That’s been made crystal clear to me after almost a decade of trying across several social media platforms over the last 15 years. It’s for this reason that I’ve decided to deactivate my Facebook account tonight at 11:59PM. At the very least it will be for the rest of the year but I’m hopeful I will forget to reactivate it come 2017.
Until the 2011-12 school year, my FB account had been deactivated since 2007. I reactivated it because there were people I could actually talk to via social media who would respond back to me. Both at work as well as people I met at Anime Boston. It was awesome until around this time in 2014 with all the things that happened with me. Folks got distant with me online and…yeah. I’m done.
I’ve said over and over again over the years to folks I follow on social media to subscribe to my blogs. Given the silence I’ve received in response, I know my voice won’t “missed” there. Besides, it’s become too much of a distraction for me over the last two years. I shut down my Twitter account last April for similar reasons. There’s also the fact I recently launched a new blog I haven’t really spent much time on yet.
My personal reasons for quitting Facebook aside, it’s become all too clear to me in recent months most Social Media platforms have become breeding grounds for toxic behavior and negativity online. Even worse is it’s very difficult to avoid getting pulled into petty arguements. The real-time nature of social media is very different from Message Boards–a format I’ve missed since the rise of Social Media 15 years ago–something someone posts can be quickly shared across the platform for thousands or even millions to see.
…Not that long ago, some “experts” said anyone who either doesn’t have a Facebook account or doesn’t regularly post updates must have something to hide. I’m pretty sure folks posting what they’re eating for dinner, who they’re going to meet in 5 minutes or other slices of life aren’t the kinds of things everyone needs to know about all the time. That said, I’m a strong believer in the phrase “too much information”. People post things on Social Media that are better left in their heads or discussed privately.
Things like hate speech. The biggest, though unintended consequence of Social Media is it gave the biggots a platform to spread hate en masse. Even worse, there is no way to put the proverbial genie back in the bottle. It’s more than fair to say Social Media hastened bigotry worldwide as it is considered “a safe space” for people to speak freely. I’m certainly not calling for Social Media to be shut down. I just think it’s better to have online platforms with strong filters for those who want them.
All that said, I will continue to write blog posts. Writing’s what I do and enjoy as it is. The time I won’t be spending on Facebook is time I can better spend on other things. I took the app off my phone earlier this year and only really used it on my computer so…yeah. Life trumps everything else as usual. I certainly won’t miss Facebook ^_^