Posted by: Brad Stanford | January 14, 2017

Leaving Facebook Behind

I’m closing my Facebook account today, and I’m loving every minute of it.

The things we tell ourselves about “staying connected” and such I’m sure are true for some people. But not for me. I find that the actual connection moments on Facebook are much like trying to find something to watch on Netflix. Most of the time you see lots of things, but make no commitment, and gain nothing.

Plus, we’re just now learning how short bursts of non-attention are affecting us.

But mainly, I find I’m not growing where I’m planted. It’s far more comfortable to talk to my old friends in a way that I can edit beforehand, rather than getting out with the people around me and being as human as possible. Thus, I do what humans always do – the easiest thing – and I miss opportunities to actually live. We need to share mistakes, pain, and facial expressions in our interactions. Facebook and other text-based tools are great for certain scenarios, for sure – like blog articles that require reading and reflection, for instance. :^)

But what we need – crave even – is the shared jokes, the spilled drinks, the shared smell of fresh cut grass in the neighborhood. We need to join up with people who love the same things we love. It’s amazing how valuable a starting place of common ground is to a relationship, and to social interaction. How tempered we are when there are bridges we don’t want to burn. Contrast that to people who argue online who care not if the other person walks. That’s not how we’re supposed to build relationships.

Not to mention Facebook’s whole design is to keep me there to see ads. The design is created to make the FB experience as addictive as possible. How many of you sit down to FB just to check a couple of things, and find a an hour disappearing just like that? There’s a reason for that. I wish to spend my time more productively.

Speaking of ads – scrolling through the random thoughts of people is like looking at an endless list of ads for their lives. “Hey – join me in what I’m thinking/doing/celebrating/hating/enjoying/watching/playing!” I just don’t need that kind of clamor for my attention.

In terms of time, I might – maybe – have one more chance for for a 20-year run on something. At least, with enough energy to really make some moves. An hour spent on Facebook at the very least is my hourly rate lost, and at the worst, a new opportunity lost.

It’s fascinating to #tourtheship and think about all the good things that have happened on FB. And there was a time were it was new and amazing. There was a time when it was necessary, even. But now, it’s time to do something different – deeper, and more meaningful. Hitting the delete button just now was admittedly difficult, like hitting the “buy” button on a high-dollar ebay purchase.

But the feeling of release is evidence that I’ve chosen correctly. I have broken out into a spontaneous 80s-music review tonight, enjoying the fact that everything changes now. I have a lot of things I’m looking to get done. I might even get to read a book for the first time in ages! I’m excited like I haven’t been in a long time.

There’s something about this Facebook attachment that we haven’t thought through. And we won’t understand it until it’s too late. Like how putting chili inside a hotdog is not a better idea than doing it the traditional way with the chili on the outside (I’m looking at you , Frank-n-stuff.) And my spidey senses are telling me to back away from the trouble that’s brewing before the teacher shows up to take names and assign detention. I can’t fully explain it, but I know that feeling.

Anyway, I can’t expect this to apply to anyone else, really. This is a timing thing for me. You go on and enjoy Facebook. And I’ll go do my thing. And the world will turn, the moon will go around the earth again, the sun will rise and set, and life will continue.

Perhaps with a little less noise.

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