It's been a year since I left Facebook and I thought that this would be a good time to reflect on why I am still not a part of arguably the biggest platform in social interaction we have today.
I was pretty addicted. Maybe I was a little bored in my life, or maybe I was feeling lazy about seeing people, but it was great to just log on and instantly catch up on the gossip. From my desk, I could easily see who was engaged, pregnant, travelling, injured, bored or boring. Without seeing anyone in person, I knew when they had had surgery, what they named their child, how delicious their holiday-cocktails looked and conveniently I never forgot a birthday *thanks Facebook*. It was great.
Then a funny thing happened. I caught up with friends at dinner where two of us were there early. The conversation went like this:
Friend - 'So, you're having trouble with your gallbladder eh? Surgery next month? Bummer.'
Me - 'Yeah, it sucks. And you? I heard you're off overseas again? And you had a great weekend at that new bar...'
After about 30 seconds we were out of things to say. We knew it all, because we had been somewhat over-sharing our lives on Facey. Two of Sydney's most talkative people had run out of conversation. Oh dear.
This was worrying, but it wasn't the only reason to leave. There were people on there who really annoyed me. Let's just say their 'online persona' was rather unrelenting, so I blocked them. Not a problem, still stayed on Facebook. But there were other annoyances. I had them narrowed down to a top 3:
1. People who used pictures of their babies as their profile pic. You are not a baby. Also related to this is endless postings of pictures of said-baby. Note the use of the word endless. A few is fine. 50 in one album upload is excessive.
2. The engagement ring 'hand-only' photo. Ew. Show me your ring with your face in it please! Or better yet, don't take a deliberate photo of it at all, and tell people they will have to see it in person, probably at your engagement party.
3. The rants. Political or otherwise. And related to this is the soap-boxing.
Also, I managed to get entangled in my one of my main rules - friending work colleagues. It's a no-go-zone. It means you can't update your profile during work hours, because they will assume you've been on there all day. You can't upload anything personal. And there is a danger if you post Sunday drinks pictures on your page. You can guarantee that you've lost your chance to take a sickie on Monday.
I also hate that the words 'friending' and 'unfriending' make sense to us now. That grammar ain't right.
Let's be honest though. Really I was worried that with the impending baby-dom, and endless hours at home, I would become one of those people with the 50-pictures-per-album of their child. And even if I did manage to keep it to a minimum, Facebook then owns those pictures of our baby.
So I quit. And it hasn't bothered me at all. When I see people I haven't seen in a long while, I am genuinely interested in their news. I hear about engagements in person and I can get excited for real all up in their faces. And isn't it nice to see a new baby in person, not on the screen? I think so. You can't cuddle a screen.
Of course, there are those interstate or overseas who I don't get to see (or cuddle) in person very often. I miss Facebook for that. But then, there's Skype and the good old email. And an excuse to travel more, right?