I thought deactivating my Facebook would be much harder than it has been. I thought I'd miss the social interaction a bit more. Instead, I've noticed some very interesting and serious issues that Facebook created and have generally enjoyed the freedom my profile deactivation has provided.
The biggest adjustment has been not updating my status. I've been keeping my thoughts largely to myself or sharing them only with people whom I happen to actually be speaking with. I realized that for however long now, my thoughts have actually morphed into Facebook status-like blurbs. It seems the majority of my thoughts are perfectly tailored, often witty or pseudo-deep, one-sentence blips of information that I have deemed important enough to share with 600-something people all at once. I came to this realization two days ago while driving home from work. It startled me when I noticed it. When did my own thoughts conform to a style of communication popularized by an online social network? When did I stop thinking meaningfully and thoroughly and start thinking in a way that was easy to consume and easy to pass by? I don't want to cut my thoughts up into easy-to-digest morsels and hand-feed them to people who aren't interested in any more than that. I used to write long, thoughtful blog entries all the time (back in the Live Journal days). Somehow, Facebook has influenced me to put quantity over quality. That isn't how I want to think. I want to write things that inspire dialogue or real thought processes. I don't want my thoughts to require only a quick response or a meaningless gesture ("liking") by those who come across them. It means nothing.
So, Facebook, as of Day5, I'm happier without you. It is a bit strange, feeling like I can't keep up with peoples' lives. Then I realize I will keep up with those who matter. The rest will at least surprise me when I do get news of their lives, however long down the road.
I've also decided to start the self-discovery process. I thought I should start back at the beginning: adolescence. Before everything became internet show-and-tell or a rat-race for the most friends and approval, what did I like to do?
When I was much younger, I liked to draw. Correction: I loved to draw. I drew all the time. I drew everything. I made up cartoon characters, I drew flowers, I drew people around me. In middle school, I loved to draw. In high school, I loved to draw. It wasn't until my third year of college that I started hating it. I think I know why I began to hate it, but that post is for another time. For now...I'm going to try to get back to drawing. A very large chunk of me still hates it and wants very much to not draw, but I feel it's something I should at least try. I'm not quite ready to give up such a huge part of myself. I'm obviously in a major funk, and I'll just keep trying to get out until I'm successful.
So draw it is! I might share some of the new drawings I do with you in my next post, but maybe not. I do want to avoid the needing compliments issue.
Also, I've been emailing an old friend since my last post and have found it very thought-provoking, comforting, engaging, and all-around wonderful. I've missed this friend very much, but never truly realized the extent since we were Facebook friends. I forgot what real conversation feels like. I forgot what connecting was really like.