At the end of February, I’m giving up Facebook. Here are my reasons.
Living Online – People now depend on FB to stay in touch with others. They have stopped making phone calls and visits. It seems like the western world is losing the integrity of social interaction because we are moving away from actual interaction. That’s why someone can have hundreds of connections online but can’t count on one hand the number of true friends they have. I’m no different. I know and get along with plenty of people but I’ve only made one actual friend since moving here in April 2013. Going forward, I’m going to start taking advantage of face to face interaction and putting the internet in it’s proper place. It is a tool, not life itself. I want to make real friends, go on adventures, and make memories.
Negative Content – Some people who seem so kind in person turn into FB bullies. They ridicule people’s pictures and videos for fun. One of my images was placed into a group page dedicated to bashing people who posted pictures of Greek letter organizational unity (fraternities and sororities). I was talked badly about by some 50 or so strangers, simply because I posed with a member of a fraternity, combining our symbols. Thankfully, I’m strong enough to rise above that but not everyone else is.
There are so many people, young and old, who become the victims of cyber bullying and decide that life isn’t worth living. When I was in seventh grade, I was bullied by several people. I wasn’t the strong willed person that I am today. Their words/actions made going to school a nightmare. Back then, it was a small group of kids, but if FB were around, I could have ended up being attacked by hundreds online. This isn’t an exaggeration, it’s happening to teens all over the world.
If someone shares videos of people being beaten and finds it entertaining, there is something deeply wrong with that. To get pleasure from someone else’s pain, even if you’re not the one who inflicted harm, is wrong.
Gateway Drug – There are some who can’t go a few hours without checking their timeline for the latest post; they are literally addicted. The things they seem to thrive on are social quizzes, games, gossip links, aggressive videos and chain letters. You can’t avoid it, you can’t block it all out. If your FB friend liked, commented or posted something, it pops up on your timeline. Heck, if their friend (who you aren’t friends with) liked, commented or posted something, it pops up too. These crazy images have started making their way onto Pinterest and Instagram too. And if I see another pornographic pic, I may scream. Because it’s so broad, children (and those who do not want to view porn) on FB could be/are exposed to sexual images and even pages dedicated to porn, just by checking their newsfeed.
I know what some of you are thinking, lighten up Elle, it’s no big deal. Consider this. If something bad happens enough times, people start seeing it as the status quo or acceptable. God, however, does not change HIS mind. No, I’m not a perfect person. Yes, I’m a hypocrite in my own right. I can’t even go one day without having to ask God for forgiveness. But I can always try to do better than I did the day before. I feel at this stage in my walk with Christ, HE is telling me to get away from FB. It is stated several times in the Bible that gossip, slander, backbiting, pornography and random violence goes against the Lord’s commandments. HE’s not going to give something approval just because a bunch of mortals posted it on their newsfeeds.
One of the ways I’m choosing to get closer to God is to remove negative visual stimuli from my life as much as possible. It’s much easier for me to get off of FB then to attempt to un-friend, block, or report all of the stuff that I don’t want to see on my page anymore. That’s not to say that FB is bad but I’m a very visual person. Whatever I see/read, good or bad, stays in my mind for long periods of time and can affect my thoughts. I have to surround myself with positive images.
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I’ve been blogging for a few years now. Once I ditch my FB page, I will use my blog as my main webpage for friends and family to keep up with me online. I like my blog because it’s non-intrusive. I can moderate what comments and content appear on the blog so nothing crazy gets posted. If readers don’t like my blog, they can visit other pages without my content popping up. I’ve also linked it to my Twitter and Instagram pages so you can get all of my updates in one place. Visitors won’t have to compete with hundreds of random posts from others showing up because, soon, there won’t be any ads on the site either.
Before I remove my Facebook account, I’m going to delete everything on my account. Leaving FB is a personal choice. I don’t look down on anyone who enjoys using the site. It just isn’t working out for me.