About Face (Or Why I Left Facebook)

As someone whose brain is almost always running at full throttle—even when I’m exhausted—I’m always thinking of change. How can I get more out of life. How can I remove roadblocks on the road to something better? What’s holding me back? What’s worth the hassle and what’s not? And what helps me be a better person?

There are many answers to all of these, but one common thread of late is Facebook. Ah, Facebook, once the tool of the college crowd, now the playroom of grandmas, celebrity-hounds, and businesses trying to sell us something. I’m not knocking any of these, mind you, but they do help me see that Facebook has lost its value in my daily life. Sure I can keep up with old friends easily, but even that is made increasingly difficult by enhancements that make you choose between sharing everything or sharing nothing. Selective or targeted sharing is just not convenient or practical on Facebook. (This is one area where Google+ excels.) I just don’t have time for social juggling, and Facebook requires the most juggling, giving too little return for far too much investment.

Facebook does do something well: it makes it convenient to maintain relationships that otherwise would have long since blended into distant memories. It’s too easy to get trapped in obligatory relationships with people who no longer bring value to your life, who no longer take any real interest in your life, or who are simply too self-absorbed to truly care about anyone but themselves and the occasional food porn you post. Even worse are the collectors, who collect friends as they did baseball cards at a younger age. Yes, even those relationships can have value, and all connections are better than none. But when the balance is off, such relationships become burdens more than anything. I simply don’t have the time. I guess when you get to be a man of a certain age, you really start evaluating things—like bucket lists and such.

Given the money, I’d still love to travel the world and see all the now cliché landmarks. I’d like to hob-nob with a few writers, actors, and wildcards. But since none of that is in my near future, I want to get back to basics. I need to write. I need to create. I need to capture the world with my camera. Being so close to Montreal, I’d like to learn French. Unfortunately, I’ve gotten so busy trying to share life, that I left little time to actually live and embrace it.

I’ll still be on Flickr…for now. That site is dedicated to one specific passion, and the investment is much more manageable. I’ll still be on Google+, as it tends to be my informational gathering site.  I get news, photography, and politics all in one place, but in a MUCH more manageable way with far fewer needless distractions. (And no, I have no pity for those who created a profile there and then waited for something to magically happen.) I’ll still be on Twitter for now, mainly as a link-sharing and business-following tool. (Anyone who knows me knows I don’t tweet much.) And of course, I’ll still be here on my own site, where I hope to write and share a lot more, in a much more meaningful way.

At the end of the day, any true friends will find me here, and hopefully, anyone who decides to take an interest in my life will have a few minutes to spare from their own busy life to engage with me here. And they won’t have to dig through fifteen shoe ads or chain posts promising good luck if a Photoshopped  cloud-Jesus is shared within 20 seconds. But do share on if you like that sort of thing!

PS: Yes, you can still login with Facebook to comment here. 🙂


6 Replies to “About Face (Or Why I Left Facebook)”

  1. I’ve missed you. I’ve tried smoke signals…the EPA got me on those…homing pigeons drew down the wrath of PETA… May resort to using the postal service if I can get it together before postage goes up 3 more cents…so I hope you are well. Just thinking of my Vermont friend as the leaves begin to change color and for the first time I will get to see this happen in person!

  2. YAY! Rika found me!

    The leaves are just about to peak here. I’m going to try to get out this weekend to enjoy them. As they turn down your way, remember to breath. Sometimes they’re so awe-inspiring you forget to breath. 🙂

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