Goodbye, Facebook

It is with a heavy heart, but a free spirit, that I have decided to say “Goodbye!” to Facebook. I have enjoyed many of the advantages of using the behemoth webpage/social media system, such as sharing jokes and commentary with friends, engaging in fun/tedious web-debates with my nearest and dearest, and seeing entertaining posts and links that I would’ve never stumbled across otherwise.

Yet given these fun aspects of Facebook time, I always felt that it was never good for me, and I could never figure out why.

I am aware that there are now many social media experiments taking place, and the reason for this is that nobody ever really knew the implications of this kind of mass sharing. These websites were always destined to be “a hit” with the public (provided that they got in early, established their brand, and offered something fun and novel).

I personally feel like Facebook hijacked my brain. Accessing the program was always in my fingertips, even though the thought of logging-on hadn’t consciously entered my mind. When opening a new browser window, there are countless times I have caught myself typing ‘fa’ into the address line before I’ve even really thought about what I’m doing.

This started to bother me.

Facebook has become an integral part of my procedural memory – the same memory that has refined how you pick up a hot drink, or brush your teeth, is now facilitating my exposure to the program. And the worst part is that this has happened because I have done it so many times before, and my brain is simply helping me to repeat the past.

I also feel that using Facebook has affected the way that I read online articles. I am plagued by a terrible attention span, and I have often wondered if I would meet the criteria for adult ADHD. Reading is very often not only an act to be informed, but a means of self discipline. As it is not uncommon to want to share interesting things that you have read, or more likely to comment or joke about something in the news, the fact that you can instantly share and comment instantly interrupts the reading experience. My brain becomes conflicted – to comment on this interesting line, or finish reading the article first? If I do challenge the impulse, it will be there nagging me for the remaining paragraphs, like suppressing the need to pee while driving until you arrive at the next rest area. I like to read, and I like to understand what I read, and so Facebook needs to go.

It has also been widely acknowledged that for a healthy brain it is important to forget things. Now, obviously, it also very important to remember things, but there is an abundance of material that you have been exposed to since day one that can happily disintegrate and float around in the recesses of the mind. By re-exposing yourself to many of the people you have met throughout the course of your life, you are forcing your brain to build upon old memories and re-collections. Biologically, this can be very demanding. Perhaps even contribute to fatigue, and result in your inability to focus on arguably more important endeavors, such as current relationships and hobbies. I’m not convinced the brain has evolved to keep healthy tabs on somebody you might’ve known in your early school days, especially in the milieu of everyone you have met since.

These are the main reasons that I am done with the website. But, I also don’t like being told that my profile is only ‘67% Complete’ (Facebook, you’re just 33% too nosy), I don’t like agonizing over whether a comment I posted was appropriate, and I don’t like that I seem to have a mild dependence on friends and family validating my sense of humor and worldviews.

I was thinking that my departure from Facebook might only be for the time being, but after re-reading everything I’ve just written here, not a Damn chance.

6 thoughts on “Goodbye, Facebook

    1. jaycuzey Post author

      Thanks, Lynne 🙂 It still bugs that I couldn’t interpret the negative feelings I had when using it. I don’t want to slam it, as I do realize there are some great advantages to it, I just feel that my personality is no longer compatible in light of my I currently want out of life – which is mainly solitude! There’s no manual for using such things – it’s just good practice to be mindful of yourself and listen to your own needs. I already feel happier for not using it.

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  1. marileerueb

     Aw. My life has become so so rich — you can take breaks – lots of us do – you can train yourself to master the social media thing. I’ve learned to trust my judgment in choosing new friends, surprising myself, and learned to be a little more assertive when I’ve misjudged new contacts, not bad skills for me to gain. I’ve become a much better thinker and writer, even while, or especially while, making some mistakes. I’ve been able to launch a global humanitarian initiative/nonprofit for war/armed conflict affected children at borders of a number of countries using largely contacts I’ve made on linkedin first as friends for a few years . . . You do so well, may I just suggest you not be so hard on yourself? Perhaps it’s not any worse than a wrist watch . . . why not limit your writing and time on facebook severely, like a wild pony, for a while? Not just because we appreciate your gifts, but because I’m not a fan of all or nothing solutions, and because, though I’m a klutz at media in terms of “techno”, I’ve been able to enjoy richness and warmth I never expected by learning to use it in a limited, purposeful manner, to further what matters most to me (humanitarian assistance and protection, psychosocial interventions that are innovative for children and families who cannot otherwise access or afford treatment . . . ). Thank you for sharing with us!Dr. Marilee

    Marilee G. Ruebsamen, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist 15068              Abbey Psychological Services    |    Abbey Asylum & Refugee Services    |   Engaged Abbey ~ Blue Canoe 940 Saratoga Ave., Ste 200, San Jose, CA 95129      408.314.6218 marileerueb@yahoo.com  |  about.me/marileeruebsamen  |  Twitter@DrMarilee    |  www.linkedin.com/in/drmarileeruebsamen

    Notice: This e-mail is covered by Electronic Communication Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510-2521 and is legally privileged.  This e-mail and any file transmitted is confidential and intended only for the person(s) to whom this e-mail message is addressed. Do not rely on e-mail for urgent matters.   Any use of e-mail is at your own risk. Mindful, Compassionate, Evidence-Informed, Humanitarian; Global Effects on Children of Profound Loss & Trauma; Relational & Complex Trauma

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    1. jaycuzey Post author

      Hi, Dr. Marilee! I appreciate your point about “all or nothing” solutions. I think those kind of solutions should never be made in haste, but I feel I was already making the choice slowly for months – I just couldn’t articulate it until now. I have been FB free for over a week now, and I’m actually really enjoying it. I feel that my focus has already improved and I have greater discipline over my wandering attention. I have already felt more “at peace” while reading, and I have more energy for my writing projects. Facebook kind of ups social awareness to a point that it is just draining, like hosting a Thanks Giving meal. I don’t think it should be condemned to the dustbin of history, or anything, but given my current situation in life, I know I’m better off without it.

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  2. Alyson Blanchard

    This is fantastic – I totally agree and it’s been cathartic to read something that so neatly captures the experience. I have recently stopped using Facebook for the reasons that you have cited and feel considerably better for it.

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  3. Marilee Ruebsamen

    Have to say that part of me agrees as well — and believe using fb extensively is driven (good word) by loneliness to a large degree . . . and is not really a solution, is truly self-perpetuating . . . apparently a good spell of non-facebooking might lend more clarity. What I hate most is how time flies by while fb-ing . . . . way out of proportion to the gratification the “connectedness” generally gives . . . what would it be like to spend that much time more directly connecting with others in real, not virtual, time . . . .

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