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Quitting Facebook

As much as I’ve complained and griped and moaned about Facebook, I’ve never gone more than a small weekend or week-long hiatus. I’ve never disabled my account (as several of my friends have), I’ve never deleted the icon from my web browser, and I’ve never gone for many days without at least glancing around, seeing what everyone’s up to.

Until now.

Last week, I quit Facebook. For good? That’s yet to be decided. So far, I’m not missing all that much. I do miss my word games—which were never those application games that so many people play, but instead actual live games that take place with real judges on actual Facebook profile pages—and the several friends I made through them.

However, other than that, there isn’t much to miss. I don’t miss the whining, the stupid complaints about things that are so inconsequential they’ll be forgotten within hours, the meanness or cruelty. I don’t miss the rude behavior, the pseudo-intellectual battles over seemingly random topics, the grotesque chat-speak and spelling, or especially the urge to check Facebook every so often to find out about crap that doesn’t matter. The excuses I once used—using the site to organize events, for example, or to schedule play dates—are gone. I’m not scheduling events anymore, for one; let someone else do it for a while. And my daughter has plenty of play dates and social activities going on each week now without me needing to drum up new people to hang out with (though it’s always nice to meet new people).

Most importantly, I’ve realized that most people who really matter are a quick phone call or email away; I’ve already talked with a few friends both ways, as well as via my blog.

I have noticed, however, even more harms from my Facebook experience. I relied heavily on it for communication and social interaction—so much that, perhaps, I’ve gotten lazy over the last couple of months. Sure, it’s been cold and we’ve had a blizzard and such, but even general events we might normally attend have been cancelled in what was perhaps the lackadaisical expectation that we could always just connect on Facebook, so why bother?

I am quite content without Facebook these days; I spend less time on the computer—and the time that I do spend on it is more productive than it has been lately. Though some vices may be fine in moderation, you just have to quit others that tear at you every day. I left Facebook for the same reason I don’t watch the nightly news—I just really don’t need that visceral hatred or so many shallow relationships (many friends and loved ones excluded, of course) in my life. I don’t think anyone else really does, either.