eraseface.


Drastic times call for drastic measures.  And here's what I'll say.  I deactivated my Facebook account for a full 24 hours and holymotherofgod it. felt. awesome.  Here's why:  I suddenly felt like I had no one to impress.  Including myself.

I don't think that we deliberately try to impress others with our photo-perfect lives and status updates.  I don't think that we deliberately do any of the things to attempt to "one-up" each other. But somewhere in the deep recesses of our subconscious, I think there's a part of us that feels like we have something to prove.  What it is, I really have no idea.

Scrolling through my newsfeed once I reactivated my account, I felt (to be quite honest) really empty.  And bored.  And a little bit ashamed.  Ok, a lot ashamed.  How did we suddenly become so consumed with what we ate for lunch today (guilty) or that the guy sitting in the car next to you in rush hour traffic is picking his nose (just an example, and a gross one at that)?  Why do we care that a cousin of a friend of your brother-in-law's aunt's 98 year-old godmother booked a trip to Belarus next month?  Since when did finding out about an engagement / wedding / pregnancy / divorce / [insert big life milestone here] via Facebook and not through a personal phone call or encounter become de rigueur?  When did we become so impersonal yet get into the cracks and crevices of everyone's intimate life details?

Then I happened upon this cheeky (read: genius) website called Eraseface.  What a resource to make you feel secure in your decision to do away with your Facebook account, even if for a temporary moment.  I was reading things that I thought.  Someone else out there agrees with me!  Something that really stood out for me was this:

"Everyone is performing on Facebook in a grand avatar ball.
We will only see one side of reality in Facebook, a Prozac-
induced backslapping smile fest.  By only having a 'like' button
and no 'dislike' button, Facebook is inherently skewed toward
synthetic happiness.  People will only post pictures and comments
that inflate the image of their social life.  But there's another side
of reality that's not all a bowl of maraschino cherries."

I teetered from one side to another wondering if getting off of Facebook would really make that much of a difference in my real life.  (It does; that full 24 hours was heaven.)  And then I started to wonder if even having a blog was as self-inflating as Facebook.  (Enter, what I have now dubbed "the struggle".)   I mean, if you're reading this post, you probably happened upon it because this blog itself has a Facebook page!  (Oh, the irony!  The hypocrisy!)  I started wondering about other avenues of social media.  What about Instagram?  Are the photos I post of a more photogenic life than the one I actually live?  At this point, I'm not so sure.  But before I do away with any and/or all of the social networks I belong to, I'm starting small by walking away (again) from the biggest one of them all.  I'm not saying it's permanent.  I'm also not saying it isn't permanent.  I'm just giving myself some breathing room.

Oh, and by the way, no.  I do not want to play Candy Crush with you.  Ever.



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Post a Comment 2 comments :

  • 10.9.13
    "Like"
  • Unknown said... Reply To This Comment
    13.9.13
    Yep. That's why I left. Well also because it took precious energy that I needed to be healthy and or with the guys and gave it to a weird anxiety I developed about Facebook -- even when I cut my friends down to 25 or so.

    Leaving showed me who really mattered. My actual friends showed up in my life. Whether email, sending a message though S. or calling (shocking, I know..) they missed me and took the time to check in on me. Knowing those people exist makes me infinitely more calm. I have no one to impress -- but yet I tried ...

    I am just glad H. is still little enough to allow the grown ups more time to process this massive social shift. Remember, smart phones didn't exist for Obama's first presidential run (at least not in the crazy super charged way they are now). I just read an article about how kids today don't see what the big deal is in Orwell's "1984". It is a terrifying and dangerous world (on a a million levels from feeling you MUST comment on something, to having pictures or video of you or your kid uploaded by a stranger.

    This article argues Instagram is even more soul sucking and depressing than Facebook. I believe it:http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/07/instagram_and_self_esteem_why_the_photo_sharing_network_is_even_more_depressing.html

    Thanks for a great piece!
    B.

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