My fantasy of quitting Facebook

I hate Facebook.

Let’s rephrase.

I hate how much Facebook has interfered with my life. And that’s entirely my fault.

I spend more time updating my status, uploading videos and tagging photos than I do more productive things like, oh, read books and working out.

It sucks my time, drains my energy and, to be honest, stresses me out.

Research shows that Facebook users with a lot of friends actually suffer from stress and “neurotic limbo” from feeling they have to continually update and amuse their audience.

And I know too much about people — more than I ever wanted to know. I know what people ate for dinner, what they’re planning to do tomorrow, what time they “checked in” at work, what they bought for Christmas, what they want for Christmas, how they feel about Christmas.

It’s all too much.

So when I read a story about Facebook resistors in yesterday’s New York Times, I felt a twinge of envy.

Here are people who have either never joined the social media site — or have but quit. They are not one of the 800 million active users around the world, or two-thirds of the American population.

The story points out that some people feel the site does the opposite of its goal to connect people; they feel alienated. Instead of picking up the phone and calling friends, we browse their profiles. Instead of sharing meals with them, we’re leaving funny or snarky comments on their photos.

There are some days when I’m so over it.

One of my pals online reduced the number of his friends to 746. (By comparison, I have 3,460.) And I know at least six people — including my boyfriend — who refuse to even sign up.

I’m tempted.

Imagine all that I could do? I could train for a triathlon, pick up a new hobby, learn French, maybe write a book.

Instead, I can just post about it.

***

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Picture 1 of 19

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11 Responses to “My fantasy of quitting Facebook”

  1. oldshoes December 15, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    nope. not me. no way. But then again, never say never. But for now,>…nope. not me. no way. BTW, i need to make a call….is there a payphone nearby?………

  2. David Jackson December 15, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    You have a blog site, this one, so you really don’t need Facebook. Wrestle with the Facebook thing a lot as it does eat up part of your life. gor me it is a way to keep up with people I know everywhere so it is cool. But e-mil could do the same thing. The thing is though I like seeing the photos of everyone. And the places are nice too. Think I will keep it.

  3. jaydee December 15, 2011 at 4:44 am #

    I’m on FB and rarely used to submit comments. I’d browse and see what everyone else was up to but almost never contributed….until I got this I-Phone. Now I find myself on FB all the time, constantly checking my updates and replying to others. Yikes! I need to cut back and become the “silent observer” again.

  4. M December 15, 2011 at 7:09 am #

    Hello Cat, I don’t go on FB while I’m at work. At home I just browse and sometimes submit a comment or “like”.

  5. eddyo December 15, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    CAT,

    Time & Place for everything. I don’t use FB,though my wife does go on sometimes. Like all technology, we need to put it into context. With your blog & e-mail, do you really need FB? (Sorry–being devil’s advocate). That is to question if we really need FB to keep in touch?

    I’m saying this whilst sending Christmas cards–what a dinosaur!

  6. rayboyjr December 15, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Hey Cat … I’m a Facebook virgin … I’ve never felt the need for it … and I still don’t … let’s just say my real life is complicated enough … without adding an extra “unnecessary” layer to it …

    … I’ve struggled with the idea of joining in … but the little value and enjoyment I’d get from it … is small compared to the time and effort I’d put in to actually do Facebook … *man, why does my analytical brain have to show up in my writing all the time???*

    … I think there is some real value in Facebook … I can see how it allows for the shy and introverted to be more expressive … everyone seems to have a bigger, bolder voice on Facebook (and online, in general) than they do IRL … you meet way more people (albeit, virtually) in a short time, than you would ever have IRL … but still this is not for me …

    … maybe I’m old-fashioned … but I’d rather have 1 new friend in real life … than 500 new friends on Facebook …

    … and besides, my real life keeps on going on 24/7 … the virtual world goes away everytime I turn off my computer … that alone says what’s really important to me …

  7. WildeOscar December 15, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    I may have spent a total of two hours (cumulative total) on fb over the two years I have been there, and that includes setting up my page. I probably visit once every six weeks or so, and I am using all my extra time to develop new renewable energy sources and resolve our climate change issues. Not making much progress on either, at least I’m getting some exercise.

  8. Christopher H. December 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    I think the problem is simply that you have *too many* friends on Facebook. I just have 330 and sometimes I feel that’s too many. It’s just far too hard to connect with ~3400 people. That’s why I think that we should be selective about who we add on social networks. No one has the time or energy to actively communicate with *everyone* they know.

  9. lavasusan December 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    I love FB as it’s a way to connect with people instantly, across timezones. Of course, I don’t have 3400 people to connect with, and I can’t speak to how overwhelming that might be. …I know we SAY that if we weren’t on FB (or whatever our other social media outlets are) we’d go out to lunch with a friend, but … really? It look me about 6 weeks to schedule my last lunch with just 3 other friends (everyone is so busy) and even postponed it once, whereas during that period I could see and respond to all of their posts on FB. It was great having lunch face to face, of course, but it will probably be another 6 weeks or more before we do it again. Meanwhile, we can keep in touch on FB every day (if we choose), which actually propels us to want to have lunch together….

  10. KAN December 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    I’ve never been on FB (yo, @rayboyjr!). I don’t like that FB seems to have invaded so many people’s privacy. I’m on Twitter, and maybe I’m fooling myself, but I don’t think it invades my life or privacy as much. On the other hand, I have a harder time keeping up with people I know IRL. On the other hand (I guess I’m an octopus today), I don’t have to worry about friend requests or Farmville.

  11. Cody Zamboni December 15, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    I popped my FaceBook cherry a month ago. I don’t spend too much time on it. I put a few fotos on my wall, make some crazy comments every other day or so. I have only one friend. She seems to enjoy what I post.

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