Some will laugh at me for what I did today! I deleted my Facebook account. I had done it once in the past too. Back then, it was in a fit of rage – I was still a young boy full of warm blood running through my veins. I’m not that person anymore. And Facebook isn’t that place anymore.
I joined Facebook in 2007, but wasn’t really active on it till 2009. 2009 was the year when 2G mobile data became common and affordable. The 230kbps speeds used to keep us on our toes. Friends messing around with each other and friends-of-friends on Facebook just for the heck of it! Oh, that was fun! We always trolled others but the word itself wasn’t common or maybe wasn’t coined in the first place. Our status updates used to be bizarre, innovative and wacky! Our profile pictures weren’t the selfies of today. The photographs we shared on Facebook were more from the heart than the voyeuristic display of emotions and relationships these days!
Yes, I called it voyeuristic. True relationships have taken a back seat these days. You are not your face value anymore, you are your Facebook value – the aggregate of all the likes and comments you gather, the number of friends you have.
In spite of all the privacy features provided by Facebook (the company), Facebook remains a place where your privacy isn’t respected. You receive friend requests from people who aren’t that friendly in real life. I don’t mind adding unknown people to my list – it’s a nice way to connect with new people. But, I can’t let people I know in real life – people who don’t care much for who you are or what you do – to add me as their “friend”.
And it’s not just about the “friend list”. My life itself has taken a lot of beating (directly and indirectly) because I was on Facebook. I met a girl on the site, fell in love with her on the site, even fought with her on the site. After we parted our ways, this habit of visiting her wall to see how she’s doing even after “unfriending” her grew on me. In the real life, although I know she exists, I can’t talk to her, I can’t see her, I won’t be visiting her. But this magic world didn’t allow me to stay completely away from her.
And it doesn’t end with girlfriends and ex-girlfriends. Relationships became sour with people I grew up with. Our online activity affected how we deal with each other offline. Our ideologies and arguments on Facebook affected our real lives.
“Unfriending” people wasn’t my way of dealing with things. It’s a harsh thing to do – to kick someone out of your life. I have done that to very few people in my real life. But on Facebook, I had to do it way too often. Because I didn’t want the son of my mom’s uncle’s brother’s father-in-law to keep a tab on my Facebook activities and then discuss that with people known to me.
There’s, of course, another reason. A small one. This blog. I always wanted to blog. Put my thoughts down. Improve my writing and thinking abilities. Put the little creativity I have to use. Facebook didn’t allow me to do that. It was just easier to post my mind on Facebook not worrying about what I had written or how it sounded. Facebook posts are not well thought-out write-ups. They are impulsive reactions. Of late, I had made it a habit to scrutinize my thoughts well to put up only sensible stuff. But the plethora of comments that used to follow and the urge to react left me with lesser and lesser time to think well before writing. While I don’t regret even a single word that I’ve posted on Facebook and still can claim that those thoughts were well thought-out, I know that I could do better if I blogged.
Most modern-day bloggers depend on Facebook and other social media sites to promote their blogs and I am no different. Blogs need readers. Readers are the motivation for bloggers to blog. My Facebook page has 250+ followers, those numbers rarely translate into site visits, though. I’m thinking of retaining it for now. And this blog is still connected to Twitter (which I don’t use much and which is different when compared to what Facebook is). I’ll see how things play out for me. I’d be happy to write to just a handful of readers who I may/may not know. And if I don’t have readers, I’ll write for myself. For my soul. For my happiness.