About a month ago, I received a call from my mother.
Mom: “(Name) saw on Facebook where you posted something saying that you were a proud mother of a gay son.”
Me: “Mom, first of all, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Second, if that were true, while I would still be a proud mother, I wouldn’t use Facebook to publicly out my kid.”
As we say in the South, bless her heart. It was the straw that broke the Photoshopped, duck-lipped, selfie-loving camel’s back.
A recent study found that people who regularly use FB tend to be the most unhappy. As I read my news feed today, I understand why. It is 80% filled with thinly disguised racism, hatred, fear and ignorance. Arguments bounce around as each side of decisive debates try to win the other side over with not-so-cleverly-designed memes. The miserable feed off the miserable.
I’ve tried filtering, hiding, de-friending. But, still I find myself getting all worked up each time I log on and am met with a barrage of posts that go against my most basic beliefs in justice, equality and civility. I’m not sure why half of my ‘friends’ have actually befriended me when it’s clear we have nothing in common. Again, misery begets misery. Facebook actually knows this and conducted its own little experiment with your emotions: http://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full.pdf
The average person who has been on FB for 10 years has wasted 40 days of his life. For those more hard-core FB addicts, it can be as much as 150 days! Imagine what a difference we could make by devoting all that time to something that really matters.
Because I couldn’t have said it better myself, here are six additional reasons I am dropping my personal Facebook account: www.entrepreneur.com/article/234598
Now, because I am in the marketing business, some may ask how my loathing of this social media platform will impact the way I promote my clients. In short, it won’t. The same things that aggravate me about my personal FB page bug that heck out of me and cost my clients money when trying to promote a business. For quite a while now, I have steered clients away from using FB as a means to market their business, and haven’t been worse for it. Communication with customers is critically important and FB seems to block it at every turn. I would rather focus my attention and my client’s dollars on using social media networks that help, not hinder, our efforts to build their brand.
Here is a great follow-up article from Eat24 following their break-up with the social networking giant, calling it “the best marketing move we made all year.” http://blog.eat24hours.com/eat24-life-after-facebook
Do I expect my declaration of independence (I just caught the irony of that since it’s almost July 4th) to really matter to anyone? No, of course not. The truth is, the folks who really care about me and want to see my kids (instead of just liking a picture of them) will drop me a letter, stop by for a visit, or (gasp) pick up the phone to see how I’m doing. The rest care about me as much as I care about the link you shared from your ultra-conservative hate group espousing your right to fly your Confederate flag or deny service to my gay friends, or the photo of that strange growth in your mouth that had to be lanced – all equally repulsive.
*update January 2020*
Well, I am sad to say, I did make my way back to the Book. Given the fact that several groups my children and I are in use social media exclusively to communicate important news, I find that I can’t completely break away. I have, however, used tools such as that wonderful “unfollow” button to weed out much of the negativity from my newsfeed.