A little over a month ago, I deactivated my Facebook account. I’d had enough of the reposted nonsense that seemed to litter my newsfeed, and which usually illicited a reaction of you can’t possibly really believe that from me. The constant battle with Facebook itself about what should appear in my feed, and in what order, was infuriating. I was also tired of ‘like’ anxiety, and felt I was spending far too much time on something that really didn’t matter to me.
And now I’m back.
I haven’t grown any fonder of fake news stories and bullshit memes. But there are things I’ve missed. Most of those things have to do with keeping in touch with people.
Best of intentions aside, I don’t often compose emails when I’m not at work. I’ve grown to hate email even more than social media. Every day I spend an inordinate amount of time deleting emails. My inbox tends to fill up with even more crap than my physical mailbox, in which a half-acre of rainforest finds a temporary resting place each week, before being consigned to the recycling bin.
I have never been one for phone calls. I worked for close to two years in a debt collection call centre, which will put anyone off the medium. I do my best always to answer when someone I know is calling, or at least to call them back in short order, but it rarely occurs to me to initiate calls.
And so connecting with some people, especially those who don’t live nearby, but even some who do, has been tricky. Adele has mostly kept me up to speed with the friends we have in common on Facebook, but that’s not everyone. I miss the rest of you. Well, mostly.
In order not to hurry myself into another bout of social media burnout, I’ve decided to set some rules for myself.
- Do not install the app on my phone. This will help enormously with not wasting so much time on Facebook. Exception made for Messenger, since it doesn’t waste as much of my time.
- Less sharing and liking of posts, and fewer comments on them. Don’t take this personally. I still like you. Really, I do. And I might even find what you posted to be clever or agreeable. But that will be between you & me. Facebook doesn’t need to know.
- Unfollow people who continually post things that make me wonder how they can possibly believe – whatever. That oregano cures cancer, that the weather is a global conspiracy, that vaccines cause bipolar disorder, or that Justin Trudeau is actually a progressive. I don’t care what it is, or whether or not it aligns with what I already believe. This will happen double quick if these things are posted in memes.
- Try not to look at it more than a couple of times a day. And don’t worry if no one ‘likes’ the few things I can be bothered to post.
So… there you are, and there you go. If you want to like or comment on anything, come do it on this blog.