I’ve been considering signing off of Facebook for several months now, for a variety of reasons. This has been a tough decision because it’s been my lifeline to friends and family since sometime in 2008.
In the beginning, it was great to see pictures, share memories and reconnect to people I hadn’t heard from, sometimes for decades.
A short scroll would catch me up with what was going on in the lives of dozens of new and old friends. I loved sharing pictures of my life, too–pictures that have now become a history of the last 12 years, from marriage to divorce and marriage again, to book publications, to places traveled, to grandchildren.
I will miss all of that.
But what I won’t miss is the amount of time it took away from other things I could and should be doing. (Note my haiku on the clock photo above!)
Most of all, I won’t miss the divisiveness I’ve seen over the last few years, and, the inability to share an opinion without potentially inspiring defensiveness and sometimes vitriol, just because I have a different opinion.
I won’t miss seeing people I love and respect sharing fake news and fake memes, especially when I don’t have the heart, the energy, or the courage (depending on who posted it!) to point out its falsity. Sometimes we are better off not knowing every single little opinion people have about things–they may not be things we want to know, or even should know. Yet, with Facebook, we spill our feelings about everything.
I did it myself after the election. Although I felt some empathy for people who voted for Trump (I remember how I felt four years ago when the candidate I didn’t vote for won the election), I slipped and made a comment about “being glad we turned away from a cliff.”
I didn’t mean to offend Trump supporters, though will admit my comment may have been poorly timed. At any rate, someone I care about took offense.
I realized then that tensions continue to be high, and who knows how long it will continue. With Facebook’s algorithms that cater to our need to be part of our tribes, it’s likely to continue indefinitely. In that way, I think the negatives of Facebook far outweigh the positives.
The things that made Facebook great will still be there. I’ll still make memories, even if I don’t share the pictures. I’ll still have friendships–true friendships–via email, phone calls, Zoom meetups, and EVEN in-person get-togethers.
I’ll continue to write about life, opinions, writing, etc. on my blog, and I invite you to visit. If you’d like to stay in touch, feel free to use my “Contact” page, and I’ll send you my email address.
Love to all my Facebook friends and family. I’ll peek in from time-to-time to catch up on all of your lives, because I know I’ll miss you.
But I won’t miss Facebook. ❤