I was an early-adopter of Facebook, joining back in 2004 when it first launched for college students. I was a young, impressionable, open-to-experience freshman. After college, I started to have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I even wrote this post about breaking an addiction and cutting back.
May 2015 I shut it down all together and don't regret it at all. Here are my 10 Things I Hate About Facebook, in least-aggravating to most-aggravating order, and they don't end up being a cute poem revealing my love and devotion.
10 Things I Hate About Facebook
10. Facebook's ever-changing interface.
I get that you have to keep with the times. And over my 11 years of life with Facebook, I was usually excited about the updates and new formats, but after a while I started to get frustrated with how complicated it was becoming to do and find simple things.
9. Privacy Settings.
Every time Facebook changed the format, it seemed like I had to go back and update my privacy settings. I felt very out of control of who was seeing what I posted. I gave it many years of trying to filter and adjust, but ultimately, it seemed like a game of Russian Roulette with who may or may not see my posts.
Three columns of information! News feed, hot trending topics, updates from my groups, the red notification number in the tab. I couldn't go on Facebook to do one thing. I would ALWAYS get distracted by something else.
7. Too Much Wasted Time.
Because of these distractions, I often spent more time on Facebook in one sitting than I intended to, which led to too many hours a day on Facebook looking at "news."
When not on Facebook, I would think of status updates or things I could share on Facebook. Eventually, I started to wonder why I was posting things? For likes? For self-gratification?
5. The internet owning my stuff.
Sometimes get freaked out by what we share on the internet being used against us someday. I read articles about people who never post their kids online to protect their kids' privacy, and I wondered if I was doing myself a disservice by sharing so much, even on this blog. Some things are sacred and meant to be shared with individuals, not the masses.
4. Disliking Others' Posts.
I got bored and irritated with what I saw on Facebook. In my early FB days, I loved all the sharing, but I eventually started to resent it. Too many baby pics, pregnancy pics, travel pics, complaining, boasting, politics, mommy-shaming, etc. That about covers EVERY post on Facebook, so I realized I didn't like ANY thing I was seeing. Why was I reviewing things I'm not really interested in?
3. Being Responsible for Others' FB Posts.
Because everyone posts everything on FB, I felt the burden to know what's going on in everyone's lives. If something came up in conversation that I somehow didn't know, I felt dumb that I hadn't found out already on FB, despite checking it so often.
2. Judging People and Feeling Jealous.
Internet interactions can create unnecessary tension between otherwise happy relationships. All of these posts that I disliked caused me to dislike the people posting them, feelings which I would never have felt if I had learned the information face-to-face. Something about seeing it on Facebook caused me to be judgmental or jealous, instead of happy or compassionate toward my friends.
1. Thinking about people when I wasn't on Facebook.
My personal mind space was too-often occupied by people that I never see in real life, people that I don't necessarily need to have a relationship with at this point in my life. I let myself be bothered, insulted, or mull over judgmental thoughts toward people that I don't EVER hang out with. I was frustrated by my lack of control over my mind space. I have enough going on in my regular life without all that added information about people I never see.
Bonus Thing I Hate:
Facebook makes it difficult to deactivate. It's hard to find the button to deactivate, then FB asks you about 3-4 times if you "really want to" and they demand you give a reason.
Exit the Freeway
Facebook is like a jam-packed-with-traffic freeway at rush hour. I was always frustrated and felt like there was no other way. But when I exited, I saw that there's a bunch of people living happy, care-free lives on country roads. I didn't know there was another way, but there is, and it's less stressful.
When I deactivated my account in May 2015, I worried that I would cave in, but I didn't. I have opened my account 2 times since then: once to retrieve a recipe that was in a FB message and once to try video chatting with a friend when Skype, Google Hangouts, and FaceTime weren't working (FB didn't work either that time).
I also tried to make a "ghost account" in July 2015 to do a beach body challenge group one month, and when I became friends with one person, I showed up in everyone's suggested friends. So I quit again.
Quitting freed my mind space and stopped me from thinking rude thoughts about people. When I see people I haven't seen for a while, I get to talk about lots of things in their lives, because we don't already know from FB.
The only drawback is that I don't have EVERY single person's contact information, so I can't just FB message some random person from my past, but I can text or email everyone that's important to me, and if someone REALLY needs to find me, they can go through this blog or my husband's FB account.
It Was A Process
It took me years to quit Facebook. I spent 11 years of my life on Facebook, ALL of my adult life. I didn't know how to live without it. I was afraid of being disconnected.
I'm on Instagram, which is more simple and I only follow a few people to prevent the judgement/jealousy problem. So far, so good, but if I ever feel like it's creeping into any of those problem areas I listed above, then I'll cut it off too.
Hope this is helpful to anyone who might be considering making the jump.
Disclaimer: I don't think Facebook is bad for everyone. And I see many benefits if you live far away from your family or are moving to a new town and need to make new connections. I use iMessage and Google+ to share photos with my family members.