During the past few years using Facebook has become more and more a part of my regular job in television production. Spending time on Facebook outside of work has become less important to me along with the need to ‘share’ every aspect of my life. In short, I’m come to realise that I was addicted to the platform. Constantly refreshing the pages I follow, friends profiles and the pages/groups which I was admin of. I will still have to engage with Facebook for my job but that’s different, I sign-in, do what I have to do then leave.
Last week I started the process of leaving Facebook. I could have just simply deleted my profile, said goodbye and never looked back – but like I’ve said, I have to use it for my job so needed to keep some form of presence on there. It took hours to go through and remove myself from all the groups and pages I had ‘liked’, over 500 in total!
I’ve removed all my friends with the exception of family members, as these all live a few hours away from me. Recently I came to realise that when meeting up with friends there was very little substance to our chats. I had already seen what they had been up to, the pictures of their holiday or just everyday life, so there was very little new things to discuss so conversations would often end up commenting on other people and what they were doing. I wanted to break this cycle and reconnect on a face-to-face level and also reconnect with who I am, what I believe in rather than what Facebook ‘suggested’ I was into.
Ok, it’s only been a few days but I’m feeling much happier. I look forward to catching up with friends, even better if its unexpected, and finding out what they have been doing, what they are thinking about everyday events and life in general.
It’s all too easy to throw a new status up on Facebook: “Listening to the new album by Bruno Mars.”, “Thinking about heading out to the park to enjoy the sunshine.” – WHO CARES! Phone that friend and invite them to join you at the park. Engage with the world.
I’d come to realise that I needed to re-engage with the world around me rather than the fake reality that is Facebook. I’m currently still on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Twitter, I can take it or leave it. Instagram taps into my creative personality, it gives me inspiration. YouTube is where I can be creative and I plan on re-discovering my earlier passion for documentary making.
Life is not about the amount of likes a picture gets or the number of comments a thought gets, life is about those personal interactions, the chance to reach across and touch the hand of a friend when they need comfort rather than click on a heart symbol. The opportunity to laugh with friends and strangers face-to-face rather than for the lol’s, exchange points of views on life and politics, to be challenged, to think.
I’ve had many messages and strange looks off friends since last week. As much as I need time to re-adjust to being back in the real world, so the real world needs time to re-adjust to this person rediscovering himself with wide eyes.