Seriously, let it lead you to this page and then never click the “Back” arrow. Even Googling pictures of Grumpy Cat is more productive than Facebook. You probably already know this in the cobwebbed corners of your heart, but in case your heart has become a cold, bitter lump of coal, I’ve written reminders of why Facebook is the bane of humanity below. Like all my little rants, this one is me-based, which, in this case, means I took a week off of FB and made a big stink about it. I’ve left out obvious statements that have been blogged to death like, “The Facebook devil on my shoulder regularly makes me creep my ex and then cry because his new gf has way more blackheads than me and yet they do duckface in every pic together.” and “OMG I have more time to think/eat/breath/poop without Facebook in my life.” It’s pretty common knowledge that when you take something, or someone out of your life, there’s now more room for something else. So, here’s my list of hopefully less apparent reasons to ditch social media, at least for a little while:
- Your Brain Works Better– Roger Ebert wrote an excellent blog-like post back in 2010, discussing the effects of the internet on the brain. In it, he talks about the constant search for instant gratification that web searching has lead our brains to, citing evidence of the formation of gratification neuropathways and shorter attention spans. He uses twitter and email as an example of succumbing to our gratification drive, and I find Facebook fits that same criteria of instantaneous feeling. The weirdest part about deleting the white “F” from my phone apps was the amount of times I’m mindlessly went looking for it, forgetting that I was on “strike” and it could not longer be my time-filler/shock-inducer/weapon for feeding into my own narcissism. After about 3 days (yeah, that long), I stopped searching aimlessly and started finishing articles, readings, and homework. I now blame Facebook for every B in my undergrad, and my surface knowledge on subjects I am truly passionate about. I have whored myself out to Mark Zuckerberg’s world, and now it’s time to take myself back.
- The grass is Green. No, not greener. Just the same green its always been, except now you notice because your eyesight is no longer hindered by eclipse-like blotches in your vision or general oversensitivity to light due to too many hours looking at screen-shots of Other People’s Lives
- You actually have to send your brother a birthday card. The early 2000s(00s?–how do you say that?) called and want you to remember the beauty of material giftgiving. My baby brother (who is much too busy catching baby gators in Florida to read his ancient sister’s blog.–___–) turned 22 yesterday. With a start, I realized that we have exchanged nothing but Facebook birthday messages since 2007.As a result, I lugged myself down to the Hallmark section of the drugstore and poured over the birthday/humor section. I lingered over a blank card of a cute little boy no older than 6 with a blonde bowl cut that reminded me of Kyle’s when he was little. I wondered if me sending him a blank card was too general, if he would even make the connection between the kid on the front and my early memories of him. The point is, I actually thought about the card, and its impact, for more than the 5 seconds my oh-so-snarky fb post birthday would have me do, and I’d recommend this to anyone looking to preserve true connections with loved ones. Facebook wall/status/or meme post will not suffice, because they do not require actual effort. And don’t you even think about an e-card, you hopeless junkie.
- Facebook is social comparison: This is one aspect of the blue virtual world you will not miss at all if you opt out. In absent-headed skimming of Facebook I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve come across pictures of beautiful “friends” with their hair wondefully straight and and their Chicklet teeth shining as they show off their Rihanna legs, as I wait for my hair straightener to heat up. Truth is I wouldn’t feel the need to burn the genetic boing out of my locks if I stopped bombarding myself with people’s filtered photos on Facebook everyday. With apps like Instagram and the new filters that are part of the new IOS 7 update, everyone is looking more beautiful and more glorified than ever, and we’re prone to believe what we see. Stop buying in. Let your hair dry curly.
- Attention Whoring Everything you write on Facebook is for the sake of recognition, no matter how small. Even the hipster douche who posts things only in the name of irony wants you to chuckle at his subtle wit and believe in his online image. And the thing about going after virtual attention is, a) it’s not real (in terms of deepening connections) and b) it’s never enough. When 7 people like my status but only 5 like the one that proceeds it, I sometimes wonder if I’ve lost my charm. In truth, that two-person gap between my one status and my next probably is probably just making KD or something. There’s a small chance they’re eating KD together, but the most likely explanations are that they just can’t care about ever witticism I make. Facebook is a very unreliable measure of popularity in many instances, hence in my view, making it elusive and “”fake”. And should it be upsetting that 5 people like a post instead of 7? Of course not. But if 10 people liked it I might be wondering why my other 351 friends didn’t indulge me. It’s nothing more than ever-escalating-absurdity based on snapshots of real life which feeds into individual self-centredness. Even as I write this post, I’m wondering if I’m only doing it in hopes that maybe some poor schlups will read it, as a substitute for what used to be constant facebooking. And maybe I am, but it’s writing a blog at least slightly more beneficial than posting selfies, laughing at my own online jokes, and exposing all my friendships to anyone who subscribes to my feed? That’s how I justify it.
A few weeks ago I changed my profile picture 5 times in 1 week. It seemed like every picture i chose had something positively dreadful that I hadn’t noticed when I first posted. “My teeth are too big, my eyes are too squinty, my eyes look dead, my nose is the entire circumference of my face.” In a doomed attempt to change the way I look in pictures,and the way Zuckerworld sees me, I kept changing my profile picture. And the nice people who are on my friends list continued to like my updates, probably resisting the urge to ask why I keep blowing up their news feed. Not only was my desire for a new Facebook face unattainable, but I was annoying everyone in the process.
There are other more serious reasons to sign off the social media train, like the selling of your online information and such, but that’s too long for my greedy, short-attentioned brain. Get off the internet and go call your grandma or something.
And happy Saturday Night!