Yep, It’s me. I’m one of the seven people in the world who don’t have Facebook. I did have Facebook though, for a long time. I actually got Facebook in around 2009 – when it was really just starting out. I had Facebook then for the whole ‘migration’ period and saw everyone I knew turn from sites like MySpace and Bebo to Facebook.
I always quite enjoyed Facebook. I mean I could connect with people around me really easily and share photos, ideas and my news with people quickly and easily. As I got older and more of my friends were online more, it’s also become a brilliant platform for organising things like Events (parties, gatherings, sleepovers etc..) and group conversations with friends (always useful for organising things with unorganised teenagers!).
I deleted Facebook nearly a year ago now, and haven’t touched it since. To start with I found it super difficult not to want to go back and check it, see what was going on and post everything that was happening. My reasons for deleting Facebook in the first place were as follows:
1. I was obsessed. I loved checking Facebook and particularly being able to see what everyone was doing, who was in a relationship with who, who was hanging out with who etc.. Fine, of course, and everyone does it (really – they do – they’re just lying to you) but it started to become almost obsessive as I found myself being followed and friended by people I didn’t really like, or who disliked me and suddenly I could see everything about them. All the time.
2. I liked that everyone knew what I was doing. I liked sharing my life, who I was in a relationship with, who I was hanging out with and what I was doing. Harmless and again, everyone does it! But I found I was spending more time worrying about how people saw me online than if I was actually happy.
3. It was majorly time consuming. I’d constantly flip my phone on, check Facebook, put my phone away and repeat a couple of minutes later. I wasn’t even enjoying it!
4. A break-up. Perhaps the straw that broke the camel’s back was a break up. I had to get away from this constant stream of stuff my ex was doing, other girls getting gooey and photos of everyone having a good time while I was crying into my pillow.
(It could be important to note that I had Facebook at this point when ‘followers’ were created on FB. I had a lot. It was maybe why lots of these issues occurred.)
The first thing I had to do was delete the apps from my phone. Because I could delete Facebook but I’d still be re-activating it to check if the temptation was there. I then had to explain to endless streams of people that no, I wasn’t dead and no, I hadn’t “blocked them” (the worst possible social offence it would seem).
Nearly a year in, sometimes I do still really miss having Facebook. But I have an agreement that I won’t get it back for various reasons. I have some real issues with not having Facebook and I’ve found that if I try to express these to people who are still on the site, they don’t tell me to go back to it, but they tell me that I have issues – the most common of which is “if you can’t handle not having Facebook maybe you have some real problems here” … Cheers for that. But I wanted to share my issues with not having Facebook here too:
1. People don’t really talk to me. I think this is very much a generational thing. People my age just don’t seem to think ‘Oh maybe I’ll check in’ or ‘Maybe I should invite her’ unless that person is constantly in their faces posted status updates. I have a lovely set of friends but constantly find myself on the edge or finding out that they’re all having a party and it ending in “well I invited everyone on Facebook so you should’ve just come!” … I’ve still not got into the habit of just turning up to places incase everybody’s having a party unfortunately.
2. I’m a bit bored. I still have Twitter and I also dabble with Pinterest, You Tube and of course this blog. But I do feel like I miss out on some stuff that I used to get out of Facebook. Photos and inside jokes mostly, and sometimes I would like to check up on it.
3. I’m going to University very soon, and all the new freshers are meeting over Facebook so I’m finding myself a little stuck. But I’ll meet people when I get there, and I’m sure it will be fine.
4. I just feel disconnected. Like everyone around me has this secret form of communication or a club that I’m not allowed into. Although this feeling is a rarer one, it does appear.
I don’t really know how I feel about Facebook, or not having it. I know that I’ve been better off for the last year without it – but am thinking there may be a time when I’ll return. More for personal and quite sensitive reasons than anything else. But we’ll see. I also believe that not having Facebook has meant that people need to make some effort to speak to me, invite me out or see me – and I actually prefer that. I’d rather people had to actually bother to get hold of me. Theres something more personal in that. And if they don’t bother? Well I know where I stand.
I’ve certainly separated my ‘Facebook friends’ from my real friends.