by: Joshua Isaacson
It has been a while since I have contributed to In Our Words. I’ve been crazy busy with a large course load this semester, tutoring, volunteering, and mentoring with the Trevor Project. Needless to say, I’ve been a busy bee. Combined with the fact that I am no longer a member of the Facebook, makes it harder for me to remember that I like to do this sort of thing. I no longer see when people post things, take pictures of things, tell everyone what they ate for lunch, or talk about their bowel movements, or when people post new blogs here.
This recent/apparent “social suicide” has impacted my life in a few varying ways. Lets discuss those now shall we? Seems like a good time.
1. People act like I have died/fallen off the face of the earth. When I see a “friend” from Facebook that I haven’t seen in a while they act like it’s our first time meeting or that I have been out of the country for years or something. It’s almost as if something must have gone utterly bonkers in my world that would have ever led me to deactivate my account. Gasp!
2. Tying in with above: people act like I am clearly “crazy” for deactivating. “I don’t even know how I would live without Facebook. Ohmygod thats so brave of you.” No joke. I’ve been told that numerous times. I apparently need to think of a better justification other than being crazy busy with school and everything else I do, to get rid of Facebook. Sorry to disappoint everyone, but I just like not having to try and keep up with the Kardashians via Facebook.
3. I now have MUCH more to talk about with people when I see them now. This is actually the biggest perk that I have received from ridding myself from the Book. Before, I would just be able to get online and see all the stuff (good/bad/otherwise) that everyone is doing with their life, and feel like I didn’t really need to see them anymore because I knew what was going on because it seems like everyone is very open and public with their personal lives on Facebook. That may be great for some, but I like to have some conversations to have with friends in real life.
4. I HAVE SO MUCH FREE TIME NOW! So much free time. I can’t even stress that enough. I have had enough free time in the past few months without Facebook that I have started reading philosophy books FOR FUN! Without having the nagging urge to check in on everyone and see what everyone is doing on Facebook I am accomplishing so much more. I have read about 7 books, on top of my assigned schoolwork, and still find enough free time to have a social life (physical social life that is).
5. I find myself thinking clearer and more focused. Huge perk considering the 19 credit course load this semester. I am no longer spastically surfing the web for any new tidbits of useless information (on Facebook and otherwise) and focusing my gaze on more productive endeavors. Like using the word “endeavor” in more sentences!
Now don’t get me wrong. Clearly, everyone loves Facebook. And thats great for everyone. Just not for me. I love my Facebook (and Twitter) free life. I find it incredibly liberating to not have to feel compelled to tell everyone “Whats on my mind?” anytime I’m on my computer (or my phone for that matter). I have also had some of my friends tell me that they have gotten rid of theirs, too, for similar reasons (not inspired or coerced by me, I promise).
Is there a shift moving people from Facebook and back into the real world? I think it would not hurt, but I am also not holding my breath for this exodus to occur.
Joshua Isaacson is a student working on a double major in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Minnesota (starting spring 2013). He is also a volunteer and mentor for the Trevor Chat program through the Trevor Project, working with GLBT youth dealing with sexual identity/orientation questions. Josh doesn’t know what “spare time” is right now, but during the scraps of it he can find you can find him reading philosophy books and doing homework.