If you were to make a list of things that might really make a difference in your life, quitting Facebook would be way down there. Probably about the same level as quitting American Idol or vowing to clip your toenails more regularly. Which is to say, it can’t hurt. But neither can it make much difference in the fullness of time.
But I quit anyway. Again. It was late at night and I’d had a little too much wine. I was about to “like” a picture or clip somebody had shared, one of those hilarious things that beg to go viral. Then I thought: You know what? To hell with this. I had the sense of time passing, too much of it spent liking stuff on a screen, the rest hoarding incoming likes like precious gems.
Like. It’s funny how Facebook has formalized the word. It now has a specific duty: A small unit of affirmation that can be precisely measured and accumulated. If you believe certain studies, each “like” also delivers a tiny cargo of dopamine right where it feels good. As you may have read, we humans like dopamine more than good coffee or good wine. It’s the currency of our time.
Like all currency, you definitely want to get more than you give. When people complain about the narcissism they see in social media, this is what they mean. Sad to say, there isn’t much reward in just looking at what your friends and pseudo-friends are up to, especially when they all appear to be leading wonderful lives. If you want to be liked, you have to jump in there and be noticed. That requires a certain number of cat videos, yes, but it also requires an ongoing emphasis on numero uno. Which, you have to admit, can occasionally seem tiresome to those who are looking for a little dopamine of their own.
Kind of like this blog. The same night I figured out how to cancel Facebook, I poured another glass of wine and decided to cancel the blog too. To hell with everything! That lasted about 20 minutes, but apparently my tent-folding pronouncement lingered on the server a bit longer than I thought it would. Oh well. Great way to build traffic, right? Every so often just tell your few faithful readers you will blog no more forever.
Anyway, I’m still blogging, for the time being. But off Facebook. For the time being. I don’t expect either to make much difference and I promise not to be all self-righteous about it. I know there are a lot of folks out there for whom Facebook has enriched their lives in myriad ways. That’s great. Me, I just want to look at my phone less.
Trish C says
You’re back. Thank God!!! How am I going to give this blog post a like on Facebook?
Dave Knadler says
Hmm. Good point …
Good for you. FB was a neat little novelty when I first signed on and a fun/convenient way to find out what some little seen friends/relatives were doing at the time. Apparently, they’re still not doing all that much but every once in awhile, I see a photo or hear a piece of news that I wouldn’t have, otherwise. I’m pretty lucky that only a couple are big on the cat videos so that makes it easier as well.
Your blog is on my morning rotation so… glad you’re ‘back’!
Dave Knadler says
Thanks, Deb. Almost makes up for the embarrassment of deleting while drunk.
Thanks, Deb. You just said what I was thinking!
John H. says
Another good title. Glad you decided to pitch the tent again.
Oh, my God — forgot you had “folded your tent” and ridden off into the sunset, so was delighted, when I clicked on for my usual dose of good reality, to find you were back…guess I shouldn’t have prematurely asked Jessie to convey to you my sadness about your leaving. Keep it coming — makes my day!
Dave Knadler says
She did convey it, and it made my day. Thank you.
Jessie K says
Yikes. I thought you were closing up shop too. Glad you’re still wasting precious brain cells online with the rest of us!
But I hear you about Facebook…..it’s such a colossal time suck yet it’s responsible for a lot of great opportunity sent my way so I can’t bash it too bad. It’s a double edged sword. What I try to do now is severely limit my time on it. Like 20 minutes after hours, tops. So far, I’ve stuck to it.
Speaking as one of the few remaining persons in the country who haven’t joined Facebook, I’ve never seen the point, and feel no lack in my life. If anyone is truly interested in what I’m doing, or I’m truly interested in what they’re doing, email and the phone, even a letter, work fine. If we don’t have that much interest in each other, why go through the motions for the whole cyber world to see?