Long time no write! Ever had a thought like, “Hey…that stupid toaster toasts unevenly, I should get a new one,” and then you log into Facebook and suddenly – like it READ YOUR MIND – you see posts about toasters?
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Social Media ever since it was invented. Don’t get me wrong, the only way I was able to get through to all of my high school grad friends for the reunion was to sign up for Facebook and then start doing massive invites. (Does anyone still use Classmates.com anymore? Guess I’ll have to go back!)
In the beginning, it was great. No ads. It was clean and simple (unlike MySpace which was a psychedelic banner / bright colors headache-inducing hot mess) and I could see my friends and family. Now that I was in the U.S., it was the perfect way to keep them up to date.
And then, years later, I’m getting “notifications” about fact-checking, lawsuits over the fact-checkers, divisions of friendships over politics and religion, the loss of all civilized discussion, and the propensity to no longer hear what those not in our “tribe” were saying. And over the last few years, it’s become less about being social and more about “I need to educate…” so I put the brakes on and stopped posting anything really important to me. I didn’t want to offend anyone. I didn’t want to get into a fight about my stance on subject A, B, or C. And I realized, this is supposed to be “fun”, why is it causing me stress? (Don’t get me wrong, cat videos always make me smile.)
And then I watched The Social Dilemma and I was downright saddened and horrified.
A few weeks ago my Mom had forgotten her password on Facebook and was switching back to email. She, too, felt like it was taking its toll. She doesn’t own a cell phone so texts are out. So it’s back to 2002. One part of me was like, “Oh, good luck with that.” The other part of me was like, “I’m kind of jealous.”
So for months now, it’s been nagging at me, all of my time scrolling down refreshing my feed and I haven’t been writing. Buying stuff I didn’t know I needed and when I got it was disappointed. I have puzzles that are growing gray hairs. I just got a new paint-by-numbers and haven’t gotten past color #1. I really need to finish that Lego project that’s been languishing since last year…
So I deleted it all. Twitter (I wasn’t on much anyway). Instagram (Never really got started.). But Facebook was the one that kept me up at night. That disconnect. Will I lose all that access to friends and family it was originally intended for? I deleted it last night. Not deactivated. Deleted. Let’s see how the “30 days until it’s real goes” (and then the 3 months of them APPARENTLY removing my data.)
The last bastion is YouTube. I’m not yet ready to give that up. (Cat videos!) I don’t find myself compulsively buying anything. But we’ll see. It’s part of “big tech” so…
Stay tuned. I kind of envy those people who never got on it in the first place.