Lately, as I talk to people, I find myself wondering if Facebook may be losing its luster. It seems that many people are getting tired of the non-sense that goes on via Facebook. Examples include the narcissism, the bragging, the propaganda, the fighting amongst family members. In fact, I was recently told that one of my newlywed family members got in a fight and let their spouse and the rest of the world know that they wanted a divorce via Facebook. Sadly, even though I am not on Facebook, I do hear about the drama, and it just proves to me how happy I am to have left.
I am constantly told by others that they want to leave the site and don't see much of a use for it any longer. I feel that this is only natural. When Facebook was new to me I found myself curious and excited to see what the people I knew from the past (high school, grade school, etc.) were doing with their lives. I never stayed in contact with many people from the past and it was interesting to see who went where and who did what. Further, I grew up in a very rural area in Montana and everyone seemed to know everyone else, so that made it all the more interesting to me.
However, once I found out what everyone was doing with their lives, and once I talked to some of the people from the past, I realized that my curiosity had waned. That part of Facebook was no longer new and exciting to me. Yet, at the same time, I wondered if maybe there would be some people who wondered what I would be doing with my life. I was proud of my accomplishments and hoped that others would see that I was not the same loser who I was in high school. I had moved to New York City, traveled the world, went to a well known college, and was now in law school. This just had to prove that I was not the same pimple faced glasses wearing fool I was back in the day, right?
Well, I learned fast that everyone else was trying to impress everyone and that while some were surprised to see what I had done, most didn't seem to really care. Further, many of the people in my high school had achieved at least something and were proud of that something, feeling the need to share it with the rest of the world (there were also a couple of depressed individuals who seemed to garnish pity instead of share their achievements - but maybe their depression was their achievement and perhaps they were proud of it).
Further, I realized I was seeing my friends and family in a more negative light as time went on. People shared all their insecurities and all their drama with the rest of the world. I saw couples fighting and people complaining about everything. I saw people "unfriending" others and sharing the fact with the rest of the world. I noticed how people felt validated by sharing what they hated about another person, even when that other person could read the post. The site felt so negative, yet I still felt a burning desire to share my every moment with the rest of the world.
Then there was the endless barrage of political propaganda. Everything from the presidential candidates to pro-life and pro-choice battles to Kony 2012 and Occupy Wall Street plastered daily by certain individuals. Facebook was fast becoming a political sounding board. It was too much for me. I did not sign up to use Facebook in order to be bombarded with politics or see friends fighting over who should win the election. I thought Facebook was supposed to be the kind of place where people talked with each other and communicated with family members and friends who did not live close by. However, there was much noise on Facebook that erased any possibility of a real relationship. The phone, e-mail, and person to person contact still reigned as the best way in which to foster a relationship, and Facebook became a failed venture.
Although I have left, many people are content with the failure that is Facebook. Although many people have lost money on the site, and although many families have brought their feuds to Facebook, it is still the most popular social network in the world. It is too easy to stay and too hard to give up and for that reason many don't want to leave. However, there are a growing number of people who claim to be dissatisfied with Facebook. Time will tell if they make the move and leave the site that has such a stranglehold on their life. Facebook truly is an emotional roller coaster, and one may have to do a great amount of soul searching in order to realize that leaving is probably in their best interest. I hope that they will eventually purge the urge to be on the biggest time waste to hit the modern world. Having talked to those who have left, I have yet to see anyone who has regretted the choice they made to leave.