Breaking away from Facebook

by Madeline Laughs
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I will be the first person to admit that I have a deep, unhealthy love for Facebook. I also have many nicknames for it that describe this addiction; Facecrack, Facebake, FreeFace, etc.

I check Facebook everyday.

There is this little face I make when someone tells me they aren’t on Facebook. It’s a sad one with my lower lip poked all the way out. It never occurs to me that you wouldn’t be on there. I mean, why the hell not? What’s wrong with you? Then I try my best to convince them they need to be on there.

One of my friends had just moved to New York City. She was sad and lonely and let’s face it, NYC can be a scary place to make new friends. We spent hours on the phone bemoaning her new existence and then one night I convinced her to join Facebook. “It’s like walking into a room full of your friends any time of the day! You’ll love it!” She joined and she loved it. 

I was on Facebook long before my husband was. We would be couch surfing and I would burst into laughter. “What?” he’d ask me and I’d reply “Oh, it’s just something on Facebook.” After many discussions like this and my reminder that all of his other friends were already participating, he joined. Now he has over 600 friends on his Friend List. Big show-off.

I’ve written several posts on this blog about Privacy, Bullies and Facebook Etiquette. I can whip you through any process they have and I can tell you that trying to use their online help is a big waste of time. Find yourself a power-user like me if you need help. You’ll actually understand what’s going on and you can make changes on your own after very little coaching.

So why would I even consider taking a break from Facebook?

The thought has been rattling around in my brain for some time now. I’ve even tried to take a break a few times. Each time I failed miserably. I could lie and tell you I have no idea why, but I do know. I missed it. I missed the interface and I missed knowing what my friends were doing.

One of my friends works in the school system. Not long ago I noticed she was missing from my Newsfeed. In fact, I couldn’t remember the last time I saw her. She was someone who posted frequently! I checked my Friend List and sure enough, she was gone. Frantically I wondered if I had her email address or her cell phone number! When had I allowed Facebook to be my one and only connection to my friends?! When had that happened!

Luckily her husband kitesurfs with my husband.

She said she liked Facebook, but being in the school system made the exposure kind of scary. She told me that she likes her job better than she liked Facebook. I can understand that.

Other than her, I know only a handful of people that have ever just dumped their account and never come back. That says a lot about the Facebook addiction I’m talking about. It’s massive.

I Googled it. (yeah, that’s right people! I Google everything!) Research is kind of my thing. And I don’t suck at it 🙂

I found some interesting articles and realized that I am not alone in this dilemma. There seems to be a wave of people starting to realize their Facebook usage had become consuming.

Steve Crandell, a writer for HuffPost Tech wrote and article; Taking a Vacation from Facebook. He said:

“He would lose touch with some people, he said. But many he could still text. Or, imagine it, even connect the old-fashioned way, face-to-face. He’d also found that his “friends” list had grown bigger than he needed anyway. Just before closing his Facebook account, he’d done a “cull” of his friends, he told me. From 240 to 140.

His friends reacted to his Facebook deactivation with surprise. “Where did you go?” was the most common comment he told me — as if he had left town. In fact, he had disappeared. From a certain — and very common — cyber reality anyway. But his student friends, when he saw them in person, did not criticize his actions. Just the opposite. Once friends discovered he’d dropped Facebook because he felt he spent too much time on it, many of them said: “I should do that, too.”

This all made sense to me. Facebook is a rare part of the human experience which affords you the chance to declare friendship with someone you have never met and whom you may not even know. Losing such “friends” can’t be too hard. (Have you ever been tagged or poked by a Facebook “friend” and struggled to recognize them or even place them in some sort of context? I have.)”

Another interesting article I found was in Bloomburg Businessweek; Taking a Break from Facebook. by Lourdes Lee Valeriano.

“For the new year, my teenager and her friend have gone on a fast—a Facebook fast.

Concerned about becoming Facebook junkies, they’ve given friends the passwords to their respective pages on the social networking site and had the friends change the passwords, so the girls are effectively locked out. “We were talking, and we both said it was really distracting us,” says my fourteen-year-old.

“Even when you’re on school break?” I asked.

“The trouble with Facebook,” says my daughter, “is that when someone sends you a message, or writes something on your wall, or comments on a photo, or sends you a picture, you feel you have to answer, and then they answer you, and it goes on and on.”

The two girls have been locked out of this time-sucking black hole for some six days now, and so far both their sanity and their social lives are intact. The lockout is going to last just through this Friday, they agreed. Not a long time, but long enough to achieve the girls’ goal, which is “so we can see we don’t really need it,” my daughter says.”

How much do I like this experiment? I liked it too much!!

The one major issue with completely shutting down my page is that it’s the owner of the blog Facebook page. I’m not interested in shutting that down. But leaving my page dormant may just be the answer.

Now who can I give my password to that I can’t manipulate it back out of?

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About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in Facebook Advice and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Breaking away from Facebook

  1. Lisa (Woman Wielding Words) says:

    It’s funny, my addiction to Facebook dwindled as my addiction to WordPress grew. I spend much more time in the blogging world than on Facebook and really only use it to check in on a few people or have the occasional on-line conversation. I did realize that I was relying to heavily on Facebook for my contact info with people, so I am trying to update that. I lost a lot of e-mail addresses in a transition to a different e-mail program, and that has been a struggle, but I’m slowly building back up to my regular address book.

    It helped when I decided to give myself a time limit on Facebook. So maybe you don’t need to sacrifice your password, just give yourself a schedule.

    Like

  2. Regyna Longlank says:

    I have a love hate relationship with the book of face. I recognize everyone on my friend list although some are people I have never met. Not many, probably twenty or so of the five hundred and something souls brave enough to publicly call themselves my friend are people I connected with through a game about elves or knights or farms when I did that sort of thing. The rest are people I actually know, or knew, in person at one point or another in my checkered past.

    I have given up unfriending people, or groups of people, although I did go through a period of removing the annoying or spammy recently. The one hundred or so people I removed at one point are still gone from my facebook feed but they are not gone from my memory, and since that’s where it counts I have found it hardly matters and it’s not worth the effort or the heartache. I was actually advised to terminate all contact by a lawyer, but that’s another story….mostly the reason I remove people now is a consistently nauseous reaction to their posts. If I am skimming along and what I see makes my stomach drop eventually I will remove that from my reality, at least the electronic version of same. Being able to block apps saves a lot of folks, otherwise, zap. No more pleas for fish and mafia wars, friend gets to stay.

    It’s still fun for me at this point, although I prefer Twitter. Have your husband change it and then freeze your password into an ice cube!

    Like

    • okay, In spent like a half an hour just trying to get past the line “the book of face”…that is priceless!! Your Facebook experience totally rocks the house! I think anyone lucky enough to have made on your list should be grateful. I know I am *big, squeezy hugs* And you’re right…deleting people has become something I no longer even think about. I stopped policing myself.

      Like

  3. Marla B. says:

    Here’s my rant on Facebook Addiction…I know I have a problem..hey, aren’t i halfway to a cure??

    http://marlasgimmeaminute.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/facebook-addiction/

    Like

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