Quitting Facebook is the new "running away from home" and I decided to run.
There are tons of reasons to use Facebook. You might need to share your bathroom mirror selfies. You might need validation from strangers. You may be trying to sell me $90 Nerium face wash, or maybe you just like to lurk on other peoples Facebook pages. Tons of valid reasons. I used it to socialize at first and then it morphed into something else.
I connected with real current friends, acquaintance friends, high school friends and stranger friends. That sounds normal to FB users, but to non Facebookers, it sounds weird. I understand it sounding weird because, HELLO, it is weird. "Friends with strangers" is a weird concept.
Every person turned into a story. I was always curious to learn more and know more. That's weird when you aren't seeing or speaking to these folks anywhere but Facebook. Why did I get so invested? Why do I care about hundreds of things I don't need to care about? Why do I need to know what you ate for dinner or where you ate it? Why do I need to hear how wonderful your spouse is? Why are you sharing that info with me and not feeding it directly to your spouse? It's weird. It's overload for a brain like mine.
On top of all that, I feel like I don't do well with the highlight reel of other peoples lives. I can't hear all the great stuff about everyone's lives without hearing about the humdrum stuff mixed in, the way you do when you're actually talking to a friend. This is the danger of being friends with people exclusively on the internet. You never get the whole truth and it can depress you in your own life. My life is pretty decent, but I'm not traveling the world, sipping margaritas on the beach these days. I'm a homebody, raising some kids and living in a regular marriage. Dave isn't surprising me with trips to exotic locations, fancy dinners or couples massages. An exciting night in our life involves a good television show and kids who stay asleep after I put them to bed. Maybe we try a new flavor of Crystal Light and pop some microwave popcorn without burning it. If all goes well, it's lights out at 10:30 and we'll power sleep. Wow, that sounds like a hell of a Friday night to 35 year old me, but it isn't share worthy.
I guess it's normal to compare your life to the lives of others, but it never makes me feel great when I'm getting the super edited version. My contemporaries have their shit together (or at least it appears that way on Facebook). I don't chit chat with meth moms and prison dads. I guess I'm saying that my pretend friends are setting the bar pretty high with their portrayals of their lives. I would be thrilled for all these pretend friends if I didn't know better. I know that darling baby of yours cries his eyes out all night long and your husband maxed out your credit card on something totally stupid. I know that your house is a pigsty just outside the borders of that profile picture and I know that your expensive dinner will probably make you feel like you're having a poop baby for the next 24 hours. I know the truth!
For now, I'm staying off Facebook and Candy Crush and Pinterest and all the other monster time suckers. I'm going to take care of me and mine. I'm going to fold all my laundry, workout and call my real life friends and really connect with them. I adore these gals and I want to share my time and ear with them more than strangers. If I see you at the store and we strike up a conversation I don't want to use the awful phrase, "Oh yeah, I heard about that on Facebook". I want to hear your stories from you and no where else.
Plus, I've recently discovered that my thoughts flow through my head in "status update" form. When I see something funny or think something hilarious, my mind automatically formats it into three to four well worded sentences that would fit nicely into my Facebook status box. This is a problem. I feel like a major loser even admitting this, but it's so true. I want my old brain back and I hope it goes back to normal eventually. If not, I'm suing Mark Zuckerberg!