Abandoning the Social Network

Rachel Walla
I believe in rebelling. I’ve always been a bit of rebel, but not the leather wearing, tattooed, tell your parents to screw it type of rebel. No, I’m not that exciting. My rebellion is more the type of social rebellion that comes from a lack of interest in most crazes. You might hear this and think I’m an irritated, anti-social individual. That is only partly true. I like people, but I dislike trends and clichés. Take for instance when everyone you know is using the same catch phrase, so you start to hate that phrase. You may be thinking to yourself, “I know, right?” and I’ll start thinking to myself, “Say that again and I’m going to hurl on your shoes.” Let’s be honest, 90% of conversation is just a series of cookie-cutter phrases intended to placate the person on the other end. Meaningful conversations tend to only frequent bars when each that partakes is intoxicated enough to say what they really think.

After this somewhat unpleasant explanation, it may come to no surprise to you that one day I found myself fed up with Facebook. I had logged in for what was surely at least the millionth time to find people posting their every most mundane thoughts for the world to see. There were some hokey inspirational quotes, photos of girls who spend too much time in their bedrooms trying to get perfect angles, then posting them in black and white and, of course, a lot of drunk pictures. I looked at the screen of thoughts, many along the lines of “Ashley’s having tacos for dinner, yum!” or “David can’t sleep….AGAIN….screw my life” and I thought, that’s it, I’m done. So I deleted my account.

The people at Facebook are clever; they know most of us eventually get sick of being so socially plugged in, so we abandon them for a short time. Upon deactivating my account, I was required to provide a reason, use my password and then decode the squiggly letters to assure the administrators it wasn’t some depraved person trying to deactivate random accounts. I also immediately received an email giving me instructions on how to return and assuring me that my profile would be available if I ever wanted it again. The thing is, after 4 months, I find that being liberated from the social network is much better than I would’ve thought. At first it was strange, because I didn’t give any warning of my departure from the social norm so a lot of people thought I had deleted them as friends, and so I had to clear the air there. Also, I didn’t receive invitations to events I didn’t plan on attending and I couldn’t email my more distant friends so I had to perform the somewhat more personal task of texting. All in all though, I feel like I have socially de-cluttered my life. I only talk to the people I want to, I only know what someone is having for dinner if I’m eating with them, and I know people through conversations, not cleverly taken photos to disguise all imperfections and one-sentence updates. The only thing I really miss are the reminders of birthdays. Maybe I am a bit anti-social, but I like the mystery of wondering what someone is up to, rather than constant updates. Not only that, but now I have more spare time to read actually entertaining news such as the reliable reports found on theonion.com.

So if you’re finding all this social buzz a bit tiring, try taking a break from facebook. It’s refreshing to only have the contact you want, without all the added junk.

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