straight back off. It was like constantly opening and closing the fridge when you're hungry even though you know nothing new is in there. I was a lurker.
If you're thinking about going for the big delete I recommend moving your Facebook app button onto another page, see if you can break the habit of checking it because it's there. If you can do that.. do you really need Facebook anymore?