Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Why I left Facebook

It's official. As of last Monday, my Facebook page was deleted after the required 14 day deactivation phase. I have mixed feelings about it. I miss not knowing what is taking place in my community and in the lives of my friends and family, but for me, it is far too time consuming and downright invasive. But just to be clear, I'm not at all writing this to try to convince anyone to leave Facebook; I'm just giving a bit of an explanation.

Facebook knows too much about you. Period. Yes, you have the choice to share personal information, but every single time you click "like" or "share", that information is being recorded, stored, and even sold to advertisers. Things aren't as private as they should be. The privacy settings are constantly changing. I got tired of seeing so many ads and featured posts. And I got tired of Facebook suggesting that I pay for (sponsor) my posts so that more people could see them.

There's a heck of a lot of negativity on Facebook. As I've learned from my communications courses, people statistically tend to say all sorts of mean things online to others that they would never say in real life; I got sick of seeing this. There is a bit of "fakeness" to Facebook; people only portray the "self" that they want you to see and not necessarily their real self; I'm not for that. I got downright angry when I logged on around election time, as there were some pretty awful things posted that were quite insulting. I may or may not have "unfriended" someone because of that...

However, Facebook can be a good thing. I loved following local businesses and organizations so that I could be aware of specials and events. I loved seeing pictures of my cousin's new baby. I loved watching my neighbors kids grow up. I loved all of those recipes, craft ideas, workouts, motivational/inspirational posts. Facebook helped me to promote my Zumba classes and to promote charity events I helped to host. Facebook also helped me market and promote a restaurant I work at part-time.

But, there is a such thing as too much of a good thing... I was spending far too much time on Facebook. It was a huge distraction that kept me from doing homework, cooking, cleaning the bathroom, being a good friend and probably being a good girlfriend. The fact of the matter is that I was not as present as I should have been. As a 22 year old, I don't need any more distractions and I don't need to get into a pattern where I am not present for the things and people that matter most. I don't want to someday be a wife or mom that isn't present in the life of her family because she spends too much time on Facebook. Facebook should never be a priority; it shouldn't even be in the top 10 of priorities. Or even the top 20. This is also why I have yet to jump on the smart phone, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram bandwagon.

So, here I am. As a blogger, I'm still utilizing social media. However, I feel more in control of what I'm sharing and I feel that this is a positive experience; one that does not take away from me being present and one that doesn't distract me from the things that matter most.

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