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Deleted Facebook, and Why I No Longer Use Social Networking

It wasn’t always this way.

I used to love the social networking aspects of the internet, going all the way back to the chat rooms in AOL, the forums on CompuSERVE, and services like ICQ, Yahoo! Chat, mIRC, and more.

With my boss and everybody’s first friend, Tom Anderson of MySpace.

In fact, I loved the aspects of social networking so much that I worked at MySpace from mid-2005 to mid-2008. I saw it as the future of communications, socializing, and building relationships with people from all over the world.

Before this, I would find and write letters with penpals from around the world, so this makes perfect sense, being an extension of this activity.

MySpace not only connected me with people, but it also got me out of the house. It got people out to see my bands perform. I would walk into parties and complete strangers knew who I was. It was a very surreal experience.

That is, until the crash of the economy in 2008, which forced MySpace to downsize. I was in the first 5% cut. MySpace would later die, only to be resurrected as the zombie it had become. But enough about my history. Where do things stand now?

I do not use ANY social networking sites. I do have a YouTube account, but do not use it in that way. So if you see someone on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social networking site, and they claim to be me, they are not.

The first to go in my collection of social networking was Twitter. It had become too aggressive, and I recognized that it was a place where nuance goes to die. Plus, as a not-then-yet-diagnosed Autistic man, the opportunities to become misunderstood grew a great deal here. This problem would spread to other areas.

I eventually had a few run-ins with some really bad people online. I won’t get into the details, but it prompted me to delete ALL of my social networking accounts in mid-2014. Five years later, in mid-2019, I would return to Facebook.

Pro-Tip: When you delete your Facebook, they tell you that it will be “permanently deleted” in 30 days. When I tried to create a new one, they funneled me into the reactivation lane and forced me to re-open the account that I had deleted five years ago. NEVER believe ANYTHING that Facebook tells you. They delete absolutely nothing.

I would start up and then delete my Facebook a handful of times. I even gave Instagram a try on two separate occasions, neither of which lasted long.

When I deleted all of my accounts in mid-2014, the first sensation that I had is something known as “FOMO,” or “fear of missing out.” What were people talking about? What were they saying?

As a person who has never felt an addiction to things like substances, I can only guess that this was what addiction might feel like. The sweats, some paranoia, and the overwhelming urge to get back in the saddle and start using again.

This occurs mostly during the first month of being gone.

Before the end of the second month, I found myself wondering why I had ever posted anything anywhere, at any time ever. Why?

When I returned to Facebook in mid-2019, the weirdest thing I noticed is that most of my “friends” had never even realized that I was gone. Nobody knew. Nobody missed me. Nobody wondered what happened, or where I was.

I was effectively dead.

I would end up deleting my account and starting back up a handful of times from 2019 to 2023.

I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 115 “friends” on Facebook. The overwhelming majority of them were seemingly almost never on the site, so I tried to keep that in mind when I would not see them interact with anything I had posted.

I also felt the need to be very cautious about what I posted. Don’t get political! Don’t post this, don’t post that. The problem with this approach is that Facebook will bury your posts, in favor of those posts that get people very upset. Angry people stay online for longer, which is another reason.

It was obvious who was using the site and who was not, with regard to my “friends.” The problem was the ones who were active. They’d post their news articles, their personal stories, or even promote their new music. I was always supportive of them.

But then I noticed that they were not active on my posts at all. They’d lap up whatever I gave them, and then go off to figure out how they could get more attention. I’d give them more attention, and would eventually notice that they were not interacting with me.

This led me to experiencing that same sensation that I had during the second month after I deleted all of my accounts in mid-2014. That is, I started to wonder why I would ever post anything, ever.

For attention?

Besides, I had a story to tell, and it seemed as if nobody wanted to read it. When you realize that you’re telling your story and your dozens of “friends” all around you can’t be bothered to interact with you, quite frankly it feels embarrassing. I knew who my true friends were, and still are, and they did not disappoint. But I can be active with them via email or on the telephone.They’re good people, and I will always appreciate them.

We don’t need the kind of garbage that Facebook inspires.

As noted earlier, I had re-activated and deleted my account a handful of times; maybe 3 or 4 times.

There are many reasons why I will never be returning to Facebook. For one, I will always remember how small I felt, and how it would only aggravate my depression. I will always remember how careful I felt that I had to be, about not offending anyone or everyone, while most other people didn’t care who they upset.

It’s kind of like how a religious person will carry on ad-nauseum about how their faith informs their lives, while simultaneously telling me that I must NEVER speak one word about how I am not religious. It’s a double-standard that I have suffered my entire life, so I don’t need to seek out more of it by being on Facebook.

The past is depressing to me. I have lived in the past for a very long time now, and I realize that it can never come back. The majority of friends that I had back then are not really friends now. They have changed way too much. Some are even downright vicious.

What most of them have in common is that they are very good at making sure the interaction goes in only one direction… THEIR direction.

Most importantly, I had to acknowledge the fact that Facebook, as well as other social networking sites, are time-killers used to alleviate the sensation of boredom. I LOVE boredom, because although it is painful at first, it inspires my creativity.

As a result, I am writing more in my digital private journal, as well as my pen-and-paper journal. I am picking up my musical instruments more, and am becoming more proficient. I am making myself happy with music, just as I did when I was a child.

I am spending more time with my cats, as well as my dedicated companion, Junior.

I have most recently taken up the task [which I consider a hobby now] of repairing clothes that need stitching up. I have done repairs on all of my old jackets, as well as some of my favorite shirts. They look just like new, and that look improves as I get better at it. I used to fear it, as it looked difficult and boring to me. But it’s not boring at all, and far from difficult.

I might even return to start writing here again, although doing so is kind of like social networking, in that I wonder why I would ever write anything on line, ever. But I may want to leave a few things behind on here for family and friends, should I pass on. I’m certainly not getting any younger.

While it would be easy for me to feel badly about time wasted, or those whom I believed to be my “friends,” only to find out later that they really were not, I have instead chosen to look forward. I have included a segment about my past projects, songs, videos, etc., on my website. This is where they will remain; on that page, and not in my thoughts as I move forward.

Speaking of which, life is calling, so I must be going. I might be back, or maybe not. Who knows. All I know for sure is that I am learning how to care about and tend to myself, and it feels like a healthy thing to do.


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