Monday, February 28, 2011

Temporarily Deactivating Facebook: A Confession

Deactivating or deleting Facebook always involves lots of emotions. Especially before you hit that 'CONFIRM' the deactivation button, the screen makes appear some of your friends' photos and a saying that they will miss you (from Facebook). It's a very emotional sensation since this would bring back the good old time memories with them, inside or outside of Facebook circle.

I've made up my mind to temporarily deactivate my Facebook account and had removed that blue Facebook icon from my iPhone last night. My husband attempted to prevent me from doing this as it was probably driven by emotional and silly reasons but I did it anyway.


Deactivating Facebook is not novel and I think quite a lot of people have done so, even deleted their Facebook account for good, due to quite a number of reasons. Facebook is not safe, Facebook wastes too much time, Facebook makes you way too attached to your computer screen or smart phone, Facebook has turned into your most favorite toilet reading material, Facebook becomes your only life (you feel dying and gasp for air when there is no internet access), Facebook is addictive (more addictive than daily intake of black coffee probably), Facebook stimulates your inner busy-body personality, Facebook trains you as a highly skilled cyber spy, Facebook is a platform of cyber-bullying, Facebook intervenes personal problems too much, Facebook annoys you with some friends' relentless Farm Ville updates or other inane status updates, etc.

On the other hand, I think Facebook, in many ways, is a great social media platform to connect people who are miles away from you or be in touch with some long-lost contacts, to invite friends for events, to remind friends' birthdays and wish them 'happy birthday' online (for free!), to market or promote products, to share updates on the latest news from the other part of the world, gossips and interesting new facts and so on.

Only recently, I saw a friend who, after lots of thoughts and deep considerations, decided to close her Facebook account despite her being a keen user of social media for her work. My husband quit Facebook slightly earlier before my friend did because I always spied on him and it was killing him.

Some people, including myself, wondered why they'd do this silly thing, namely killing their Facebook account after years of nurture. I always thought Facebook is fantastic technology advancement on planet earth and one of this century's most genius inventions. I told myself that no matter what, I'd never delete my precious Facebook account. I even tried to convince friends who were not on Facebook to open an account for the longest time.

Now, I ate my own words. I licked my own spit. I have decided to try to live Facebook-free. It's hard but I want to see if there are positive effects after doing this. Now I am telling you that the pain of living Facebook-free is comparable to living as a vegetarian. My very first reason was that being a repeat victim of direct cyber-bully on Facebook is not okay, devastating and painful. It's not the first time that people who happen to resent me would update their walls' status on all the not-so-great things between me and her, announce to the whole world about the ongoing personal problems and open public commentaries on that particular subject. This concern has got way too tiring and sickening. Hence, I told myself to take action. Things that I don't read, I don't know, I won't worry. At the end of the day, I just want to spare myself a peace of mind.

Secondly, over the years Facebook activated my spying skill way more advanced than I'd require. Some news updates or old facts that I didn't have and need to know drove me crazy. Apparently I didn't do quite well in filtering information in Facebook. This peculiar skill, apparently, hurt my loved one because I could not handle certain things resulting from my online spying activity. Third, I think I've become one of those addicts who could not stand but checking status updates on Facebook every five minutes no matter how busy I was. I was always so anxious in waiting someone to comment my just uploaded photos or wall status. Last but not least, I realized that it is not good to play with Facebook if I do not know how to limit myself in sharing my personal stuff.

I happened to see my friend in Jakarta, Irena, online on MSN today, had a brief chat with her and told her that I've broken up with Facebook. Her comments on my main reason to deactivate Facebook were: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can't hurt me". Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. There will be malicious people but there are still good friends. Just block the malicious out. Keep the good in :)

I totally agreed, was comforted with her advice and again, was very tempted to reactivate my account after she shared me that. Super tempted, if I may say. However, blocking some people online does not guarantee 'happiness' either, for instance, when the person you block finds out about this and somehow things get even more complicated because of the 'UNFRIEND' button.

Okay, so this is not even a day of my life without Facebook and I'm coping not so well, I'm afraid. I foresee the first three days won't be easy to go through. My fingers have been very itchy to find Facebook page, key my passwords in and check updates or any notifications from friends. I feel weird not seeing Facebook icon on my iPhone screen too. The question is: Is it a good time to reconcile with Facebook again although I am also aware of all the consequences of disappearing from the Facebook orbit are not fun? Hmm, I don't know. I am just not ready yet.

*Picture was randomly taken from internet source.

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