Why I’m Taking a Break from Facebook

Day 5 of 30 of Writing Challenge

About a few weeks ago I made the choice to deactivate my Facebook account for 2 months. Half of it was on a whim, but the other half was out of curiosity. I wanted to see if I left Facebook if I’d miss it.

Let me clarify and say that I was never addicted to Facebook. I was relatively casual with my usage. Facebook always has been my CNN for friends; meaning, I read status updates like I would news headlines. Since the advent of the FB news feed I used it more for consumption of friend info rather than using it to engage in any meaningful communication. If anything it seems Facebook just made it easier to stalk people.

With FB making it easier to casually stalk people I started to wonder if I needed to know all the updates that were going on in people’s lives. Not to say I don’t care about my friends on Facebook, but knowing what restaurant they just ate at, concert they attended, or new toy they bought just didn’t seem like it directly impacted my life.  I read an article or study that said that FB actually makes people depressed. The premise of the article was that since humans typically overestimate people’s happiness by looking at FB status updates we think everyone else is much happier, healthier, and wealthier than us which ends up making us depressed or less happy. Based on my experience it made sense to me. Rarely do people post the bad or embarrassing stuff that happens in their life. Most people on social networks post that which will make them look good, seem intelligent, get attention etc… The end result is through their updates we see a biased view of that person.

Some could argue when we meet people in real life this is no different. How people wear different masks and act happy when in fact they aren’t. I can agree with this. The difference, though, is that when we meet people in person we can read their body language. Most people can spot a fake or insincere person. However, on FB you don’t get that dimension so the happiness and awesome-ness of other people’s lives gets magnified.

In the end I’m curious to see if by not being on Facebook if I’ll notice being happier. So far I don’t miss it (and I’m sure not many people miss me). Haha, I just read that sentence … that sounded like something a depressed person would say!

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