Image via Buzzfeed.
It took about five minutes yesterday, standing on a busy train platform, to decide to scale back (ok, suspend) my interactions on Facebook.
Nothing bad happened. It was just another day. I probably got overtired. And Facebook wasn’t helping.
I like Facebook. It’s a great way to stay in touch with people. I have friends who post thought-provoking and silly/funny links. But the scope to develop deeper connections is limited. Connections on Facebook require energy to manage. Perhaps more so than face-to-face or phone interactions.
When I am tired and in a less-than-ideal space, it is too easy to read innocent comments as personal attacks. And it takes energy to recognise/reframe these as what they are - mere misinterpretations.
By the same token, when I am tired, it is also too easy to make flippant, ill-considered comments that end up hurting others (as opposed to deliberately provocative ones.) And then more energy is required to manage those hurt feelings.
I don’t have much energy to spare at this point in time.
The nature of Facebook also (necessarily) limits personal disclosure. This limits expressions of vulnerability and inhibits the development of deeper connections. I want to share more of my life with my friends. But not through Facebook. I already have richer one-on-one conversations on Messenger and other direct messaging channels. I should be spending my time on them.
More recently, Facebook has also become a place to vent impotent frustrations about the world. It has become an echo chamber of cynicism, bile, and despair. What started as catharsis has become cancer.
So, I am going to stop interacting on Facebook.
This means no more direct posts. No re-sharing. No more cat pictures. And no comments. (I stopped using the Like function years ago.)
My twitter feed and blog posts will still flow through to my page. I will likely return to look at my friends’ posts. But I won’t comment or share on Facebook itself.
Instead, I will write direct messages. Longer, considered, direct messages.
If you are reading this on Facebook and feel thus inclined, send me a message. Or post a comment on my blog.