There are many movements still that advocate or even proselytize about getting off of Facebook for various reasons from the mundane to the fanatical – it’s all fake, they’re stealing your data, they’re spying on you, mental health, you’ll go to hell. I haven’t been on Facebook in about a decade and it has nothing to do with any of those things…it just kinda happened. So this one day about ten years ago…
The real story is not all that exciting. I will start by saying that for the most part, I enjoyed my time on Facebook. In fact, I may have been one of the first non-student users on the system. When my daughter was starting college at Texas A&M, Facebook had just started a program where a user, who was ostensibly a college student with a ‘.edu’ email address, could invite people onto Facebook. These would inevitably be their parents who could then share in/monitor/stalk their child. I asked to be invited, she did invite me, I created an account, and then…I looked around the first time I logged in and then did absolutely nothing for the next year or two.
I can’t even remember why I logged in for the really after that. I was dating someone that got me onto “My Space”…but that was not my scene. For whatever reason, one day I logged into Facebook and did what happens to most people (or at least what USED to happen) when they first got on…I went down rabbit holes and mazes. I “reconnected” with old friends and found groups with like-minded or cool ideas. I played online games, “poked” people, reminisced, remembered and loved, and laughed. Basically, I wasted a lot of time.
After the initial rush and ego stroke that FB can be, I decided to “be sensible” about it. My intent at that time was to treat my posts as “messages in a bottle”…I’d write or upload a picture and just send it on its way…off into the ocean to where I may never know…I didn’t care.
But I did care, didn’t I? If someone “Liked” a post or a picture I’d have to go see who, and why, and how many. If I posted where I was and someone made a less-than-complimentary remark, well…it hurt. I then had a small personal spiritual revival. The center of this “revival” was in regard to my relationship with Christ, and the “Less Than I” movement. While I was not moved to fully join in on that movement, it did occur to me one day – “how much less “Less Than I” could I be than to care about these posts on FB?” And so I decided that if I was really going to be true to my “message in a bottle” philosophy about all this then maybe I should just disconnect from it for a week and reset/resolve myself to that. My intention at the time was to log back in in a week or so…but a week turned into a few weeks. Which turned into a year. And now here we are a decade or so later…and that’s OK.
And now…for no particular reason…