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Monthly Archives: February 2014

I’ve come to a disturbing realization recently that Facebook has made somewhat of a monster out of me. It happened slowly over the past 9 years I’ve been on Facebook, and I didn’t notice it as it was happening. But I definitely see that it has taken a toll on my disposition.

Basically Facebook is a big old stage upon which all of my worst character flaws can perform one twisted little musical number after another. In no particular order, Facebook encourages me to be jealous, creepy, passive aggressive, elitist, judgmental, cynical, and angry. That’s not to say that all of my posts are dripping with negativity and awfulness; I just FEEL all this negative shit when I peruse Facebook lately. But it wasn’t always that way…

… When I first joined The Facebook in 2004 it was a different website. The fact that it was only used by people with university email addresses meant that the majority of its users were (presumably) young and smart-ish. The features were few, but we still seemed to agree upon some general, unspoken posting etiquette. I used Facebook casually to share life with friends both local and abroad, and it was mostly a good time. As more and more people were allowed to sign up, more and more features were added to appease them (and to make money). And as all walks of life started to become Facebookers, our little system of mores was basically obliterated. What we have now is a massive, bloated beast with too many features and too many users for my taste. At one point I had 430 friends. That’s fucking stupid.

After much soul searching I’ve determined that it’s the awful shit some people post that’s bringing my worst qualities to the forefront. I can no longer bury my head in the sand about the garbage that seemingly decent people apparently believe. I’m only Facebook friends with people whom I’ve met in person. Every single one of them is a regular person and mostly pleasant to be around, but the shit that some of them post on Facebook makes me secretly hate them. Were it not for Facebook, I probably would have been blissfully unaware of the racism, sexism, homophobia, and ignorance these people are harboring. Being inundated by the bigoted views of people I previously thought were decent chips away at my worldview in a serious way. This is further compounded by the stupidity, egotism, terrible judgment, and naivete I see exhibited by people I’d previously thought had their shit together. Daily reminders of how horrible humanity can be are why I quit reading the news–because it made me perpetually angry and depressed.

De-friending nearly 130 people today was a step in the right direction, but I feel as though I’m required to maintain certain Facebook relationships. Facebook being accessible to everyone means I have to be “friends” with an odd assortment of people I may or may not like in real life. We all have family friends, in-laws, co-workers, etc. who we deal with on occasion because we have to, and it sucks to feel like I don’t have a space where I’m “safe” from them. Some of these people are people I can’t realistically de-friend or block or even restrict because they expect interaction with me and if they don’t get it, I have to put up with their passive-aggressive bullshit whenever I see them in person.

Right now I’m in the throes of the cognitive dissonance that comes from believing that I’m a decent, intelligent person who doesn’t hate everything while simultaneously believing that I’m an awful, deeply flawed individual who would like nothing better than to become a recluse.

I understand and accept that all of this is self-inflicted. Nobody is forcing me to be on Facebook, and I’m going to do something to change the way it makes me feel and behave. Today’s mass de-friending was a step in the right direction. I’m going to continue to de-friend people who set me off and fiddle with my privacy settings until I get to a place where I’m seeing more enjoyable content than junk. I’m definitely going to log fewer hours, too.