Saturday, October 16, 2010

Why I quit Facebook.

I did it. What many have threatened. Many have thought about.

I quit Facebook.

For a while now, something about Facebook, or “Dramabook” as a friend called it, wasn't sitting right with me. I’d said a few times I felt like a stranger in my own profile. When it comes down to it, there were a lot of reasons I quit Facebook. Well, and to be fair, I still run Cora’s page and a page for this blog and have a tiny profile I don’t plan on updating to run them from. So, I didn’t totally leave Facebook.

But, I quit my personal page.

1. Everything was a debate. I’m known for a love of debating/arguing and really thinking about things with my friends. But, there’s a time and a place. Sometimes, I just wanted to post how I felt and get support or to vent. But, it seems like my status updates were starting to be place for everyone to argue and debate over whatever it was. I just didn’t have the energy to moderate and calm egos to make sure no one was attacked/offended.

2. OMG the drama!! Every few weeks, or couple of days, “fights” would erupt. And, yes, I deleted those people that caused the most of it, but still heard about it, and was just annoyed.

3. It was too hard. In a week, 13 children died whose parents were on Facebook and connected to me there. I cried so much. At one point, I called the pharmacy to see if I had a refill for an old anti-anxiety medication, something I’d taken for just a few months immediately after Cora’s death. While I want to be there for people, it was ripping me to little shreds. I still seek out families to offer words of comfort on their blog, and through Cora’s Facebook page, but having it forced down my throat was so much.

4. Facebook was messing with my head. Really. It was. I might jump on to share a link and a baby coffin would pop up in my feed or something else that I was unprepared for. The shock of these images was only making my PTSD worse. I’m sure of it.

5. I can’t intimately keep up with 1400 people. That’s about how many were on my friend’s list. And, I’m a caring person. I cared for (almost) all of them. If I read that someone was having a bad day, I took to learn why and help them fix it. I got upset at their problems. I worried about their financial situations, their health, their grandparent’s health. You name it. But, to get that emotionally involved with 1400 people? Exhausting. I feel bad saying it. I feel bad for abandoning these people, most strangers. Facebook has become a place where people share intimately designed for people to either abandon it or become close with all. It’s impossible to share that sort of intimacy with 1400 people.

6. I was getting rather irritated at Facebook’s lack of regard for my privacy and data. I was a fan of the new group’s feature, thought it might help me control my use, but that backfired when I found strangers being added to my groups because of a Facebook design flaw.

7. I was spending too much time on Facebook. Facebook became integrated in what I did to spread Cora’s Story, but I spent waayyyy too much time there. I’m going to write a post about how I’m using that time now.
8. Facebook constantly made me feel bad. It’s true. I was constantly getting messages about what people were saying. People questioning what I was doing. I share Cora’s Story. I share her love and beauty period. At the end of this, I’ll share a story about the worse of this.

9. While many people on my friend’s list loved, or at least appreciated me, some flat out hated me. I found out after that people told other people we didn’t “get along” or other things. And you know what? To be honest? There were one or two I didn’t like much either.

10. I met some really black hearted, morally corrupt people there. First, for every one of them, let me say, I met 500 good people, literally. But, just like in the real world there are some really bad people, there are also on Facebook and in online communities. I didn’t want to see it. I deleted them after I found out. But, getting messages from a wife that her husband was cheating on her? Flipped me out. It was gross. I didn’t want to know. And, I didn’t want to be in any way related to those people. And, drug use. And, accepting drug money, because someone was broke. And, then with others kids being taken away for abuse allegations. I’m all for accepting and forgiving people, but if they were in the middle of this stuff? I didn’t need them near me. I deleted anyone with anything like that over their head, but it came to my attention that there could be more evilness.

11. I was getting news of harassment. I read nasty profile updates. And, then started getting notes from my friends that they were being tracked down to get a note about how awful I was. Too much. Too silly. Too much drama. That folks? Is harassment. I considered contacting the proper authorities. And, that’s when I decided the time had come. For me to quit Facebook.

12. My family and friends seemed afraid of my Facebook. They read all this crazy stuff I think and didn’t comment on my stuff anymore. And, isn’t that Facebook is about? Connecting with family and friends? At least personal accounts.

13. Facebook seems to breed bullies and hate. I think Facebook is where people first started gathering and hating on my friend Jill because of a choice she made. You probably know her story. She was harassed on the very day her son died. Just like it brings people together for good, it helps people build on the bad. It's where the inactivists first gathered against her. I'm not sure Facebook is to blame itself, I think this happens on any large social networking site, but I'm done with hate. I'm done with negativity. Just done with it.

So I quit. I worried that people would take it personally and think I’d blocked or deleted them, part of why I write this. I deleted almost everyone off my list individually if I had a big problem with them. It wasn’t you.
Interestingly enough, my decision was reaffirmed just an hour or so after I left. I thought a group I’d made for just the heart families on my list would delete when I left. I heard it did not and that there was drama there, so I reactivated and rejoined just to delete that group.

And in the chat of my own little <3 family? The little group I’d made for love and support? I saw people bashing me. It hurt. But, I also realized how little some of these people knew about me or cared to know. One said mean things but acknowledged I’d taken time to “find links to share” like all this time, all these relationships I created, all those links I WROTE myself didn’t matter. The crazy thing? I didn’t even recognize that girl’s name. Have no clue who she is. Another wrote about how dramatic I was. For months, I hid what I knew about others and just deleted them. I rarely ever commented publicly about anything to do with the infighting. I did choose to write a status update with my contact info when I left, but dramatic, they had no clue.

If you’re on Facebook and have people you’ve added that you don’t personally know, think about it. Really think about that choice and apply a filter to what they say. And, use the delete option to weed your friend's list. It's YOUR Facebook. Don't let it get out of control. Learn from me and my mistakes.

If we used to be Facebook friends, please stay in touch, on my Facebook page for this blog or through email. I’m at kbrite at gmail dot com.

Do you have reasons why you'd like to quit Facebook some times?

And, oh yeah, I also moderate these comments now! So be nice.

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