A year ago to the day, I quit Facebook. At the time I feared I might be committing social suicide. Today, I can happily report that didn’t happen.
Since quitting the popular online hangout, I’ve limited the number of work and out of office distractions I encounter. I no longer feel the desire to “check in” online at every waking hour. It takes me longer to discover new bands. And I don’t have to consciously decide or distinguish friends from colleagues, associates, and nobodies. I just let them happen naturally now; unannounced and evolving.
It’s also a lot harder to keep up with the Joneses now. I’m no longer informed on what a close friend had for lunch or where that old high school acquaintance went on vacation last week. But since I don’t want to be or do what the Joneses claim to be and do, it’s not a loss.
I do miss the little updates from those dearest to me, however. I’m less up to date on cousins, aunts, and uncles now, and friends I still hope to encounter again. But the trade-off is worth it, especially since those closest to me keep me up to date on the really important, newsworthy stuff. (You can learn a lot more about the people you care about with a phone call than scrolling through someone’s wall.)
Another important thing: I still get invited to parties and events, at least by those who really want me there. And I’m more motivated to reach out and see people in person, since I don’t get to see them as much online.
Perhaps the biggest thing I’ve learned since quitting Facebook, though: Whether online or off, the cream of life always rises to the top. The best status updates transcend the Internet.
That’s what’s great about the analog Facebook. When logged on to it, you can still “stay connected to the people in your life,” even if you’ve removed yourself from the digital grapevine.
The downside: I have a tougher time finding funny web videos now.