I decided to start the New Year with a metaphorical bang. I've neglected to share the details of my life over the past couple months and I think it has made my writing quite dry. I know you aren't here to read about the intimate details of my life, but let's face it, anybody can write "how to" posts about living simpler. The interest lies when people add their own twists to run-of-the-mill information and when they share how it is affecting their life.
I will be posting this on Facebook, and then deleting (or locking down) my account.
I'M DELETING MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT BECAUSE I AM WEAK.
I allowed it to trick me into thinking 1,000 Facebook friendships are suitable replacements for 10 real relationships. I've been lulled into the false sense of security that tells me because I can instantly communicate with all the people in my life, I don't need to right now. Not talking to you right now, even though I could, has turned into not talking to you for 6 months. And then a year. And then two years.
Facebook has become much less about communicating meaningfully with people and much more about knowing what everyone is doing. And it's not you, it's me. I like scrolling through my updates and seeing what you did yesterday, how your finals are going, or whether it's snowing where you are. I don't know why I do this, but I've come to terms with the fact that none of this matters. What you're actually doing, thinking, feeling, and fearing right now is not being portrayed by the lyrics in your status update.
I care about you as a person and for me, Facebook is becoming extremely adept at removing your humanity. Instead, you are just another line of information in an endlessly updating stream flowing in front of my eyes as cheap entertainment. I don't want that and you don't want that.
This isn't about you, it's about my own inability to filter the information that comes into my life. I face too much of it on a day to day basis and it dilutes and distracts me from the things that really matter. Deleting my Facebook account is only the first step in a larger movement toward becoming more conscious of how I spend my time and attention.
It's about being okay with less. With less information and less distraction. About eliminating the low-impact streams of information in favor of making time for what truly matters.
No, I won't be checking your status or updating my own anymore, but I will be calling you and asking if you want to grab a coffee sometime soon. I won't "like" that funny video you posted on somebody's wall but I will be writing you an email or a letter. I won't be able to play Farmville with you, but I will want to get together and play some video games sometime. All I know is that I need more face to face, and less text to text, time with the important people in my life.
I've got a list of people that aren't going to really be affected by whether I have a Facebook account. We're still going to talk and see each other and the world will continue to spin.
I have another list of people that I'm going to make a more conscious effort to contact more often. These are the people who I need to make a concerted effort to make a larger part of my life. If I'm a part of that second list for you, I'd love if you'd send me an email or give me a call sometime. If you don't know me particularly well but think that you'd like to, please, please, please contact me via email, Skype, Twitter, or phone.
Our technological world is becoming more and more impersonal. This is my small act of defiance, of rebellion, toward a world of more personal connections. I see the irony that a service meant to draw people closer together has not done that for me and yet, I'm okay with it.
In fact, I feel better already.
Is Facebook replacing heartfelt and personal relationships for you?