Facebook button count is wrong, use RealShare Β© by birgerking

I’ve been thinking about leaving Facebook behind for the past couple of weeks. It seems a strange thing to do when so many people are using it, and even stranger when you consider the fact that my family is hundreds of miles away. But I’ve noticed a trend with myself lately: every single time I open Facebook on my computer, I close it feeling sadder than when I opened it. The sadness is varied: sometimes it’s loneliness, sometimes it’s homesickness, sometimes it’s jealousy (yes, I know that’s a bad thing to feel, but at least I admit it!), and sometimes it’s just nothing at all.

I’ve posted a link to an article before: Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? For a while, I found it to be a great way to keep in touch with people that are so far away, but it occurs to me now that it might be the worst way I’ve ever found to keep in touch with the people that matter.

My biggest problem with it is that it’s so impersonal. I feel like so many times there is the opportunity for a real conversation, but it’s avoided because it’s so simple to agree by clicking the “Like” button. On top of that, most of my Facebook experiences involve a quick “Happy birthday!” to or from other people, sometimes with the “We should catch up soon” tacked on for good measure. As much as I appreciate the sentiment (I do!), I’d prefer it to be a more personal conversation. Even an email would be more effective – in any situation.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m guilty of this too. I don’t remember many birthdays, and I don’t write a lot of emails, let alone making phone calls or (gasp) writing letters. But I wish I did. I would love to go to the mailbox and actually receive a paper letter, signed by someone who cares about me. Or pick up the telephone to find someone on the other end that isn’t a) a wrong number, b) trying to sell me something, or c) a survey or scam. What happened to personal communication?

I guess what I’m curious about is this: if I decided to close down my account, or even suspend it for a while, would that help things? Would people get in touch with me? (I’m assuming that if I were to close it down, I’d make sure people could get my email address at the very least before I did so.) Would I feel more lonely than before, or would my conversations and relationships grow stronger because real conversation would be necessary?

Have you ever considered leaving a social network behind? What are your thoughts on the subject?

4 comments on “The Facebook Debate”

  1. I left Facebook a few months ago, can’t remember the exact date and I’m glad I did. It was mainly because there were people on there who really annoyed me and I wanted to delete them but felt I couldn’t because I’d get the, ‘Why did you delete me?’ message. Also, I never really communicated with people on there. I pretty much used it to be nosey and to play FarmVille so when I quit playing FarmVille, there was no reason to stay! I have thought about going back as I’ve lost touch with a few people who I genuinely would like to keep in contact with but if I was that concerned, I’m sure I could get hold of an email address or telephone number.

    • That’s kinda how I’ve been feeling. I mean, it’s not that hard to email, and who needs to know details of everyone’s lives all the time? (Says a blogger, heh.) I figure if someone wants to talk to me, they will – being unavailable on Facebook shouldn’t make them want to talk to me less.

      (For reference, I’ve taken a “break”. I’m staying away probably for the month, and if I don’t miss it too much, it’s just gone. I have more important things in my life!)

      Thanks for your input, though. I knew you’d left, and always wondered how that worked out for you!

      • I can understand where you are coming from and the birthday thing is one of my biggest peeves. I just hide my birthday from my profile because then I won’t get a bunch of “fake” happy birthdays from people who don’t actually talk to me or care much about me.

        I’ve always cut down my friends list significantly to people I actually want updates from. I think if people used it this way, it would be a little more personal.

        Let me know how it goes for you! πŸ™‚

        • I always worry when it comes to cutting my list down – I worry that people will be offended, or throw a fit, and then I’m stuck in a bunch of drama I don’t want. But then, those are the people I don’t really need in my life anyway!

          That said, I have cut my list down considerably lately. I don’t need random people I talked to ten years ago knowing how I’m feeling on a day-to-day basis.

          Thanks for the input! πŸ˜€

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *