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24 September 2011

I'm a quitter

I quit cold turkey. I just made the decision that I was done, and I never looked back. I decided that I had more important things to do, and I was tired of being a slave.

That's right, folks. I'm officially off the Facebook. ;-)

I've been toying with the idea of quitting for a while, and the newest changes to the platform gave me the impetus I was looking for to actually finally do it. People give me funny looks when I tell them I have deactivated my account, but I have a few different reasons for my seemingly crazy actions.

First, Facebook is time suck. I don't want to even think about the hours I have spent there over the past five years or so. It's shameful. And embarrassing. It's too easy to hang out on the newsfeed, waiting for something interesting to happen. There are interesting things happening in real life!! Why am I waiting for them to happen in a digital space?

Second, I looked back over my friends list, and I realized that I only genuinely care about what about what 5% of those people are doing on a daily basis. And, of that 5%, I see or talk to at least half on a fairly regular basis. The people I truly care about, I stay connected with. We text, we talk, we hang out, we email, we read each others' blogs ... we stay connected in meaningful and authentic ways. The other 95%, I don't really care all that much about. I'm not interested in their scores in internet games or their horrible bosses or all the other mundane things that we share. In the same vein, they probably don't care about my mundane updates either. I also find myself subconsciously comparing my life to theirs -- Am I more successful? Less successful? More happy? Less happy? -- when, in all reality, it doesn't matter and it's not healthy. I have a happy, successful life that is amazingly fulfilling. But, because my nature is to always compare myself to others, that's what happens to me on Facebook. It's not healthy, and it only adds unneeded anxiety to my life.

Third, I've been uncomfortable with Facebook's privacy "issues" for a long time. I'm uncomfortable with the things they share about people, and I think it is unnecessary that a person should have to completely "lock down" their account in order to protect themselves from the platform more than the people on it.

I quit on Thursday night, and I haven't looked back. I used to check Facebook many times a day ... more than I'd like to admit. It would be the first website I visited in the morning and the last thing I checked at night. When I woke up on Friday morning and remembered that I had turned off my account, I didn't even feel the desire to check it. At no point on Friday did I feel a void because I hadn't been updated on everyone's lives. I also think I've been much more productive in the past two days without worrying about what's happening on Facebook.

Of course, I do miss staying connected with people that I care about but are far away. But I think -- hope? -- that this will help me to be better about reaching out to those people. Time will tell.

I'm happy with the change. I hope it'll make me a better person. Even if it's in a minor way. Life is all about improving yourself and being the best person you can be, right?

Wow. I totally sound like an Army ad ...
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