So…I guess I quit Facebook

8:02 PM Priyanka 14 Comments

I've been meaning to take this step ever since the beginning of this year. My reasons to go on being a part of this unavailing parade?  Friends, Family, Professional connections, Social circles and the general need to "stay in the loop".

It's no hidden truth that Facebook has swept over the entire world like a giant wave of consumerism, marketing and social media. It's easy to be a part of it because it's free. But you know what they say "If you're not paying for it, then you're not the customer; You're the product being sold."

The question I most deal with these days is why I took this step. Some of my friends (including my mom) thought that something had "happened". I'm writing this post to clear the air and try to explain myself.

The thought crossed my mind last week. I pictured how it would be like if I left Facebook. It was random, like a fleeting thought that often crosses a weary mind. I wondered, what if something wonderful happens, what if I decide to take a trip around the world, what if I meet a celebrity, what if really good things start happening; how am I gonna share all that, where will I put all those pictures, all those memories, how will I show-off? How will my 1000+ friends get to know what's going on in my life? I laughed at my haughtiness and brush those thoughts aside.

Yesterday, however, I wasn't thinking. I logged into Facebook first thing in the morning and disabled my account. Maybe it was easier because I wasn't thinking. I was just consumed by this overwhelming urge to quit the site. Once safe out of its reach, I gathered my thoughts.

Being friends on Facebook doesn't mean a thing in real life. There were people I was friends with online, whom I never speak with otherwise. It was ridiculous.

Secondly, it makes it way too easy for people to contact each other. If you wanna see a friend, you get off your ass and walk up to where they are, or at least pick up your damn phone and give them a call. Facebook has literally reduced the sense of friendship to a bunch of digital signals. Instead of bridging the gaps, it has only created more walls.

There was a girl in one of my classes this semester, whom I saw once a week. We would always sit together, talk about our lives and share a chuckle or two over the jokes that our professor cracked. She was not on Facebook. So I couldn't add her. The first time this hit me, I felt sad that I won't be able to keep in touch with someone I connected so well with. But then we would talk over the phone and hang-out after our class. I would actually look forward to Mondays when I would get to see my friend. It was a different kind of thrill. And rest assured, I felt closer to her than most of my other close friends who're too cool to step off Facebook and spend time in person.

The truth is, your real friends will always find you. They'll always know what's on your mind. Not because they saw it on their news-feed but because they care enough to actually ask you. They don't need to be reminded that it's your b'day or that they need to wish you new years. They'll always remember.

Funny thing is I joined Facebook almost 4 years back, right before I started my university life; and I quit now when I am mere weeks away from graduating. It's like the end of an era. I wont be completely starving myself technology-wise though; there're always ways to telecommunicate with your loved ones. All I want now is to focus on living my life, rather than sharing it.

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14 precious thoughts..:

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sanam! said...

I complete agree with you dearie!
I have found so much time for myself after quitting facebook temporarily last year. You begin to live your life and to love yourself. Oh and don't worry, I will always find you ;)

Priyanka said...

Awwn..Thanks honey! xoxo

sriti said...

I am already missing u.. i did it a year back, but had to come back owing to constant nagging! but it does feel good! u'll have a lot of time from now.. :)

Priyanka said...

hahah i know!! that's the first thing that hits you! its like everytime i get bored from work and move over to my browser i have nothing to do, how often can you check email anyway!
lol but yea i've started scrolling through more news; reading good articles; learning new languages, turns out the internet has so much more to offer ;)

sriti said...

yes it does, if we give it a chance! :P :P

Anonymous said...

I know how it is like to feel bad about the amount of time one spends "online"... There's this total 'ack' feeling when all of a sudden, prompted by circumstances or events of the day/week/month/year/life, we realise that it's so futile to remain in touch with people via a screen and a keyboard while the real life is lacking in human touch and is passing us by.

I used to think the same, but certain advantages of technology are so simple that it's hard to ignore them. I met a college alumni here at RIL during my internship for just a day, and she instantly sent me a request on FB. Sure, we could have exchanged phone numbers, addresses, etc. etc. , but it's all there already! One click and I can discover a lot about her life, interests, background and so on. Breaking the ice takes some time, but there's nothing better than discovered shared interests to take the conversation forward.

Yes, cyberspace has encroached our lives more than enough already and it's time we reverted to the real, human way of knowing people. But acrosss time zones, oceans and continents? We get to see the celebrations, the parties, the hangouts without being there. Filter the feed, and all of a sudden you're in touch with ur best pals night and day, minus the telephone bill.

P.S. That's the technophile in me speaking. Personally, I'd rather meet people and go over sepia-toned photograph albums! :)

Priyanka said...

I was JUST thinking about you! Sent over a gtalk invite! :)

And yes, I see the downside of being fb-deprived sometimes but it doesn't match up to the peace of mind I've gained. As for tracking down people who're new in your life, a little mystery always spices things up ;)

Anonymous said...

Haha... I'm guessing you've only met the right kind then! :D

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Mukul Arora said...

Nice read. Not sure how I landed up on this blog, guess I powered up my laptop to check my gmail, facebook , linkedin, twitter, tumblr, youtube, blah blah blah account. In a hyper-connected world of today people have an absurd urge to be connected. But they fail to understand the difference between being linked and being connected!

Well every technology has its pros and cons. And I am using social media to my advantage or at least I would like to believe that.

Looking forward for another blog until then back to my facebook home.

larissa said...

wow I never thought about it that way. you have inspired me to think about how I live my life and all the time I allow Facebook to take away from my life and kids. Im not quite there to hit the finally good bye button but hopefully I will soon have the courage to sign off for good.

Tima said...

I agree 100% with you , I left facebook for two weeks , they were the best two weeks of my life because i lived my real life then , not my online virtual life :)thank you for the post I loved i & i think I'm quitting facebook as well :D

Anonymous said...

so it has been quite a long time i believe. Are you back on facebook or still keeping a distance