Why I left Facebook

I put my Facebook account into suspension the other day, meaning that it is shut off for now. No one can see my posts and until I reopen the account, I am not on Facebook at all. I LOVE being off Facebook so far, though, so I really don’t think I’ll be back. I don’t miss it. Certainly not!

Yes, I met some cool people there. I figure a few of them are my friends.  Those that want to stay friends will get in touch. As for those that don’t, I don’t think I would want to push the issue, would I? After all, a friendship should be mutual. Most of those folks I had never met and probably wouldn’t have ever had the chance to see face-to-face.

I have heard that many folks prefer it that way. They say they’d never want to get together with many of the folks that are their Facebook friends and they are grateful that there are miles of distance between them. What the heck is a friend, anyway? Don’t you agree that Facebook has surely distorted our view?

I feel tons better overall. I feel liberated. I feel free of it. I don’t miss it at all!  Most of the people there that I had met were nice. What is Facebook but a medium for communication? I didn’t like that the format encouraged gang mentality.  I saw over and over acquaintances of mine getting unbelievably harsh criticism. What’s worse, the whole world would chime in and beat on the person mercilessly.

We have seen enough of that type of thing.  Gang mentality is what causes police to go nuts and kill innocent people. Looking back, I’ve seen these incidents of police brutality.  Note carefully that these beatings or shootings aren’t done by one cop, but many acting like an angry mob.  Mobs do lynchings and terrible hate crimes. Doesn’t the Bible state that there were mobs of people watching Jesus get crucified? How could anyone stand to watch, anyway? But when people target one person to scapegoat, somehow the “safety in numbers” makes it “okay” to participate or to go along with the mob.

On Facebook I see mobs, too.  No, folks don’t kill or lynch or get drunk at the same bar and have a real-life brawl, but the gang mentality is there just the same.

I made up my mind that since I stink at PR anyway, I’d rather communicate via e-mail or phone.  Privacy is important. I didn’t like the way I would message with one person, say, Person A, and then Person B would be innocent witness to it and decide that I suck.

And yet hardly anyone on there even spoke to me or met me in person!  Many formed their opinions based on what others said, or based on some brief few sentences of text. Not one person heard the tone of voice intended. I didn’t hear anyone else’s tone of voice, either.

I learned something about that years ago. I think it was 1998 or 1999. I was part of an online group. Online life was different then. I posted something in praise of a person’s writing, and I guess the author of that piece decided that I didn’t mean what I was saying. The person assumed I was being sarcastic. I wasn’t!  Not at all. I liked her piece a lot.  But she went off in a huff.  I didn’t know her and she didn’t know me, and I felt rather sad thinking that she’d felt hurt…but this was based on assumption…which was incorrect, after all.

We’ve all been through that sort of thing, have we not? Face-to-face communication is hard enough, but when it’s written, we don’t quite know how to read it. Even professional writers have this problem. I suppose this is why we fight over the meaning of various poems. or certain novels, and the Bible, too. We just don’t know for sure.  However, the advantage of written communication is that you get to write it and then rewrite it before pressing “send.” Some folks prefer it that way.

I started on Facebook in 2009. I never really liked it anyway. Some people like it a lot.  To me, it’s only a relief.


Feedback and comments welcome!