Not that I've told anybody, but about two weeks ago I 'unfollowed' all 300+ of my friends on Facebook, bar about ten of my closest friends and family. And boy does it feel good!!
It's only since then that I've realised just how much rubbish I have been feeding on. Surely it can't be healthy... constantly filling our brains with useless, pointless drivel? I don't miss it at all!! In fact, without it, I feel so fresh and so clean... I feel like I've undergone a Facebook detox!
Only a couple of weeks back, a video went viral that highlighted the social media and smartphone obessession pandemic that this nation is well and truly gripped by - ironically, that same video made numerous appearances on my Facebook feed. It's only when you take a step back from social networking, and take a look at the real world, that you notice how much time we spend with our heads in our smartphones/tablets/laptops, missing out on reality - it's difficult to see with your head in your phone. I'm not going to pretend that I'm ditching all technology and ways of communicating in the modern world, that would just be ridiculous... but I have a new awareness of just how often I used it as a boredom killer, pointlessly and unfrutifully... and for me that had to mean a commitment to ditch the 'habit'.
I'm not sure about you, but certainly for me, Facebook has proven itself as a life sapper. It became a problem when I realised I was having to check Facebook the second my eyes open, posting significant events online before I tell people in person, checking if anyone has 'liked' or commented on my post within a minute of posting it (For an ego boost? For approval?), feeling embarrassed for people as I watched people air their dirty laundry for the world to read, having to skim through hundreds and hundreds of useless cr*p that I have absolutely no interest in whatsoever but felt compelled to, simply because it kills time.
I don't doubt for one minute that Facebook is a great thing for many people. If you can manage to keep it under control, you have the perfect means to maintain positive relationships with people who you might not see as often as you like. It's a way of expressing your feelings, values, opinions... It's blogging and sharing your life with the many people who you've met, and are going to meet, throughout your life... Great! I'm all for that! It would be hypocritical to suggest otherwise, as I sit here writing a public blog. But I can't help but feel that, for many, Facebook just doesn't end there. It comes with all the other rubbish as mentioned before, and on reflection, I was unable to stay in control. At such as life changing point in my life, I am keen to lose the 'pointless' in my life and replace it with more important things... like my beautiful wife and our unborn child.
So if you see me around and expect me to know whats been happening in your life, because of our good old friend Facebook... It's likely that I haven't seen it. Likewise, if you ask me whether I saw your Facebook post about that amazing thing that happened last week... then the answer is probably 'no'. Perhaps we could catch up over a pint, or a coffee, or anything else that isn't social media?