Facebook Goes On Without Me
Last week, I deactivated my Facebook account. I didn’t give a warning, and I didn’t say good-bye; I just faded away, and people have so many Facebook friends these days that I don’t think anyone even noticed. Photos, thoughts, inspirational quotes, articles, and events continue to be posted while likes, loves, sad faces, angry faces, and laughing faces continue to be given.
Facebook goes on without me.
I do miss my close Facebook friends; they were always there for me when I felt lonely or sad, and they always helped me to feel liked, loved, and connected.
I do not miss the darker side of Facebook: being watched, examined, and judged as stories (whether true or not) unfold through trails of activities, along with the temptation to watch, examine, and judge other people.
I did not like that my estranged husband, who does not have a Facebook account, was somehow aware of my Facebook activities. It caused me a tremendous amount of stress feeling like I was constantly under the microscope.
I also did not like that people could witness my activities without understanding the context. As an example, I have a Facebook friend I worked with for many years who went through some struggles and turned his life around. He is also quite humorous, so I liked and loved a lot of his posts. There were some people who did not know the context of the relationship and misunderstood my reactions to his posts. Naturally, I felt upset, not only for being misunderstood, but for my lack of privacy in a public forum (as odd as that sounds).
And, I have done that to other people as well. I have a friend of mine who was constantly receiving posts to his timeline from a woman, and I assumed she was an over possessive girlfriend. After I sent a long, over-the-top message of concern for him through Messenger (a private forum), it turned out that she was just an old friend. Fair enough, though I still think she is over possessive; a few months ago, I ran into her on Facebook, and after that experience, I was afraid to comment on any of his posts.
While I like seeing anniversary photos of people who have been together for a while, I do not like seeing pictures of new relationships on Facebook. One of my guy friends had a girlfriend who broke up with him, and within a few days, photos of her and her new boyfriend were all over her Facebook page as though having a boyfriend was the epitome of her entire existence. What was even more cringe-worthy was that she often changed her profile picture, and he always placed a like. A few months before the breakup, he placed a like while her soon to be new Facebook boyfriend placed a love. I felt bad for him; not only did he have to deal with his girlfriend cheating on him, but he had to deal with it being exposed on Facebook.
I have been meeting a lot of new people in real life, and eventually, I will go on dates. While doing so, I would like to maintain some mystery about myself. A friend of mine (another male friend . . . I swear, I do have female friends) was on a first date with someone he met online. While on the date, she checked out his Facebook page in front of him and made derogatory comments. I do not want to be creeped and judged like I am a thing and not a real person; I want someone to actually take the time to get to know me.
While I have felt somewhat sad this week, mourning the loss of Facebook, I also feel a sense of freedom. I am still on Messenger, and I hope that throughout the summer, my Facebook friends will contact me to get together in the real world where we can share photos and have meaningful conversations about our experiences.
As for my blog, I am going to keep it going, because writing is something I enjoy and something I do whether I have an audience or not. To maintain some privacy, over the course of this week, I will be deleting my real name and replacing it with a pseudonym.
As always, thank you for reading.