I have recently been toying with the idea of deleting my Facebook account that I have faithfully kept up with for the past five or six years. I am determined to live my life to the very fullest, and this means not wasting a single second in unproductive browsing. It is the easiest thing in the world for a quick check on Facebook to turn into an hour long escapade of likes, clicks, and posts before I eventually return to my senses to realize I just used my precious little free time to see how other people are using their time. Besides the time-wasting factor, there is also the unnecessary, silly drama that inevitably comes with the millions of comments. Another major player in my dilemma is the rampant immorality constantly seen on Facebook. Citing all of these valid concerns makes the decision to leave Facebook seem like an easy one, but something keeps me coming back. I haven’t been able to pin point just what it was that kept me so fascinated with Facebook, but I believe I have at last discovered the truth.
One night after a particularly wasteful Facebook session, I realized that I always hated how I felt after wasting time, so I decided to do something about it. Out of nowhere, I got the idea to create a political discussions group on Facebook where my friends and I could discuss current events and thus actually be productive while on Facebook. The group was a huge success at first. I had many of my friends commenting and getting involved in all kinds of spirited debates. I was loving it. I have always had a passion for discussing politically-related topics, so this group was a gold mine. It provided me with an invaluable tool for learning other’s views while simultaneously learning how to express my own views. I couldn’t have been happier with the group and I could now justify my time spent on Facebook.
This initial interest in the group finally died down, as I feel I offended a lot of friends with my extreme and poorly articulated political views. I learned that a certain group of friends and even relatives were particularly upset with some of my posts in the group, and that hit me like a ton of bricks. I never intended to offend anyone; I simply wanted people to engage with me in spirited debates. I was addicted to the high I received from debating others on important topics concerning our country. I never really recovered from the pain I felt after learning I had offended so many people, and my fervor for the group began to slowly die. I was losing participants fast, and I didn’t really care to retain them. Still, I was proud of my group and nothing could prevent me from the pure joy I received in the heat of a political debate.
I learned a lot from my political discussions group, but I hated how it was attached to Facebook. After spending some productive minutes discussing current issues, I would click over to the news feed and proceed to waste time scrolling through my friends’ lives. This is where I was at two days ago when I stumbled upon a life-changing video that a friend had posted. The video was called Look up and the brilliant writer rhymes a poem lamenting our “online generation” consisting of “smart phones and dumb people”. The video really struck a chord with me, and I now realize that it is the final push I need to end my relationship with the soul-sucking time-wasting Facebook.
Over all these years I have been with Facebook, I never realized the reason I was so drawn to it. But now that I am on the verge of saying goodbye, I can step back and see things a lot more clearly. I have indeed discovered the truth of Facebook. I was in love with the website because it gave me an audience. Facebook provided me with the platform for discussing my ideas and sharing them with the world. Even if I only had some hundred-odd friends, I felt that I was reaching the whole world. This is the connection that has kept me so close to Facebook all these years. But now, I have an alternative. Now, I understand that I want to share my views with the world, and now, after practicing in my political discussions group, I have the basic skills necessary to do this. I can put my thoughts into writing, and I can post them on this blog. I can translate my thoughts into words, and in the process I can refine and perfect those thoughts and ideals. And after this refinement process, my views will be ready to truly share with the world. I don’t need the platform of Facebook any longer. It gave me the necessary building blocks, but now I realize that my ideas are all I care about, and I only need this blog for that.