Saturday, April 4, 2015

A World Without Facebook

Come look everyone!  They are finally burning the last Facebook servers!
If you could turn back the clock and erase one invention from mankind, what would it be?  Nuclear bombs?  Guns?  The cellular phone?  Porn?  The piano?  I have given it some thought and I think that the one invention that I would remove from the world is Facebook.

Facebook over nuclear weapons?!  Yes.  But first, hear me out.  I think that Facebook, on its (ugly) face, does more damage than nuclear weapons.  I mean, honestly, how many people spend their entire day playing with nuclear weapons while they would be better off doing something else?  Are you with me?

Facebook's cost to society is more massive than we can ever begin to realize.  At this point there could easily be a hundred million people either on Facebook, about to get on Facebook, dwelling on something that was said on Facebook, or experiencing negative consequences that Facebook has caused.

I could not get rid of my Facebook account so I burned the entire house down, computer and all!

John Lennon wrote a wonderful song called Imagine a while back.  It's a song about peace and getting rid of war.  If John Lennon was writing that song today, I would hope it would maybe go something like this:

Imagine there's no Facebook
It's easy if you try
No screen below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Talking to each other face to face

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And with Facebook we'll all be forever done
(2 minute drum solo)

Wouldn't that be wonderful? A world where people actually sat around and were, you know, social. A world where people did not have to check on the status updates of others or see if their post got liked? Wouldn't it be nice to go on a date with someone and have them listen to you during the entire date instead of looking at their phone and kind of half listening half ignoring you?  Imagine if your family actually would communicate with you outside of Facebook?  Wouldn't it be a lot easier to do things with people if you did not have to log into Facebook in order to talk to some of them?

To me that sounds wonderful.  We would not lose much at all with a world without Facebook.  We would lose some things, no doubt.  For example, we would lose an excuse to procrastinate and lose on an opportunity to waste huge amounts of time.  We would lose out on excuses to not exercise, improve our health, lose weight, build muscle, go outside, get better grades, have better relationships with family, be closer to God, accomplish things in life, be a better employee, start a company, get a raise, spend time with children, teach our children how to ride a bike, play sports, go for a walk, spend time in nature, go camping, learn a new language, start a new goal, learn a new skill, start a new career, learn how to go about buying a first home, begin to invest, and all that other stuff that Facebook replaces.  We would lose out on a conduit for bragging and narcism.  I imagine that would be hard to live without, wouldn't it?

Facebook created such anger in his, such rage, that he imagined himself burning down the entire world.  Later, he posted his thoughts on Facebook, to find that his post did not get even a single like.

Nuclear weapons do not make me a narcissist.  They do not make me a braggart.  In fact, I rarely think of them.  Most people probably do not either.  They can be scary, no doubt.  But so is a society where people are so self absorbed and so pacified that they do not care about anything but themselves and the time that they can spend on Facebook.  Isn't it kind of scary to think about how the world was fifteen to twenty years ago and how things are now, with people so hooked up to a computer, living their lives through a screen?

I am not a conspiracy theorist, and generally do not like conspiracy theories.  I tend to believe that things exist as they are seen for the most part.  With Facebook I think the exact same way.  After all, after a while it is easy to see how Facebook affects people.  It is easy to see how many literally live their lives through Facebook.  Every small event is shared for the world to behold.  Why would have we cared what you ate for every meal twenty years ago?  Why do we pretend to care today?  Would have we posted every detail about our children on the internet two decades ago?  Why is that so important to do today?

Something has changed in the way we think.  We believe that it is important to share every minute detail about our lives and we believe that everyone wants to read about it.  It does not help that many people 'like' these posts.  Many people do it so that they, in return, may get a like on one of their posts.  I will give you a like for your chicken pot pie if you like the picture of my macaroni and cheese is the thought process.

How about we stop liking the chicken pot pie and instead you just eat it and be content you have food to put in your belly?

We have got rid of Facebook once and for all, but the cost to the world has been great.  Their minds... their minds are still Zuckerburged.

So maybe you think that Facebook is not much of an issue.  That is probably the case with many people who have grown up using Facebook or who are so sucked in that they can not let go.  Giving up something that has existed your entire life or for a very long time is scary.

But sometimes doing something that is scary is good for us.  For example, sometimes it is good for us to exercise even though it may not feel that great at first.  Sometimes it is scary to go to the gym and work out.  We feel that we may be judged.  Sometimes going for a long walk in the woods is scary.  Bears may be out and about.  Hungry bears.  But it is really good for us to go outdoors.  It is terrifying to go on vacation to the Maldives because there may be an earthquake followed by a huge tsunami.  However, it is good to free your mind and go on vacation.  Sometimes moving is scary, but better job opportunities and ways of life present themselves.  Talk about terrifying!

I am willing to bet that you can muster up the courage to leave Facebook if you have come to the realization that it is best for you to move on with your life and try living in the real world for a while.  That's right, I said real world.  Facebook is imaginary.  It is not really real.  It's a virtual world filled with skewed lives that barely exist.  Sure, that pot pie looked good, but did it really look that way or was it photoshopped?  Was the angle just right?  Did the picture show that dirty kitchen or the part that fell in on itself?  Does the picture show the dead bird?  Did it show the box it came in?  If so, maybe it did deserve a like for being honest.  Yet, I rarely saw anything of the sort while on Facebook.  Every pot pie looked scrumptious.  Everything looked just divine.  It made real life really suck.  No wonder everyone wants to spend time on Facebook.  It's like when you hide in the closet when you are six years old and pretend you are in rainbow country.  Everything is ponies and layered cakes, until mother calls and tells you to clean up that room.  You exit the closet and are forced back into the ugly real world where you have to face reality.

Yet reality is not always bad.  It gets worse when you ignore for a long time.  Many people who are on Facebook have ignored reality for a very, very long time.  They have ignored it for so long that they might not even know as much about their families, children, and themselves as they would have if they had just faced the world that was in front of them.  It's not a bad place.  Your children are better than Facebook, are they not?

I will let you think about that for a while.  Then you can delete your Facebook.  How does that sound?

I think it sounds amazing.  You sir, have a great future ahead of you.  Relish it.  


  1. Great read. We can only hope...

  2. Facebook must go even the news media have it on their channel to remind people to use it.

  3. I'm smiling ear-to-ear.
    What a breath of fresh air!
    And I think John Lennon would like your rendition of "Imagine." :)

    I found your site a coupleish days ago, on another one of my searches regarding the impact of online life and "(a)social" [excellent thought-provoking description] network experiment humankind has engaged. I'm one of those humans.

    I'm almost 56 and never even posted online until late December, 2005. And here, as I type this comment...I pause...because of the voluminous amount of online life (of which social media has played a significant part) that has happened in the past 10 years. Some was (still is) excellent and I am thankful for old and new connections. And some has been traumatic (involving false accusations, smears, outright fabrications). It's been a learning experience, to say the least. Ha!

    I'm interested in your book. Is it still something you are working on?

    Thanks for your site!

    I'll be reading more...and probably pass the link along to a friend or three...

  4. I would go so far as to say a world without the internet. Back to existence circa 1997. I know there's no turning back, but I enjoy dreaming about it and wondering how my life and my family's would be better and different.

  5. Facebook destroys your soul. It makes you think about people that aren't a part of your life. It makes you obsessive and depressed. It has also become an outlet for annoying, selfish people who never to anything nice for anyone else to make phony announcements in attempts to elevate their reputation. In fact, it seems like the phonier and bullshitty the post, the more popular and the more likes it gets. Truly unbelievable. And let's not even get started on the ex-stalking that goes on...just bad and a waste of time.

  6. You are right about how behavior on Facebook would have been viewed as mentally unbalanced by most people 15 or 20 years ago. I suppose it's gradualism over time that people accept such radical shifts in what's considered normal behavior. I've seen people post pictures of their poor children being toilet trained. It's so unfair since kids can't give informed consent to have their pictures posted for the world to see. I'd even say it's some form of child abuse.