I deactivated my facebook account. I don’t want the shallowness of social media to define my relationships with people.
In conversations over the last few days, people have pointed out to me how it’s nice to “stay in touch” and see photos people post – I do not disagree. Maybe I’ll look for a photo sharing platform to post our images.
Staying in touch is not a bad thing either, but is it all that valuable or important? Do I really need to know what each of 372 people think, feel or do every day? That someone watched a TV episode, or baked a cake, loves her husband, found a good quote (that most likely the referenced person never said) or a cute photo and hates racists/stupid people/Miley Cyrus/Obama/take-your-pick? I really do NOT need to know all this. And reading your posts does not further my well-being, intelligence or who I am in the world. Nor does it connect me with the real you.
Before I disconnected, I had this really creepy sensation that we are all creating this pseudo-reality (and I was doing it, too), this image of ourselves that we present on facebook. We walk through our real life and think stuff like: Should I post a picture of our beautiful new trash cans (four different colors to distinguish the recycling categories) on FB so my American friends can see how real recycling works? Yuck. I didn’t want to think this way any more. The creepy feeling was that we are all involved in some collective mass hysteria, with pseudo emotions and pseudo political opinions, and we are all buying this bullshit from each other, by clicking ‘like’. Sounds crazy? Maybe, but I felt such deep discomfort, that I immediately disconnected, without thinking about it further.
Many people were surprised….but don’t be personally offended. I appreciate (note I did not say ‘like’ - the meaning of that word has been forever altered) each of the individual people I was connected with (the word ‘friend’ has been hi-jacked, too). No one in particular offended me… however I gotta tell those of you who change their profile pictures more than a couple times a year – you have a problem, and your narcissism annoys people. I hid your posts a long time ago.
So those of my real world friends who want to stay in touch can do that - and more (as in, actually have a conversation with me) through email and phone and skype. Those here in Berlin can come see me, too. I will build and mindfully nurture real relationships. I will continue this blog, because writing longer pieces provides the opportunity for depth of thought and good writing – something lacking largely from facebook.
I’d like to get some opinions on this from my readers and friends – not on facebook but in the comment function of this blog!