Opinion

Goodbye, dear Facebook

Less than a week ago, I deleted my Facebook for what seems like the 69th time (no innuendo intended). Our breakup’s been a long time coming, like multiple orgasms, but over the years we’ve always found our way back into each other’s warm arms because we missed the comfort. But, this time, we’re finally through.

It’s not like Facebook cheated on me with one of its other 175 million users, it’s just that I’ve found something better and I’m walking away. That thing is real human interaction. For far too long, my social existence (outside of the Interweb) has been consistently bench-riding while Facebook’s been my main squeeze. And like a kid who had the nickname “Dick-nose” in high school, I’m really ready to move on.

I’m pretty sure it was while I was scrolling through my old high school teacher’s photo album of a marching band trip to Tallahassee that I’d realized Facebook and I might be drifting apart. At last, I’d seen one too many lame status updates and scrolled through one too many photo albums. I was finally fed up with being force-fed information that I didn’t care about, about a laundry list of people I don’t give even a single crap about.

Though this always bugged me, for a long while keeping my Facebook around was an excuse to keep in touch with people who weren’t in my life anymore. But last week on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Jason Segel was a guest and when asked about Facebook, he explained that he’s not a member – “I don’t not keep in touch with you because I can’t find you. If I didn’t like you in high school, chances are I don’t like you now.”

We’re convinced otherwise, but it really is easy to stay in touch with the people who matter, without having the extra “fun” of finding out your distant acquaintance from grade school is “…obsessed with gouda cheese samples @ freshmarket lol.”

Though cheese samples can be fun and (sometimes) worth a laugh-out-loud, it’s that bombardment of useless information via Facebook that eventually drives people apart. When we know every detail, no matter how humdrum or inappropriate it is, there’s no more interest in even wondering, “so what else is up?” But on a CurrenTV’s new show, SuperNews!, they assert that “this is how our generation communicates. We’re detached and suddenly “byte-size.”

I, for one, am not ready to detach myself and give up on the good ol’ face-to-face so quickly. But, perhaps it’s a scarcity of such face-to-face in people’s lives that drives them to Internet communiqué.

Consequently, it seems that Facebook is deep-rooted in loneliness and a messy (much like chocolate cheese) preoccupation with being acknowledged. Our generation is already a very self-conscious one – one that requires constant self-affirmation and acceptance – and with Facebook we diminish our own self-esteem every time we trade our will to achieve and excel for the cheap thrill of seeing a red notification tally at the bottom right of the homepage.

Facebook’s become such a deliciously unhealthy snack (again, much like chocolate cheese) for insecurities, because while sitting alone in front of a computer screen, you have the reassuring feeling that you’re hanging out with all of your friends…all the time. But by concurrently speaking with no one, but to everyone, we’re just sadly “shouting out into the darkness, hoping someone is listening.” It’s as if we’ve given up on people hearing us in real life, so we pray they’ll listen in cyberspace.

As a kid growing up amidst history’s biggest advances in social networking, it’d be silly to think that Facebook won’t play a role in my life post-deactivation, but I realize that I’m 18 years young and I’ve got a life to live that doesn’t include sitting in front of a computer screen, gabbing with ghost manifestations of people I know. And what I can assert, with no silliness, is that I, alone, can dictate my own self-esteem and means of communication with the humans around me, outside of the royal blue and white confines of Facebook.

Goodbye, Daniel’s Buyanovsky’s Facebook. You’ve just been SuperPoked by reality, sucka.

April 12, 2009

Reporters

Dan Buyanovsky

Senior Writer


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