Saturday, June 08, 2013

Going ‘Cold Turkey’ from Facebook

I’ve been on Facebook for about the last five years or so.  And over those years my usage of the social networking media has increased.  I decided yesterday to close down my account.
Why?  You might ask. 

Because my name’s Lynette and I’m a Facebook Addict...

It all started innocently enough.  I can remember a time when university students used it a lot, actually it was intended for those people.  My daughter had a boyfriend at the time and he’d say, “I’m popping on Facebook...” and I’d wonder what on earth it was.

Later I found out but never really thought that much about it.  As a writer, I noticed that several writer friends had started social networking accounts to increase their online profiles.  I tried Bebo for a while but never really took to it.  I think I only ever once updated my status there.  

Eventually, I closed that account down and started a Facebook one which I never really used and also a Myspace account where my only friend was some person called, ‘Tom’.  Tom seemed to be everyone’s friend!

Anyhow I had this Facebook account where I hadn’t even uploaded a photograph and some strange man, who I didn’t recognise and wasn’t ‘Tom’, had added me as a friend.  I thought no more of it.  A few months later, a writer friend of mine added me as a friend on Facebook, I don’t know how she even knew it was me for sure, but after that I got lots of friend requests from other writers and people living in my home town and I ended up with around 350 friends.

Soon I became very active on Facebook.  I enjoyed all the banter and networking with other writers and old friends.  I even set up a couple of Facebook groups.  One, was a local group which became so popular it ended up with around 1,500 members.  We met once a month at a local pub.

That group is still going but I no longer run it.  It was very successful but I put my heart and soul into it.  A few people tried to cause trouble for me and we ended up falling out, something I think which might not have happened had it not been for Facebook.

People will say things to you, they haven’t got the guts to do in real life, but it’s a fast track way to find out who your real friends are.  The trouble makers were never my real friends to begin with. 
So, as a result of Facebook I’ve lost four ‘friends’ who showed their true colours.  One kept inboxing me abusive emails and finally said, ‘I’m blocking you because you haven’t replied’.  The reason I hadn’t replied was that I was in work while she was spending her day on Facebook!

I used to post a lot of music from You Tube on my Facebook wall and had a little bit of a following, almost as a Facebook DJ.  I found this quite amusing.  Especially when people would put in requests for songs.

'Can’t they go to You Tube and post their own songs?'  My son would ask, highly amused that I had all these followers like a flock of sheep.

The truth was I enjoyed it, we’d entered discussions about songs which brought back some great memories for me.   Sometimes I’d discover new songs that I’d buried away in the darkest recesses of my mind.

The problem was Facebook is counterproductive for me as hours can be spent doing mind numbing things.  

I ran a writing group there, which I enjoyed and got good feedback from, but it became more of a reading group rather than a writing group in the end as only two of us were regularly posting.

The truth was...dare I say it...I became bored by Facebook.

Bored with some of the inane comments and people liking this that and the other.  Really?  You like the fact that something awful happened to me today?  People seem to like just about everything from  something really nice to going to a pop concert to someone really awful such as someone ending up in hospital with their arm hanging off!  Okay, that's an exaggeration, but you know what I mean!

Well, I’ve been away from Facebook for about 14 hours and 46 minutes and still counting...
Hoping I can go cold turkey and get back in the real world, doing all the things I used to love doing before Facebook.  Like writing in this blog, reading other blogs, tracing my family tree and writing way more of my new novel!

I shall keep you posted how I get on...

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