Monday Notes: Facebook Break (2019)

Every now and then, Facebook (in particular) gets on my nerves. Or maybe it’s the people on Facebook. Either way, sometimes, I tire of how people post, what they choose to share, and the overall monotony of it all.

So, I take a break and deactivate.

These breaks usually last 30 days. This time, though, I noticed two things in my absence and I almost said adieu to the social media site for good.

facebook-1905890_1280Facebook has made seasonal friends into lifetime ones. Have you all heard this phrase before: People are in your life for a reason, season, or lifetime? Well, I for one think it’s true. But what I’ve noticed is that Facebook makes every relationship a lifetime one, and that’s just unnatural. There are some people with whom you were only supposed to be in contact for those three years that you had that job. He or she was your co-worker. They were never supposed to know how your vacation went, or the college your child is attending, or that you love your cat so much that you have hundreds of photos of him. He was just Mike, from that job you had in 1998. And when you quit, you were probably supposed to leave him in 1998, not allow him access to the remainder of your life.

This goes for family members too. I remember when we first started our Facebook activity. Dwight was very discerning about who he would add, even if it was family. It used to baffle me. Why won’t you add my cousin??? It’s my cousin! Now, I understand. My cousin is crazy in person and she might also be crazy on social media. Family can be in your life for a reason, season, or lifetime too, so yeah. There’s no reason to befriend them on the interwebs when you might be avoiding them in regular situations, like Thanksgiving dinner.

twitter-292994_1280People think they know how you’re doing. Folks sincerely believe they know how you’re doing if they see you living your best social media life. One year, my aunt rattled off facts about me in an effort to prove just how much she knew about me. My cousin recounted how much my father “knew about and loved my daughters,” even though he’d never spoken to them on the telephone and visited twice. Facebook has become a replacement for other types of interaction. But let me tell you what happens when you’re inaccessible to people in that way. (Some) people revert to checking up on you the “old-fashioned” way. They call. They text. They ask how and what you’re doing. In fact, one friend said she’d gone on FB to find out what I was up to, but I wasn’t there, so she texted. While I appreciated her and others’ concern, it’s clear that it’s a lot easier to see how someone’s doing by just waiting for them to pop up in your feed, than it is to reach out and ask about their well-being. However, I’ve argued before that it’s not a genuine way to gauge someone’s wellness. It’s just a highlight reel, and not always an authentic one, just the positive, sunshiny version, chosen for its best angle and lighting.

Anywho, by the time you read this, I will have reactivated my account and returned to interacting with hundreds of “lifetime friends” and their filtered moments. But I have a feeling the end is nearing for this social media giant and me.

69 thoughts on “Monday Notes: Facebook Break (2019)

  1. Are you in my head? I was just thinking of posting an “I love you all, but I am ‘minimizing” my friends list. I’m almost tempted to just create another page just for close friends and family. I remember “signing off” for a few months. Like a soap opera, I missed nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha I AM! You’re right. On my break, I kept thinking, woo-hoo! I missed the fake outrage over Nipsey Hussle; I missed the conversation about Jussie Smollett…I could go on, but you get my point. It’s so predictable. That should’ve been my third point lol

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Is there a lot of FB bashing? I hadn’t noticed, really, but I think it’s because we’re starting to realize the unintended negative consequences…and yes, I believe a detox of ALL things is always healthy.

      Like

  2. This is so true, more social media accounts and less social life and communication, people nowadays stalk you on Facebook yes but they don’t give a shit if you’re good or not, they open Facebook and compare themselves to others, they envy, they think just because someone posted some photos, means they are happy and their life is perfect which is not the case.
    I have 2 Facebook accounts, I opened the second one to be relatives free! And now I hardly use both accounts, I still prefer to call, to send an sms, a voice message, I mean with all the free calls people have, they still don’t find time to connect. I’m old-fashioned and I love connection and communication, but some people you just have to treat them as they treat you, so I keep the formalities to them.
    Great post, thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “they don’t give a shit if you’re good or not”!!! This is ABSOLUTELY true girl! Or sometimes they care, but it only last until they scroll to the next person’s post lol

      I’m glad you can relate!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to keep my FB friends list highly curated for the second reason you’ve pointed out. I have gotten lax on that so plan to cull this summer. I have also friended new coworkers which was a huge mistake.

    My general rule for FB is “if I were in town, would I call this person to try and hang out?” and/or “if we didn’t have social media, is this a person I would call to see how they were doing?” That worked well for me before. Now, my FB feed is a wild landscape of acquaintances and co-workers, and I’m not here for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PS My cousin recently defriended me, and I’m still feeling a little salty about it. But that’s only because I wanted to see pics of his kids, not that I cared about HIS life. So, you know. Hahahaha.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Kathy for this post. I have decided a few years ago that not everyone has my best interest at heart. And that was when so-called family and friends wouldn’t talk to me on Facebook or real life, but “act” concerned if something is going on with me. I stopped posting for two years and just do so in these groups I’m in because I’m getting something out of it and helping others as well.
    And I strongly believe that majority of people don’t need access into your life like that. Because some people are beyond crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! Thanks for reading Pam! I understand what you’re saying. I have similar people I engage with. They won’t say anything to you, but scroll through your feed to see what you’re doing…smh.

      I think you’ve made a good point about just doing things on social media that benefit you. Maybe that’s the overall key.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dang, you have described so well why Facebook gets on my nerves, too! Yes, it is fun to reconnect with old friends, and to easily keep up with (some) of what is going on in the lives of our friends and relatives….. But we really don’t want to share all of our business with those casual friends from long ago, and the kind of “sharing” that is done of Facebook in no way replaces real, human contact where we tell the bad as well as the good!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fb is not for me. I was appalled by what I saw in the less than 1 hour I had an actice account in 2014. I blame it on baby brain for joining and the FOMO on conversations with my newly formed mother’s group at the time. They still have the private fb group but I’m happy with the real life, organic friendships that have evolved with a couple of those mums…not a false connection from over familiarity with the version of life people share on fb.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you’ve made a good point personally that speaks to FB’s success overall; it’s based on FOMO! We all wanna know what’s going on, but we don’t necessarily always wanna connect lol but not funny.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Your insight about social media turning reason/season friends into lifetime ones is right on the money. Also that FB is not real life, just a glitzed up, greatest moments version. How funny that people presume to know someone they only interact with (spy on?) on FaceBook. I’m fussy about who I “friend.” I don’t post much besides links to my blog. I don’t do selfies, I don’t “check in” when I go to Tim Horton’s or Great Clips, I don’t want people knowing when I’m away on vacation, and I don’t think people give a flying fig what I ate for dinner or how adorable my pets are. I do scroll through it though, so I’m up on the latest. It would be embarrassing to have lunch with my best friend and not know she’s going to be a grandma in six months. FaceBook is where people make such announcements these days. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. lol “spy on” is about right! I do all those things, by the way 🙂 however, I do agree…FB is where you find out EVERYTHING and if you’re not on there, well, you just find out the most important details of people’s lives years later, I guess.

      Oh, and I didn’t realize you were my Canadian neighbor ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved what you wrote and it’s so true! I’m hooked into it and I miss the real connections that I might have if it weren’t for FB. But you’re right, it’s easier to just think you know how someone is doing. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This is so real. I deactivate my account seem like every week. In fact, I was just thinking of deactivating it today lol 😌. I always contemplate leaving for good but stay with the excuse of needing my business pages (that are connected to my personal account). My husband isn’t on sm at all. He absolutely despises the fakeness of it all. I know IG isn’t necessarily “better” but it just seem like people are extra phony on fb …and everybody’s “deep” 🙄

    Liked by 2 people

    1. lol did you say every week? Yeah, it used to be a lot of fun, but now, for some reason, it’s so mundane. I have a similar business/writing page excuse, plus I’m pretty nosey. IG seems much better to me. Even the interface makes it more secluded and brief, so people don’t have the time and space to function the same, you know? Plus, I feel like you can filter and control who you follow more with IG and Twitter, actually. FB is just different somehow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s exactly it. And yes, every other week I’m like, “damn, should I deactivate or nah?” Lol. I don’t every wk but I be wanting to. I think what I’ll do is hire someone to appoint to my business pages.

        Also we’re Gemini’s…of course we nosey 😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree. FB can be a pretty toxic place if you’re not careful. I’m not in any rush to ‘find more friends’. Although in it’s defence, I have reconnected with some lovely folk I’d lost touch with due to my ill health. But it’s all a balance. Less FB is very wise. In reality there are very few people I would actually hear from other than via the odd 👍 on fb. Sad really isn’t it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have thought about the reconnecting part, too. I do think that’s a cool part, but even that is overdone. I can reconnect with you for a minute, and then leave you alone lol. I don’t need to add you and continue to talk/not talk to you, unless we re-vibe, so to speak. And yes to that last part!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I get you. I found it slightly unnerving when an old ‘friend’ reconnected, with the caviat ‘it’s good to be in touch on here (fb)’, inferring, ‘I’d rather not see you in person’! Errr ok. What a strange world fb is.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I guess I have a different point of view. As a woman now retired after a lifetime of working my butt off, I now relax and have my morning cup of coffee and scan through Facebook… I voice my opinions on the latest political outrage, I share family photos, I quote my favorite authors, promote the poetry network I volunteer for,.and I have reconnected with old college and high sschool friends, as well as other retired educators. Im one of those obnoxious grandma’s who posts endless photos of my grandchildren and my pets. Lol But so are my friends so it works out fine and we embrace the love.
    Through FB my class of 1967, planned our 50th high school reunion. It was a perfect way to connect. (It was held at a hotel on Ft. Lauderdale Beach). We also found out about an old friend in trouble who had cancer and was a widower, thus all alone. Former high school friends made sure he was cared for during the end of his life. We arranged transportation for a few of our classmates who couldn’t drive anymore and got them to the reunion. FB was a great tool. The other positive thing about FB is that my local Democratic Women’s group has a FB page and we not only get together and let the community know what’s happening, but we plan marches and other political events thru FB..
    I know there are some nutty people on FB who create fake lives and take a million pictures of their dinners, But I pretty much ignore them. If they are having fun then who cares?
    I’ve unfriended confrontational negative supporters of the current resident in the WH and that way I don’t need to read hate posts as stay positive. I also have a huge group of my former students and their parents following me. Some are politically active and ask that I share their latest cause etc. and I’m happy to do that. Its rather lovely that they want to keep in touch with me. So I’ve found FB to be a nice positive way to spend mornings and have my coffee before I get my day going.
    I suppose it’s all how you use it… I had a bad accident a few years ago and was confined to a wheelchair for 5- 6 months. Social media helped me stay positive. I took silly selfies of my progress.( Like Hooray, I got a walker today, I put peace signs all over it.) Thankfully, I’m fine but for half a year I used FB, twitter and WordPress as well as creating a poetry curriculum for the sschool board to keep from going batty. For this retired teacher I find it a pleasant way to start the day. 🙂✌️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wise insights, Kathy. Lesilie – I’m with you — folks sign up with FB for different reasons – I’m amazed by ones who had no qualms whatsoever about privacy, then are upset later. In my case, I opened my very warily, with sole intention of gathering the types of friends/followers who might be interested in types of novels I plan on self-publishing. That said & while maintaining an arm-length attitude to FB, it’s been more enjoyable than I thought. It’s a godsend for shutins & I find it a balm when I think I’m the only one who thinks Trump is a nut. In a way, it’s like old small-village days when not everyone in one’s life is a bestie, but neighbors were neighbors forever…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. poetic? you are too kind, Kathy lol here’s another analogy – while I was raised moving around quite a lot, I have this fantasy of kids who go all thru school living in same house, same schools as neighbor kids — & throughout all the grades, they maintain at least some awareness of each other… or like working at same company for many years…

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Absolutely! Your Blog Post resonates with me. Facebook has become and is a land for idiots, morons and fools.

    Last Year my previous Facebook account page was hacked so I had to create a New one. Then I agreed to connect with writers, photographers and artists eventually finding out that they were died in the wool racists. Block! Then their are the stupid People who post All and I mean All their personal Business. Married people. If you have a family where do you get the time to be on Facebook 24/7/365?

    Some folks I put on Snooze for 30 days because I’m sick of their whining, complaining, moaning and groaning.

    The only thing that I really need is Facebook Messenger. Also Facebook was helpful in fundraising for my brother Stephen Group Home QCP.

    Also I’ve been planning a Historic Cemetery Photography project with a Historical Cemetery located near my job and we have been speaking via Facebook. So Facebook does have its benefits just need to get rid of the fools.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. FB is filled with nutcases. Actually the News articles regarding Facebook are worse. FB gets a weekly beatdown from the New York Times and the Washington Post. I’m gentle by comparison. 😜🤓😀😁😂🤣😆😉😎

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I owe tremendous Thanks to the Hacker who hijacked my Facebook account last Year because it forced me to take a digital fast. Away from the constant gossip. I still try to maintain a low profile. Participating in Real Life is much better and more productive.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s a Catch-22. I actually find it useful to belong to some neighbourhood groups, or dog walking groups, or local event things rather than just the regular posts which seem a bit redundant. And, I’ve found people I don’t see in the ‘hood with younger kids than mine to take crap or outgrown stuff from me. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Kate, I am glad for you that you took that break. I have never had a Facebook account and there are some who ask how I then keep in contact with ‘friends’. Well, as you say, there are emails, texts, phones
    and would you believe, at times even a snail mail letter.

    Of course I do admit to WordPress.😊 .

    Miriam

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Miriam, I’m always amazed by people who have NEVER had FB! It shouldn’t be, but it’s a great feat to me. I’m sure you’re probably much better connected in real life than many nowadays.

      I think WordPress is in a different category. There’s a bit more substance here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Kate for your kind words. I know it is at times seen as an oddity to not have an FB
        account but it scared me when I saw friends get addicted and spending too much real life time on
        a make believe time. Some do limit their usage to a few number but …

        I also feel Word Press as different as we here share deeper thoughts of creative output.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Yes! This is real. Before I left, I was really going through my friends list trying to decide who to delete (or deny full access to my page), and I wanted to delete everyone! I refer to the onslaught of being over-informed as mental garbage; so much of what shared is just something to know, not something that’ll affect or benefit you.

    Liked by 5 people

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