Today, I deactivated my personal Facebook profile, and it wasn’t an easy process because Facebook is everywhere. Truth is: I couldn’t take it anymore.
I don’t know how Zuckerberg managed to grease so many palms but he did so with much talent. No matter which platform I use – Spotify, Goodreads, WordPress, and naturally my Facebook author page – my personal Facebook account is like the big spider puppeteer in the background. It casts a web over everything, and slowly eats you alive, without you even realizing it. Facebook makes you addicted to feeds that aren’t newsworthy; Facebook makes you feel like a loser when you don’t have many virtual friends, likes, or comments; Facebook feeds off your low self-esteem to make you superficial and vain; Facebook makes you pay for “legit” advertisement when in all reality, these extra likes from Indonesia or Brazil don’t do anything to your popularity.
And like a nasty ex-boyfriend you can’t get rid of, Facebook pollutes your life in every imaginable way. That’s how it became for me anyway. The new algorithm to track the post engagement, and position posts on timelines, plus the new “unfollow” feature help increase the gap between the popular accounts, and the ones desperately trying to reach a higher level of popularity. And it isn’t quality of content that makes a post worthwhile to list at the top of a timeline. The algorithm just toys around with people’s statements, most of the time, the meaningless ones, like – I had a burger for lunch – or – I took a dump in my neighbor’s doghouse because I was too drunk to find the key to the door of my own house – and makes them newsworthy. For what purpose? None. Facebook doesn’t even help promote anything because when you buy “legit” likes, you don’t get any engagement from them.
When I first joined Facebook, I needed a student account. It was for people who went to college or grad school, and who wanted to stay connected online. Why we needed to stay connected in the virtual world and not in the real world is a question which in itself sums up the whole social media phenomenon, but since everyone was doing it, I did it too. And what did it bring me? Nothing. I posted my status, like I’m at work, or I’m eating, which honestly no one gave a flying banana about, and I let people into my life, strangers mostly, to like and comment on my pictures. Facebook knew when I was single, and when I was engaged, married, and then divorced. Facebook knew details about my life no one in real life cared to know, but it was there to be read and seen nonetheless. People from my past resurfaced, and tried to stay connected, for what purpose I have no idea. In the real world, there was no purpose to any of this. I wasn’t supposed to stay friends with people whom I had lost touch with ten or fifteen years ago. But in the virtual world, all of a sudden, I needed to reconnect with my kindergarten schoolmates, and a post needed a like, and a comment so I could be happy.
My ego fed from this fake instant gratification like it was absolutely necessary for my wellbeing, and emotional balance.
But it wasn’t. And when I tried to deactivate my account today, I had to do it many times, because every time I connected myself to another application linked to social media, my Facebook account was automatically reactivated. What’s up with that? Why the heck does Facebook need to keep all my information? I’m done, I’m done. I don’t want to feel guilty for deactivating a stupid social media account.
Yet, Facebook does that. It gives you the guilt trip. You won’t be cool anymore. You won’t be liked anymore. Meanwhile, it’s all bogus.
Facebook just managed to create this need we never needed. And it killed real friendships and human interaction. People who I consider friends, have not talked to me in person, or via the good old phone, because they’re on Facebook. I’m supposed to know what they’re up to by checking their profiles. WTF? I had a conversation with people and they didn’t answer me, or maintained their focus on the conversation, because they were too busy checking their social profile.
And I had about 400 friends on Facebook. To any Facebooker out there, I’m not a loser. I don’t even know these people. Maybe twenty I know personally. The rest, I have never met them. Why should I care what they had for dinner? Does that make me a better person if I do? Some people don’t have a cell phone, but they have Facebook. They don’t have an email account, but they have Facebook. Really?????????? That’s what the human race has come down to?
Updating Facebook and keeping up with Facebook is worse than a full time job. I just have no energy for this. So I quit. For good. All I have left is my author page, because Facebook has managed to infiltrate every little nook and cranny in the virtual world, and I can’t really not have at least a very tiny connection to Facebook. Sad but true.
Facebook has redefined slavery of the mind. At least, I managed to leave this horrible relationship without too much damage. Hopefully, it stays this way. Only time will tell.