quitting Facebook was a lot less like giving up crack than you might think

Hi, my name is Shelby Ward and I’ve been Facebook free for about four months now.

I actually say about, because I’m not actually sure how long ago it has been since I decided to deactivate my account. Now there is a difference between deactivating and deleting. Deleting actually requires calling the company and a whole lot of other things I am just way too lazy to do. They actually make it really hard for you to quit it. Which, I guess in that sense, Facebook is a lot like crack.

Besides I think that part of me likes knowing that if I ever want to I can just reactivate it. If for no other reason there are still some pictures that I am tagged in from my trip abroad this summer to Morocco, Turkey, and Sri Lanka that I don’t have anywhere else.

But honestly, I just got tired of the constant connection that Facebook allows and wants you to have. I didn’t like the feeling that I was connected and followed by everyone in my past and present. I’ve never been a fan of IMing. And I found the Facebook one particularly annoying. If you need to send me something private, and you don’t have my phone number, you probably shouldn’t be sending it.

I was tired of dealing with Facebook’s ever changing private policies and site changes. Like the timeline. I abhorred having Facebook map my life on a timeline like that. It not only sets your life out on one single, limiting trajectory, but it was almost like saying anything else in your life that may have happened didn’t matter, because we’ll it’s not on your FB timeline.

I also hated how I felt like I was a product. Facebook makes money off of advertisements that are centered around the information that you give to Facebook. Now, given that Google does the exact same thing, and I still use it. But I felt that the payoff for Google’s service was a little bit more beneficial towards me than Facebook. If there was another site that could do the same thing as Google, I would probably use it. Sorry BING, you’re not quite there yet.

I just wanted a cleanse. I thought that maybe I would just do it for finals last semester. But I found that I was much happier being off of it. Now that isn’t to say that I’m not on any social media at all. I’m on Twitter and Instagram (@shelbelise). But I liked the control that those sites give me more than FB. Twitter and Instagram are like snapshots of your life, instead of trying to encompass everything. I can control what pictures or posts people see instead of people tagging me in whoknowswhatkindofbarpicture.

I don’t think that I have lost any meaningful connections with anyone. It is just as easy to send a text or a tweet than it is to send a Facebook message. Personally, getting off of Facebook was one way for me to start shaping the online identity that I want.