I saw the headlines yesterday about job interviewers increasingly asking for your password or for you to log in to Facebook during the interview and I thought sharing my thoughts on why I deactivated (have yet to delete it, but so far, I have no temptation to go back to “reactivate my Facebook) my personal Facebook page with you would be fruitful.
We live in a hyper-connected world and it is quite unheard of for someone from Generation Y to not have Facebook. As some of you may know, it was one of my New Year’s Resolutions (well, two years in a row, really) to go on Facebook less to increase my productivity. I pretty much massively failed both years and instead of logging on online, I would log in with my iPhone Facebook app. It got to a point that you could say I was Facebook addicted- I would update my newsfeed, oh, maybe 20 times a day, and sometimes I would refresh the newsfeed again about 10 minutes after I updated it already. Yes.. it was that bad.
When I first joined Facebook back in 2008 it was really exciting to reconnect with long-lost elementary school friends, high school friends, and even people I met briefly but wanted to keep in touch with.
However, somehow Facebook reared its ugly side and I started to question why I was addicted to Facebook so much. So I decided a few days ago to deactivate it.
Before I clicked “okay” to deactivate my account, Facebook said “Are you sure? _______ will miss you! _______ will miss you! _____ will miss you!” and I found that even more creepy that Facebook would give one last “nag” and proceeded with the deactivate account button.
So here are my reasons why I deactivated my personal Facebook page.
Privacy, privacy, privacy
I’ve always been a private person (even when I’m not blogging incognito on this blog) and I was really unhappy about the practices of Facebook where they would change the privacy “laws” or whatever, on Facebook and NOT TELL YOU ABOUT IT!
Each time, I would change my privacy details AFTER I read about it on another friend’s newsfeed, about how they changed the privacy laws and in order for your profile page not to be viewed by the public, you would need to log in and change the tick boxes in the privacy section. I’m not sure how many times I had to readjust my settings to suit my privacy needs while maintaining a public Facebook profile (amongst my Facebook friends anyways)
The last straw for me was this most recent update. I make sure that my “main” Facebook profile picture doesn’t include a picture of my face in case people search for me on Facebook. However, with this most recent
update assault on privacy, ALL of your profile pictures, even the ones from years ago, are visible to people who search for you.
And there was no way that you could undo that with a privacy setting adjustment. I ended up deleting the pictures with my face to start and to “adjust” with this new update.
Facebook is … like high school all over again
Although I didn’t have a terrible time in high school (I certainly miss the egocentrism and the lack of responsibility except to myself), because I have a lot of high school friends on my Facebook page, I found that in Facebook, people wanted to add more and more friends (I think I know someone from high school who has over 1000 friends) because its some sort of popularity contest.
The more Facebook friends you have is not an indicator of how popular you are, okay? Some people try to add you even when you met them once. And they never try to talk to you on Facebook. Just stalk you... that’s all.
My feelings also get hurt when I find out someone defriended me. Sniff.
Facebook is Judge-Y
I’m not saying Facebook itself is judge-y, but the people on Facebook are judge-y. Going through difficult times like having a death in your family, being admitted to hospital (and then taking pictures of it and sharing with the world what room you’re in), or even a breakup is hard enough as it is. Yes- true story- many of my Facebook friends have been taking pictures of their hospital stays and sharing their gory pictures…and even announcing what room they’re in!
You don’t need to announce these events to “your” world.
I don’t need my entire Facebook 200+ people on my friends’ list to know what is happening in my life. I don’t need them to judge me even more than I’m judging myself. Thank-you-very-much.
It’s creepy that you know what’s happening in someone’s life when you never talk to them in person
Not sure if it’s just me, but I find it kind of sad when you talk to someone, or you bump into someone, and you say “ooooh heyyyy! How are you doing these days??” and you pretend that you didn’t see what they’ve been up to on Facebook because that would make for awkward conversation.
Or when someone does mention, that they know what you’ve been up to because of Facebook.
Not sure which scenario is more awkward.
Does Facebook bring out the best in people or the worst?
Hey, I’m all for tooting your own horn, but please don’t toot it on an hourly basis. No, I don’t need to know that you’re hungry, or you’re so excited to have the weekend off and that you miss your hubby. No, I don’t need to hear that you are very proud of the perfectly shaped stool you produced today.
No, I don’t need to see that you’ve achieved a high score on Bejewelled, Farmville, or whatever Facebook game you’ve downloaded.
Kony 2012. ‘Nuff said.
Herd mentality. Facebook amplifies herd mentality- people don’t understand what they’re promoting and telling their friends to believe in.
Kony 2012 infiltrated my Facebook feed for a few days and in my ignorance and ambivalence, I did not click on it to find out more. Just read the newsfeed headline. First, Kony 2012 was a good cause. People donated to Kony to help the children. Then Kony was found to be a sham. Then Kony was found by police and caught for another strange reason.
Facebook is Awkward (Friends, Colleagues, Family)
When a colleague adds me on Facebook I find it awkward. Will they know that I don’t want to add them? Will I hurt their feelings if I don’t add them? Of course, I end up adding them and because I’m a Generation Y individual who isn’t that tech-savvy (yes, I know, an anomaly) to group friends and colleagues in one group to limit what they see…
Even then when you limit what your colleagues see, they may be suspicious that you’ve blocked access to the gossip juice from the “Photos of _____” page. Will it be awkward because they know you’ve blocked access for them?
Facebook is a Productivity KILLER!
I know that loading Facebook newsfeed on my iPhone app 20 times a day IS NOT NORMAL. Although many times I spend perhaps 1-2 minutes looking at Facebook, sometimes, I would be looking at Facebook and a friend’s friend would post something on a friend’s wall. Then I would look at that friend’s friend and look through their pictures, etc.
Then it would hit me. WTF AM I DOING?? I DON’T EVEN KNOW THIS PERSON AND I’M STALKING THEM.
Sometimes I would bargain with myself- “okay. Just one more friend to check out and that’s it.”
When you have a blog, full-time school, and part-time work, wasting time is not a good idea.
Facebook brought the Green-Eyed Monster Out
Being in my late twenties, I know that it’s “the time” for all these society-approved pressures and shiznit, like getting engaged, getting married, having children, and getting good jobs.
I couldn’t bear to see another person engaged. I just couldn’t. Although I was happy for them.. deep down inside, I was jealous. I’ll admit it. The selfish, whiny individual in me was jealous.
Being exposed to someone you know getting engaged, or looking at their happily married wedding pictures, or looking at status updates from being “in a relationship” to “engaged” to “married”. It was “Keeping Up with the Jones” in a sense. I would see the “rock and roll” lifestyle being lived out by my friends and think *sigh* I wish my life were as breezy as that.
Yeah. I’m drinking my Haterade and I’m proud of it.
Facebook Withdrawal Syndrome
Although one day after I deleted my Facebook, I must admit, that I was suffering from Facebook Withdrawal Syndrome.
FWS for short.
The signs and symptoms of this syndrome are sweaty palms, confusion as to why the Facebook icon on your iPhone is not there, and curiosity as to what the people who you don’t really talk to in person or on the phone or even associate with is up to. The important thing to know about FWS is that it is temporary and fleeting. The treatment for FWS is to contact a friend or someone you actually care about and talk to in real life on a regular basis and this can be done by phone, in person, text, or by email. Usually, this treatment suffices, and in extreme cases, FWS may lead to relapse and reactivation of Facebook. It may take multiple tries to rid the addiction to Facebook, but with support and in-person contact with a real friend, full remission can be achieved.
I can’t wait to spend real-life personal time with my boyfriend, my family, and my friends. I don’t need to see what’s going on in other people’s lives.
Readers- would love to hear your thoughts. What are your thoughts on Facebook? Please don’t try and convince me to reactivate Facebook! I don’t need to suffer from FWS 😉