Last month I wrote about my mixed feelings
regarding Facebook. After some reflection I have decided that a phased withdrawal is necessary. I’ve made a start by removing the apps from my phone and tablet. This means I’ll only be able to check this thing that has successfully invaded so many lives when I can get my laptop to a WiFi connection.
I plan to log in at most twice a week for a maximum of half an hour each time. After a few months I’ll reduce that to once a week, then once a fortnight, and finally, provided nothing goes disastrously wrong, once a month.
All I want to be able to do is check in with my friends, make sure everyone is doing alright and pass on important news, and then leave again. I found last year, while my previous phone was out of action in September/October and only working sporadically in July and August, that I don’t need constant access to social media. In point of fact, I find it detrimental to my psychological wellbeing.
Since my new phone arrived I have become reacquainted with my irrational habit – constantly checking my timeline to see if anybody has spoken to me, etc. I need to break the habit. I’ve considered deactivating my account but don’t want to lose contact with a few people – friends who move a lot or live on far off continents, distant (and close) relatives I don’t see often.
I just can’t cope with the constant chatter to be there regularly.
In addition, I can’t stand the unthinking and petty nature of some of the regurgitated rubbish and fake ‘news’. Facebook, rather than being a tool for individual expression and documenting experiences has become a way to further bully people into conforming to whatever passes for established opinion and pop culture in a users locality. I’m not interested in that. I want real conversations about important and interesting concepts and news. I want to debate with people who are interested in hearing/reading all the way to the end of my contribution, rather than stopping after a sentence and making a guess at my point. I want to document my experiences as I move into an important new phase in my life without censoring my opinions or creativity because I don’t want to offend people I care about.
Now’s the time then, now that I’ve pushed as far as my mental stability will allow and found that the force pushing back is almost too much, now that I’ve considered my options and made a choice that will work (hopefully) for me, to act on my decision.
I’ve made some fantastic friends through Facebook and it’s been wonderful to reconnect with people I’d thought lost to me, and I’m grateful for that, but I can’t continue with this addiction-like behaviour.