Sunday, 14 November 2010

Anti-Social Behaviour

I left Facebook on Friday, I deactivated my account and I have to say I don't half feel liberated for it!

I had been thinking about it for quite a while and had only been using it to post up new blog posts. Several months ago I stopped replying to event invitations and group requests. I started to find it all a bit overwhelming. I also realised the people who I mainly spoke to on it were the very people I see regularly face to face.

I had 282 friends, half of them people I haven't seen in over 10 years and in the time we'd been FB friends we'd made no plans to meet up. After the initial 'hello, how are you' convos it then becomes a silent FB friendship. You haven't stayed in direct contact for a reason, mainly because your lives have simply taken different paths.

I started to really dislike the fact that you can find out information about people that you wouldn't normally know. At dinner parties people start discussing other people's status updates, talking about photos they were flicking through of someone's wedding they'd never met simply because a friend was tagged in one photo. It just started feeling odd to me. 

We are all complicated, multi faceted people, none of us can be defined by photos and status updates and likes yet we are encouraging people to do just that. The amount of times people talk about checking out a person they just met on FB, drawing conclusions, making decisions based on this editable mass material before they've had more then 3 conversations is just not something I am personally comfortable with.

I started looking at my profile as objectively as possible - Did I look cool? Did my life look exciting enough to a judgemental eye? I've been at parties where a huge part of the night is the taking of photos to post up, almost instantly, showing a virtual audience how much of a wild time we're all having. Sometimes people are more preoccupied with getting the right image than simply participating in the actual party.  Because lets be honest, nosiness is a LARGE part of it for all us.

I did enjoy the fact that FB enabled me to stay in touch with friends and family who live all over the world, see the pictures of their first babies, their weddings etc. Maybe I'm just I'm an old fashioned tech gal but I have to say, for me, nothing beats a Skype conversation, a personal email or even a letter!

I recently chatted to a lovely friend on Skype and 'met' her first child (who happens to be my youngest follower so Hello Leo!), they live in Australia and although I have seen loads of photos of him on FB this was far more personal, far more direct. He saw me and I saw him, he smiled at me waving and laughing. Fantastic.
So 3 days in and I'm a happy chappie, maybe I'll end up missing it and go back on but I hope not. I love blogging, it fulfills my need to communicate and share and somehow, for me, it just feels a bit more honest.

P.S I'm keeping my Twitter account to post up blogposts

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