May be it was a coincidence, or may be not, but in the quiet evening of 1st of January 2013 I noticed that I had 404 Facebook friends. The geek in me giggled - '404 Page not found'. And that's when I quit Facebook. Why? I had outgrown it.
I joined Facebook in 2007, just after another relocation - a friend suggested it as a mean to keep in touch. But I didn't have a use for it. I had only moved a couple of hours away, so I preferred to visit my friends on the weekend, call them or email them. And they did the some for me. I also had a blog, so had anyone been interested in my adventures there were plenty of ways to find out what I've been up to. I soon made new friends in the new city, and Facebook was completely forgotten.
But then I moved overseas - the UK turned out not to be my cup of tea, work was challenging, for some reason I was failing to make new friends, I was miserable. My good friends were miles and miles away, and in different zone, so even calling and Skype were not working out. So I wrapped myself with the Facebook blanket, craving attention and comfort. I evolved from venting bitterness and disappointment, through irony, to optimistic and fun posts. My friends and Facebook saved me.
Then I moved again, this time to a place I loved, made new friends immediately and life took off! But I remained active on Facebook because I wanted to be there for my friends. In case anyone needed TLC, I wanted to know and to help, or if all was o'right it was always great to share a joke or two. Facebook was the place to share photos, plan the next party, find fellow expats, etc. etc. It was great!
Another twist came around - I saw the 'Social network'. Something in the way Facebook started, in the way the business part of it developed did not agree with my moral values. Let's Face it - Mark started it all because he was heartbroken, he wanted to do something big, and yes, he did it, but if it was all so altruistic why is Facebook now the way it is - changing layouts (supposedly for good), replacing your email address with a Facebook one (tricky, tricky!), now suggested advertisement links, free Apps, 'paid for' promoted post? To me it seems like Facebook is way pass its innocence, it's not the site to connect the people, but it's the site to learn about the people and ultimately try to sell you something. Well....Thanks, but NO, THANKS!
At the same time, people on Facebook changed...
A lot of my friends who have an active life withdrew from Facebook - why? because altho it's fun, it's also a waste of time. Instead one can read, take on a project, hang out with friends in real life, do sports, enjoy a hobby, take a nap, have a beer.
I admit that in the first weeks after I relocated again recently, checking Facebook was the first thing I would do in the morning. I love my friends and I do want to know what everyone is up to, have a laugh over a goofy post.
But also, more businesses are promoted, more bragging take place, and once I heard someone say 'I only post on Facebook to make my friends jealous' I had to bite my lips. 'You are kidding, right?' - because I refuse to be in the same bin with such shallowness. Many of my posts are positive and sharing happy moments, but I have about equal number of humor-coated bitching. My life is NOT perfect and nor is any of yours. So, who are they getting jealous?
Another irritating fact - I know a couple of people who joined Facebook just because their partners are there. One is the jealous type and feels better keeping tabs on the 'other half'. The other, who I know as a shy and very private person, out of sudden became a social butterfly with a public profile showing tons of affection to their loved one. Seriously?! If I trust my judgement of people, then these last two need help. One more story, a sad one. A good friend of mine and their partner were madly in love with daily 'I love you' on their walls. And I mean it - daily! Then one day, the 'I love you' was substituted with change of status to 'Single'. Overnight?!
Finally, not a too serious comment, but perhaps it speaks ton of how humans behave...
If you change your FB profile photo with that of another FB friend of mine, I would probably not notice the name, I would glance at the photo and 'trust' that I'm talking to the right Face...Hahaha!
I was just about to email the wrong person for that reason... two of my FB friends, a couple, have profile photos of both of them, so I tend to think it's the wife who post more often...Well, live and learn! Instead of 'read the fine print', I'd say - read who's name is next to the photo :) But then again, we can change our profile name too...Sigh...is there an end to it?
So I gave up...
Facebook to me is turning into a Fakebook!
If you want to know how I'm doing - send me an email, read my blog, comment on it. And if I want to know how you are doing - trust me, I will find a way to reach you :)
It takes more time to keep in touch via email, but I believe it's worth it, communications are more private and meaningful.
As for Facebook - I will keep my profile open for a while (to transfer photos, gather everyone's email, etc.) but 404 Page not found is bound to happen!
ps. Photo from http://www.webdevelopersnotes.com