In the eyes of Facebook, the most important events in my life are: Born --- Joined Facebook --- Started Using Facebook for Android.
And I can’t change this peculiar display of my life’s meaning. Upset by Facebook’s dictatorship and arrogance, I decided to leave the Empire by committing Facebook suicide --- terminating my Facebook Avatar, shutting down my account, and never return. This is probably one of the most liberating things.
Other than the upset, a few other things led to the Facebook suicide.
First, Facebook creates the illusion of communication. Through hyper-connectivity and zero-cost delivery, Facebook invites huge volume of shallow exchange. However, 1000 grains of sand is not worth one piece of gold. Facebook is a sandy beach where we throw sand at each other all day long. But having a full hair of sand does not increase our intelligence or happiness. Instead, it pacifies us by making us FEEL connected, thus reducing the need to make real contact. It provides an easy escape out of the oftentimes stressful human interaction. As the mind seeks the path of least resistance, Facebook gradually squeezes out the share of real human communication.
Second, Facebook exacerbate the ego-centric character of our time. MY Timeline, MY status, MY photos, MY 1000+ friends… You can “like” it, or “comment” on it, but it’s all about me. Facebook is where we narrate our imagined stories, and WE need to hear our own story more than anyone else. Others are not really listening, anyway.
Facebook is the best friend of our ego, showering it with attention. We might feel that we get more attention from people on Facebook than in the real world. That’s because on Facebook, it takes less than a second to “Like” a status, while in the real world, it takes minutes and a lot of heart to give the person a compliment. In a world already full of inflated ego, the last thing we need is another stage where ego does its wild dances.
Third, Facebook reinforces our existing worldview by limiting the information flow within our friend circle. We are friends with people who share similar beliefs, and we post articles along the same ideological line. That’s the only thing we see on our Newsfeed, and our worldview starts to be skewed and self-perpetuating. This would make us more insular and self-righteous.
The randomness of life, traveling, and human interactions could break this closed loop. Even with your frequent contacts on Facebook, when you really sit down and have a deep, soul-searching conversation with the person, you might discover so much intricacy and surprises.
Leaving Facebook is hard. Of course, being the creepy Facebook, it would tell you that if you deactivate your account, none of your friends would ever reach you again. Your whole social life would end!
That didn’t happen. To keep in touch with those worth contacting, I made a list of names, and arranged to meet with them one on one, face to face. Life is much better this way.