I don’t like friending. I don’t like following. I don’t like liking. I don’t like the faceless, fake culture of having loads and loads of super duper friends, patting each other on the back and saying how fantastic everyone is. I was on Facebook for a few years and today left. The reason was that I had joined a private list of people in my profession who share music, and I admit I really loved learning from the others and remembering my own favorites, and the cautious opening up that went with that was quite charming. It was almost like walking in on a group of colleagues you admire from afar in someone’s living room. But relationships online are two-dimensional, or even one-dimensional, and it is all too easy to feel a sense of communality where there isn’t one. The incident: I posted a Jiddish song performed by a German group, and unfortunately a Lebanese member of the group took offense and posted a disturbing video. It was not the first time things I felt a troubling disconnect. People have strange sides that come out in disconcerting ways and sting you when you wear your heart on your sleeve and don’t know how to cover yourself, and I suddenly felt very uncomfortable, vulnerable, out of place. Face-threatening Facebook. Not good for my emotional life. Goodbye, and good riddance.
Now, how to reorganize my online connections with other teaching professionals, my memberships and online services? How to keep up with my extended family, old neighbors, classmates? Onward, and upward.
Good for you. I deactivated and requested my account to be permanently deleted last night. I had taken a year off from FB before, but when I met my husband it was a long distance relationship for awhile and I rejoined so we could keep in touch that way too and I could get to know his family better. I have a good friend that lives far away that I will miss seeing photos and stuff from. However, I realized that 90% of the “friends” I had on FB rarely ever have contact with me in any way…not even on FB itself. I would do a cleaning of my list once in awhile of people I never talk to. One person recently got offended and said they were very hurt, even though I haven’t even heard from them at all in several years. I just got sick of the fakeness and awkwardness. I’m thinking about starting a blog like yours, so I can just share it with my real friends.
Sounds like you’ve had a very similar experience. Fakeness and awkwardness are two very good terms for it. Do start a blog, It’s a wonderful way to express yourself and reflect. And drop by and let me know the address when you do.
I’m finding a few downsides, though. I know there’s a networking party going on on Facebook that I’m not at, and I miss the encounters that got me addicted in the first place. But that’s a part of getting over what is a kind of addiction. Then, I’ve lost access to the pictures I was tagged in, which felt like I had them, too. Now I’m becoming more mindful of how I store photos, documents etc.