Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's officially over...

Why must you forsake me FB? Yep, I have become disillusioned with the mighty Facebook. Her intentions are good but for some reason FB has been clawing at my throat, strangling time, pushing my buttons. Before I made the shift to FB I was on MSP. Myspace was raw and uncertain, chaotic and boisterous. Like a teenager on a Friday night with not much to do except push a grocery cart around the streets and scream out obscenities. It's funny for a moment but then it just becomes annoying. MSP worked for a second for me, but then I graduated and moved to the more grown-up "adult contemporary" FB. In the beginning it worked. It was easy and clean and concise. I wasn't inundated with garbage, but instead I chose the garbage I wanted...I opted in!

My intentions were to use it for work, to stay in contact with the people in my industry, to stay in-tuned with the ever-changing, ever-growing "friends" I accumulated. It seemed to be going well, FB was nice to me and she accepted the fact that I didn't want everything but just the essentials. Then she turned on me. Soon I was barraged with requests and options and bugs and trash. People I barely knew back in high school wanted to be my "friend", and I accepted. Slowly, invites to random get-togethers and specific groups began pouring in and I denied every single one of them. "Hey bro, wanna hang out and shoot hoops and go to 'lame Mexican restaurant name here'?" "'Name here' has invited you to join the stupid so-and-so group for saving Praying Mantis'." And on and on the invites flowed daily. The news feed was suddenly bursting with images of people I barely knew, videos of things I don't care about, and status reports about crap that doesn't interest me. And yet with all this happening, I contributed to this mess. I too posted images and told people I was eating mac-and-cheese while watching bad television. I found myself sucked in to the Farm Town application, and joining my old high school group thing. I became a fan of random things whether it was a specific television show or rock band or food. I took quizzes and filled out surveys to see which celebrity looked like me and vice-versa, and I did so without blinking. In fact I chuckled a time or two whether I was reading someone's paragraph-long status or watching a stupid pet trick video someone had embedded into the feed.

I became part of the culture of FB, it was ingrained in my head, it was an app. on my iPhone, it was a subconscious beast that I had no clue was affecting my psyche. This beast would scratch the surface just slightly but not enough to make me itch it. Suddenly my professional intention turned to being strictly social in a blink of an eye. At the heart of FB is the social connection, but the problem I was facing was that people thought that I was the same "I" from 23 years ago.

So why did I come to this "FB No Longer" conclusion? It literally clicked with me this morning. I was thinking about my stupid farm (Farm Town) and something went "ting". I could live my life without FB. Contrary to what the social media Kool-Aid drinking know-it-alls spout, we were just fine without this form of "communication". We have now become a country of self-indulgent, me-obsessed, narcissists. Yep I said it. Why has it come to this? Why do some people think I care about pictures of their pet rat or what they ate for dinner or pictures of the "fucking awesome" weekend at Lake Havasu? Better yet, why did I contribute to this indirect method of interaction? I sipped my latté this morning pondering where I went off the rails. I weighed the odds. On one shoulder sat "Could I live without FB?" Along with "Has the Kool-Aid been forever embedded into my soul?" While on the other shoulder "You were just fine without it before, so you may miss it for a little bit, but soon it will go the way of that old t-shirt you finally let go of" sat perched with legs crossed and a wry grin on its face. Also on this shoulder are some good things like old classmates I have reconnected with and friends in New York City and Florence and all over. There are good elements that FB has to offer, but I am convinced I don't need them. So yes it clicked over an early-morning latté that social networking is more social than networking for me. I have enough friends as it is! I hope my 504 (whose counting right?) friends are cool with me leaving the planet of FB. Shit, who am I kiddin', they won't even know I left. And that's the funny thing with FB. You can disappear from something that is so "social" without leaving a trail or without anyone much caring.

For now I have officially "deleted" my FB account. What's interesting is that it won't go into effect for another 14 days. FB is a tricky chick. She will let you come in easily, but she won't let you exit without stewing about it, in your head, for 14 days as to whether you made the "right" choice. FB is nicotine, or Coca Cola, or coffee. You can quit it but you have to dig deep to find the will to stay off it. I'm good with my decision. I'll find other things to do like read or write.