The Great Escape

Friday, November 23, 2007

I've decided to do it. I'm leaving.

I can't take the pressure, the guilt, the lack of attention to the really important things in my life.

I'll give it a few days, allow people to get in touch with me one last time, and, click...delete. My profile will be gone.

Now that I've hopefully freaked you out, I'm talking about Facebook. :-D

I've considered this move a few times in the past couple months, but not yet had the will power or been 100% sure of my decision. I'm pretty close to 100% now.

It's hard to go against the flow, though. I have SO many friends---and family for that matter, that are on Facebook. It's the cool thing to do! I'm 33 years old and I still want to be cool!

A few people have already expressed their dismay, but they've also been supportive and understanding. Most of them admit it's an addiction for them as well. I've certainly not been on as often or as long as I was in the spring, but I'm still on too much.

And to tell you the truth, I've just gotten tired of it. I still get the odd new friend request, and connect with someone I haven't seen for years, but overall, I'm a little bored with it. The application requests were piling up and I just didn't have the time to investigate each one and decide if I wanted to add them to my profile. I was trying to keep my profile fairly fuss-free, but I was slowly losing the battle.

On the flip side of being bored, I find Facebook overwhelming. It's a huge world and becoming huge-er by the day. Just the sheer amount of groups, discussions in those groups and posts in those discussions was becoming mind boggling. I was looking the other day at a breastfeeding group I'm in and found an interesting discussion that had hundreds of responses over the course of 3-4 days. I started reading and quickly realized it would take me at least an hour to read them all. As much as I wanted to comment on the issue, I was usure I could do so intelligently without having read all the responses. Who has an hour suddenly to sit and read though a discussion like that?

I've come to the conclusion the Facebook creates an unnatural social situation for the average person. While I can't deny the fun of catching up with a myriad of people from the last 25 years or so of my life, it quickly becomes a losing battle to actually keep up with 252 of these people. Let's consider it:
Think about how many people you actually interact with on a daily basis. Now think about on a weekly basis. Monthly? Annually?
If you're like me, the daily basis group is fairly small. Hubby, kids, perhaps parents, perhaps siblings. Weekly? Add a few more friends and most definitely the parents and siblings. Monthly? A few more friends and some extended family.
Furthermore, these groups of friends or family tend to fall into sub-groups. Close family. Extended family. Friends from work. Friends from school, church, perhaps an activity group. Sometimes they naturally fall into a rotation of connection in your life that could be weeks or months apart. I see Jamies family roughly every summer and every Christmas. I see some of my co-workers weekly, but some monthly, and then others around once per season. I think many of us are able to handle this rotation because it's not as though we see, or may feel obligated to contact ALL those people every day.

I'm just saying that I have trouble keeping up with good friends who are local, never mind mere acquaintances that I haven't seen in 10 years.

So for these and perhaps a few more minor reasons, I'm signing out of the world of Facebook. I'm not going to discount the possibility that perhaps I'll go back sometime, but that seems like it would be alot of hassle.

I'm looking forward to this small act of simplification. It's not like I'm off the internet entirely (omgsh, that could NEVER happen), I'm still here, and hopefully a little more often.

It's good to be home!


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