Two weeks ago today, I gave up Facebook (again). It’s been easier this time and I really feel I will stick with the Facebook Diet Attempt #723. While I probably won’t lose any weight from this particular diet, what I have seemed to have gained over this short period is more happiness.
What is different about this time from all the other deleted Facebook failures? The other times I deleted Facebook, it was out of disgust or anger but those feelings quickly faded, and I was back to thinking about what to post the next day. This time, I sat alone and asked myself a question. I wondered what I wanted from Facebook? The answer was attention. The answer prompted another question: am I getting what I want? It was crystal clear from the frustration I was feeling that the answer was no. When I realized Facebook wasn’t serving its purpose for me, it was easier to press and hold the Facebook icon and click the x to delete. Why continue with something if it’s not working for you even if you’ve been using this particular social media platform for many (many!) years?
Being honest with myself and discovering that I wanted attention was quite the eye opener given that I will do almost anything to avoid attention. What makes Facebook different, then? It’s not as if I was posting selfies either (I’m not a selfie gal)–I was simply posting either cartoons to make my ‘frenz’ laugh or writing posts and using those colorful backgrounds to enhance the plain, written word. Whatever I was doing, it never seemed enough. It didn’t give me the ‘likes’ I needed. Not too many people gave me the time of day. I persuaded myself that it was because of the Facebook algorithm. People just weren’t seeing my posts in their feeds because they had their feeds set to see the most popular posts. Comforting myself for not getting likes looks as sad in print as it is. Pitiful.
I’m not off all social media as evidenced by my nearly 57,000 tweets but what I get from Twitter is a constant and ever-changing flow of information from multiple sources including reporters, college professors, scientists, writers, and many other talented, thoughtful people. I follow like-minded individuals and rarely deal with dissenters or trolls. Twitter provides much more of what I need and doesn’t have any of the messiness of real relationships (for me, anyway, I know many people who have tons of friends on Twitter, but I’m not like that). Sure, I have people I interact with more but for the most part, I’m in a giant sea of strangers, and I like it like that. Nothing to take personally because it’s all business. No hard feelings because who knows if someone’s seen my tweet or not. Twitter is too fast; my feed is full of new information in less than a minute every minute of every day. No time for feelings.
And that’s apparently how I like it.