My mom is on Facebook, and so are my aunt and uncle. I think my niece has Facebook, and she’s three. I know people who have died that still have Facebook. Pets and babies too small to stand have facebook pages. Obviously, all my friends are on Facebook and they go to parties I never even hear about because again, I don’t have Facebook.
I haven’t had a Facebook account in 4 years. It’s the only thing I’ve ever properly quit, besides my 5th grade soccer team. Like soccer, my subscription to Facebook excavated deep-seeded issues of presentation, so I had to get outta there. I felt like it was introducing me to a dimension of my personality I had no desire to know. The nature of the site was not only distancing me from the people in my life, but also from myself. While the novelty of learning people’s stories before hearing it from them personally was intoxicating, it encouraged false representations. I would obsess for hours over people I’d only seen on the sidewalk or in the dining hall. Facebook made it so easy to pass blind (or at least fuzzy) judgments on someone based solely on the graphic tee they wore in their profile pic.
It was a few weeks prior to college graduation when I was anxiously flicking through a series of photos of my ex-bf. He looked good, was still single, it was annoying. I remember asking myself “Do I need this? What is this for?” Since that day, I haven’t posted on someone’s wall, commented on someone’s status, or sent a poke. Is there still poking? I have a lot of questions for those of you who are still on Facebook.
Are you happier than me? Do you look like the person in your profile picture? I never did. Does your mom have facebook? How does that make you feel? How often do you look at Facebook? Do you do it on your phone? Do you hate it? I kinda did. If the site permanently crashed tomorrow, would you survive? Are those of us who don’t use Facebook still dependent on its organization of our social world? Is it harder to use than it was before? Easier? Do you resent me for not being on it?
Who knows? Maybe in the future I’ll hop back on. Life without it has been, well, strange (imagine living in a world where you remember zero birthdays). Some days are hard (I have to email people). Some days aren’t. I’m an alien, but I’m used to it. An existence in the shadows, never not suffering from small bouts of fomo. At this point, returning to the land of blue and white might be so shocking to my system that I’d be rendered inactive and pointless. When I have to interact with Facebook in anyway, it looks like the map of a foreign city to me. Labels and buttons and colors I don’t understand. Sometimes I even steal my friends phones and iPads and open their FB accounts for a thrill. It’s literally painful to look at. How do you people do it?
Yet, I still ask myself, should I return? I come back to the same hesitations…do I need this and what is it all for? Until I can justify Facebook as a required utility again, I’ll just keep it low key and totes chill on Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Google, and Snapchat.