I did it. Today. I deactivated my Facebook account. Gasp! I know, right? Right now it feels pretty damn good to not have to deal with how many "friends" I do or don't have. And who do we have to thank for my awakening? A stupid commercial by Toyota for their Venza wagon.
I know. I hate Toyota, but the credit goes to Saatchi & Saatchi, an advertising agency in New York. The genius of the ad is that it is so believable. Watch it and see. In it, the hipsterish girl sits alone in her dining room bemoaning the fate of her parents and their seemingly small group of "freinds" compared to the 600+ that she has. Meanwhile, mom and dad are out riding bikes with honest to goodness REAL people. Who'da thunk it? There are real people out there?! One of myths of the whole MySpace/Facebook/Twitterverse is that you are connecting with people. You are not. You are connecting with their online persona, which, somehow, is the person they really want to be but can't bring them selves TO be. How screwed up is that? Posting about what you are doing at the mall or where you just ate isn't really connecting; it's nonsense. Do you really think someone cares that you just went to Starbucks for coffee? Well, actually Starbucks doesn't make coffee, they make shakes......that's another story. (Thank you , Hal Sparks....oh I should have friended you!)
Another lie is that Facebook has power. No, we, as individuals, have power. Facebook is merely a tool for utilizing our power. The whole Kony thing - which lasted as long as it took to watch the newest "kitten plays piano" spectacle on YouTube - didn't happen because of Facebook, it happened because we had at our disposal a tool for communicating instantly. Do we credit the television for ending apartheid? No, because television was merely the tool to let the world know that hey, there's some bad shit in the world, just watch this. And Twitter? That's even more of a waste of time. We can do better.
"Social" media has further alienated us from each other in the real world. It's easier to attack each other because it's "only Facebook". It's easier to support a cause without actually having to actively, physically engage it and try to change the reality. "Social" media is making us lazy, isolated and apathetic.
So, I came to the decision to get rid of Facebook because I want to do things. I want to hike, I want to run, I want to bike. I want to have dinner at nice restaurants, I want to enjoy my kids and spend time with them. Staring at the much-less-harmful LCD screen that carries that dreaded blue and white background littered with what has to be the laziest excuse for a font is boring. Seriously, it really is boring. Be honest with yourself, how much fun is it to read posts by people you just talked to at work or who are in their room down the hall (why don't they talk that much to you?)?
I want to LIVE my life, not "Like" my life.