We need to take a break. It’s not you really, it’s me. You and I go back a long way – we’ve been connected since freshman year in college after all – eleven years. But this whole love-hate relationship we have going on just isn’t working for me right now.
You see, I love that I can keep up with friends and family daily. I enjoy seeing what my family in Ohio is up to via photos and updated feeds. Oh hey, my niece got new glasses, she’s so cute! I love that I can build a relationship of sorts with my in-laws in Scotland. I can learn more about them (where they hang out, what they like to do) and “like” what they have going on in their lives, even though they are 5,000 miles away. And I’m pretty sure our friends and family enjoy participating in our lives by seeing what we are up to out in the desert as well. Let’s face it, it’s much easier to share a story or photo via one platform than it is to send it to everyone individually.
Birthdays have never been better thanks to your reminders. It’s really nice to receive happy birthday wishes from people you may not hear from often otherwise. Plus you get to wish others a happy birthday and spread the cheer!
I also love the “good news” articles that are shared. There are many positive stories and videos that I wouldn’t see or be aware of if they had not been shared by a Facebook friend. You help me feel connected to people in a time in which I feel very isolated and disconnected. Lately, I spend the majority of my days at home alone or in the library with nobody to talk to — aside from the fish. Alas, he doesn’t have much to say back. So when I can check in on others and see what is going on in their lives, I feel more connected.
But, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. And with the good comes the bad.
Checking updates has become a regular and routine part of my life. It is the first thing I do in the morning and last thing I do at night. Shouldn’t I kiss my husband who is in bed right beside me? Or stretch – you know, something healthy? Or do anything else rather than stare at a screen just as I wake up or when I go to bed? That’s not a question really, of course I should. You are a bad habit of mine that needs to be broken.
Let’s not mention the constant updates throughout the day. You’re just so damn convenient. When I need a mental break you are the first place I go to see what’s new. You’re on my phone, just so I can stay connected while I wait in line at the grocery store or check-in when I’m someplace I want others to know about. Or maybe I even want them to be a bit envious? (gasp!)
Which brings me to the next point as to why we need a break. I may think I am more connected, but in fact, I’m not… not really. We all know that people stick to publishing the good (present company included). The good photos. The good date nights. The good food… and so on and so on. What we don’t connect with is that behind the excited and positive “I got a new job!” posts, are the many months of misery that person went through at a job they hated, or maybe the stress of unemployment that they cannot write about. I’ll never truly connect with someone based solely on liking their posts. Because I really have no clue what is going on outside of that perfectly cropped and retouched picture.
Finally, while I love the uplifting stories shared through fan pages, I despise the negativity and hatred that can so easily be spread with just the click of a button. Don’t get me wrong, I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion – and life isn’t all butterflies and rainbows – but the things people can say on a post when hiding behind a computer screen can be appalling. When did we stop treating other people like human beings and start berating them for a typo or difference of opinion? Now granted Facebook, this isn’t your fault and it applies to all forms of internet communication not just you. But the bullying and words of hate are seriously bringing me down, time to take a step back.
So, that’s it. Facebook, we’re taking a break. It won’t be forever. It may not even be that long. But it is time to take back some control. Control of my time, control of my actions, and control of the constant need to “share, share, share.” Though I may miss a few birthdays along the way, I feel like you and I will have a better understanding because of it.
Sorry I’m not sorry,