Why I Am Quitting Facebook

img_8724Nice picture! Great picture! Oh that’s one for the frame! You look gorgeous, darling!

No, it’s a terrible picture! I look terrible and no it’s not one for the frame! You are all liars!

I find myself liking people who post belligerent and controversial bile that I don’t even agree with more than people who incessantly say all the right things in such a syrupy sweet way that I may be developing diabetes as a direct result.

And then there are those that present perfectly idyllic family lives and this really pisses me off, because nobody has such a life.

A contrary old bastard, you are, is what some of you, at this juncture, may be thinking, but I don’t care.

Henry David Thoreau once said, “How can thou do aught but love me, when I say that thou doth disgust me?” Henry was an author I used to enjoy from the pre-Facebook days when I used to actually read outside of the mind polluting noise that Facebook often is. His point, if rather bluntly told, was that he was honest and people hated him for it, which is kind of funny and leads us to the conclusion that what people really want to surround themselves with are a bunch of phony liars, which is how Facebook often feels.

Take for example the lie of being “Facebook friends” with somebody who wishes you “Happy Birthday!” every year. How many of them hundreds or even thousands of friends would send you a card or even a text if Facebook didn’t tell them? I shall tell you: probably not even one. I know this because I removed my birth date from Facebook and I used to be inundated with birthday messages and now get maybe one if I am lucky.

Facebook is called “Social Media” but I find I actually meet people less in real life than before it existed so I’m inclined to wonder how social it really is.

I think Facebook presents such a fake representation of reality that it makes people extraordinarily depressed and that this is part of the reason that suicide is at an all time high.

Every time we post something we are anxious to see how many people hit the like button and zero likes leaves us feeling a bit anxious and as if, in fact, nobody likes us, and perhaps even hate us.

Kurt Cobain once said that he would rather be hated for someone he is than loved for someone he is not. A bold statement, sure, and I’m not sure how many of us have the mental fortitude to be happy when we feel like everybody hates us because the world, without people, is a very cold and lonely place and really makes no sense.

When I say I am quitting Facebook, what I really mean is that I am getting rid of my personal page and messenger. I shall be keeping my Galway COW page as there are heaps of photos on there that people like to look at from time to time, and I shall also be popping blog post links on there though in truth email address subscriptions generate many times more traffic than Facebook page likes.

Posting photos on Facebook used to be a wonderful way to generate lots of publicity for one’s efforts but they have changed it in such a way that it is now practically useless unless you’re ploughing a small fortune into sponsored adverts, making a page with a million likes barely more beneficial than one which has only a few thousand. The Facebook pages that have the best traction are almost always those of physical people who regularly interact with others in the real world. Just look at the traction of many big business pages. It’s garbage! Nobody interacts with posts from a 1 million follower page unless they are constantly ploughing money into ads which really makes Facebook ads less effective than many other forms of ads.

My final, and possibly biggest, reason for quitting Facebook is that it is a ferocious time waste and I firmly believe that I could become fluent, within a year, in two languages if I used Facebook time to study.

I don’t mean this post to be all negative because I have had some wonderful interactions with people through the platform but I can’t help but feel that those interactions would be much more meaningful in real life.

If just 5 of my 100s of Facebook friends keep in touch then I shall be delighted. Interacting with 5 people once a year in a meaningful and much more intimate way where you can see facial expressions, hear the sound and tone of their voices and laughter has to be much more wholesome and enjoyable than 1000s of soulless interactions through the cold and brain damaging medium that is Facebook.

Talk soon,
Rich.

P.S: I shall fire on my phone number to anyone who might care to keep in contact :).

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