When I joined Facebook, I still wasn’t sure what I was getting into. Almost seven years later I am even more confused than ever before.
It was easier in the beginning. There was an element of validity attached to being able to re-establish relationships with long lost friends and relatives. It was an endearing process to find those connect fibers that once existed and re-alight them by the click of a button.
I was mesmerized with the idea that I could chat with people thousands of miles away in real time without being billed for my services. And I was even more fascinated that this innovative tool was able to set me up in ways that gave me easy access to the people and things that were of great interest to me.
But then as always you realize very quickly that good things don’t last for long. The excitement wears off as you begin to feel the nagging effects of being stalked by a system that insists that it knows you better than you know yourself.
You thought you were in control but in actuality you are just a driving force behind a very well lubricated machine that is designed to help you drive yourself crazy.
This is the point of no return and I am quite certain that I am currently navigating those waters. There should be a study done about users like me who can’t seem to break away from the very thing that no longer fuels their hunger but instead wrecks their appetite.
I am no longer having fun on Facebook and I barely interact with any of my “friends” who I have to admit really don’t give a fuck about anything I have to say. My page is pretty much a dead zone. I only post for my reference without expecting the acknowledgement I hardly receive.
It’s nobody’s fault — not even my own. As I’ve gotten older, I have found it increasingly difficult to stay invested in anyone who isn’t within a few feet away from me. Coupled with chaotic hormones and the horrifyingly competitive nature of social media — I basically just silently stalk the postings on my timeline.
I mean — I do try to be cautiously interactive with specks of “likes”, “shares” and very little commenting so that I don’t have to deal with the headache of notifications. I guess my “barely there” activity spread like bad news across the landscape of my personal network and everyone go the hint — so they left me alone.
It feels weird to be “friends” with a shit load of people who in all honesty are anything but that. We don’t hate each other, in fact, there is still a kinship that exists on some level — but do I really want all of them posting their wedding photos, birth announcements, job promotions, exotic trip photos, wedding anniversary celebrations, and much more on my timeline?
No, not really. But yet — I am doing nothing to end this torture. Instead, I gawk at the photos and “like” every single one of them, as dutifully as I would if I were paying my telephone bill online.
I have become addicted to the mechanics of being a robotic user of the tools that were created for our extinction as human beings.
I was reluctant to sign on to Facebook because I didn’t want to become a pawn in a game that I knew I would surely lose. I didn’t want to amass a legion of “friends” who were just numbers and reflections on a page that I would eventually be unable to decode.
I didn’t want to turn into a fraud, or even a pathetically envious freak who lays in bed digesting the good fortune of others being splattered on my timeline.
I am not that far gone though. The fact that I am writing this is evidence of that fact. I intend to clean house in the coming weeks. It’s time to live fairly and wisely and let go of whatever or whoever isn’t making an impact in the life that I am now trying to re-create.
If I decide to stay with Facebook and put up with the annoyingly intrusive “Memory Reminders”, the creepy “Friend Requests” and the hard to explain “Change in Status” that happens without any warning and could literally be the difference between life and death, then I must at least make my experience as comfy as possible.
I am going to have to start over. Literally. I will discover whether dropping friends will be as gratifying as gaining new ones. I have a feeling it will be. As a recovering addict — I am more equipped to make this new chapter less painful and more curated to my new and improved disposition.
I don’t have to love or hate Facebook — I just have to love the people that I call friends. All of them. But I also have to love me. Life is good now and so that part is done.
On to the next.