Last night I finally pulled the plug on my three-year relationship with Facebook; for reasons that I will elaborate on below. Now, the only hurdle to making it permanent is to somehow avoid logging in by accident during the next 14 days. I have to figure out how to stop my phone from logging on for me. I also have to tell the laptop to unremember my password, or, before I know it, my husband or kids will ruin the whole thing, just by opening my homepage.
I opened an account on Facebook (long after the rest of the world) in the spring of 2006, when my 15th high school was being planned. I “found” people I hadn’t even thought of for a decade (that alone should say something about why we need (or don’t need). Did I want to strike up a meaningful, ongoing correspondence with those people? Of course not. I just wanted to see who married who and who got FAT. At the peak, I had about 200 friends.
My husband sees his four best friends from high school and college about twice a year, and we all live in the SAME town. He never understood the draw of Facebook, although, like I said, he periodically lurks, on my account. So, a while ago, I decided to “prune” my FB tree. I got down to the TWENTY people who I actually see or speak to on a regular basis and with whom I used FB as a tool for planning playdates and dinner dates (Note: the boys object streniously to the term “playdate” at their age. When I asked what I should call it, they suggested “making plans to hang out”. So there you go.)
My FB stress was greatly reduced — as I was no longer catching the tail end of posts that consisted, at that point, only of people saying, “thinking of you today” and me not knowing whether the person had a job interview, a big date, a bad haircut, or a death in the family.
That was months ago, and I stayed on Facebook. In fact, I got a little loose in who I was adding as a friends, and my list started creeping up near 60 people. Just over this past weekend, I accepted a friend request from someone I work with, thinking it would be a nice way to connect with her and get to know her a little better. When I mentioned it to her on Monday, she said, and I quote, “Huh? Oh yeah. You popped up as somebody I might know, and I was like, ‘sure, whatever’……….Gee, thanks….that, and the fact that I already text or talk by phone daily to my actual friends and family brought me to…..