Friday, May 28, 2010

on my tombstone

I deactivated my Facebook account earlier this year. I logged in again about two week ago; I didn't look at photos, nor did I message or poke or 'like' a status, post or update.

I deleted. All of my profile pictures, any and all information about me that was available for deletion (wall posts, in/outbox messages, photos tagged of me). All gone.

Then I deactivated for the second (and last) time.

My break up with Facebook has encountered its fair share of opinions, but the interesting thing to me is the number of people who, rather than chastise me for "cutting off communication," actually begin to tell me their excuses for not being able to quit.

I'm too addicted.

It's the easiest/best way to keep in touch with people.

Everyone's on Facebook.

That's where Farmville is.

Whatever the reason, you can bet that I've heard it. I don't say much in terms of response. It's not that I don't believe them. It's not that I don't think they're great reasons.

It's that I don't care.

It's the very reason why I left Facebook in the first place. However, the speed at which people offer up their excuses for not being able to leave Facebook is pretty entertaining. Why is it that if someone stops doing something, other people feel the need to justify the fact that they still do it?


There's a freedom in leaving any addictive social networking site. I don't think that's a secret. And whether or not you feel that you're addicted/will lose touch/will die without Mafia Wars, I think it's important to ask yourself why you care about it so much.

Why do you care that the girl who sat next to you in grade 11 algebra just went to Mexico?

Why do you care that your brother's old roommate just got engaged?

Why do you care that the guy who dated your friend's sister just had a tooth pulled?

Or that that girl you knew but weren't exactly friends with in high school and lost touch with after but who added you as a friend six months ago but has yet to so much as say 'hello' to you just had a baby?


Or that the former manager of that place you worked in second year had a bad day?

You get the idea.

Remember the good old days when you could graduate from high school/university, go about your business, keep in touch with friends by choice and forget about any and all others for whom you couldn't give a damn? The thing about Facebook, for me anyway, is that I went into it a confident person. I knew what I was and what I wanted.

Major career, travel, amazing adventures - in short, just a great, big, fantastic life and at the end, a tombstone that reads:

Came, saw and conquered. In fabulous shoes.

That's still what I want. Nothing's changed. The difference is what I know now because of my association with Facebook. Essentially, I had become bombarded with intimate details of the lives of people I should have lost contact with 10 years ago. It made me question who I was and what I was doing. Because of the online postings of people I hardly knew 10 years ago, let alone now, I was questioning the decisions and beliefs that have made me who I am.

Frankly, it was making me crazy. No word of a lie. I was conflicted - I wasn't sure of what I wanted any more and I started to feel like there were things I should be doing at this stage in my life. Ridiculous, isn't it? That the lives of these random people whom I knew I didn't really care about were making me question my own? But that's exactly what was happening and I knew I didn't want to feel that way anymore. It took me a great deal of time before I could step back from the inner turmoil I was experiencing and objectively say to myself:

For the love of God, woman. Get a hold of yourself. You're comparing yourself to people that you only know via a high-speed internet connection and over-sharing.

As soon as I figured that out, I left Facebook, thereby stepping out of the way for nature to resume it's course. I think you can have great friendships, whether platonic or romantic, with people who are meant to be in your life. These are the people who emailed/texted/called me after I sent the "I'm leaving FB, here's my actual human contact info" message and a few who didn't because they know they don't have to. 


Having said that, Facebook did allow me to reconnect with a few individuals who never left my heart and for that reason, I'll never be sorry that I spent that time online. 


I cherish my friendships. But we're meant to lose touch. To let go is human.

To deactivate, divine.

Images: weheartit & le love

11 comments:

T. said...

First of all, I LOVE your blog. But, secondly, I just have to tell you how much I appreciate this post because, I kid you not, I was just yesterday trying to verbalize the same feelings about how the oversharing of personal information has totally caused me to question my life choices. However, I was having a difficult time understanding my frustration and putting it so simply and eloquently. Thanks!

drollgirl said...

first up, let me congratulate you.

second up, I FUCKING HATE FACEBOOK. i deleted my account a year or two ago. i thought i left all those morons behind in high school? all those people that i really didn't want to stay in touch with FOUND ME?! HORRORS. and the constant updates and mindless yammering drove me out of my mind. i can't wait until facebook is over and done with for good. bleh. anyway, it is nice to be rid of it. life goes on! :)

Erin Elizabeth said...

T - Thanks! Your tumblr is gorgeous. It's always comforting to know that you're not alone in the way you feel, isn't it? Being so "connected" via Facebook was exactly was was making me feel isolated. Oh, the irony. :)

DG - Thank you! HORRORS is right. I think my 'Block' list was longer than my 'Friends' list. Ha!

xo Shannon xo said...

Thank you!!

Erin Elizabeth said...

My pleasure. :)

Heather Taylor said...

This was a wonderfully written post that summed up all of my feelings on Facebook. Like any good addict, I can't give it up because now my family is on it and they would really bombard me with questions wondering why I left. Plus, I move around often and don't want to lose all of my friends...even though it's a social networking site and not real life. One day, I will delete my account. Just not today, unfortunately.

Erin Elizabeth said...

Thank you, Heather. I think it's as real-life as you make it. Family and close friends are very compelling reasons to stay connected, especially if you move around a lot. I hope they read your blog...It seems like a perfect way for them to stay connected to you. :)

Tracy said...

Love this post, miss you on FB and at RBC! ;) So enjoy your blog so you still make me literally LOL

to deactivate, divine. .... LOVE IT I'm still on FB cause I enjoy it but so get why you left

Anyhoo, just wanted to say love being able to peek into your view on life, love your pics and am glad you sent me the link to your blog

take care :)

Erin Elizabeth said...

Aw, Tracy...So nice to hear from you! Miss seeing you at work too.

Thank you for your kind words. You know, I have every second Friday off. Perhaps sometime this summer I shall take a drive out to the Crow and take you out for lunch!

Cheers. :)

pearls said...

wow, this was so well said. I'm daily on the verge of deleting my facebook. i hate it yet I cant walk away... you might have helped me thank you.

Erin Elizabeth said...

Thank you so much! And you're welcome. It takes time, but it's totally worth it. Promise! :)

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