I remember when I first joined Facebook. It was a sunny day in Florida and life had been all about trying to make friends by sitting next to them, joining social groups or ending up with them as a roommate. But then the game changed. Along came Facebook. A portal you could enter, sitting on your computer, and identify each and every person in your class. It was great. You could meet up for study groups, find common interests. It seemed surreal.
But that was 6 years ago (or was it 7?). Things have changed quite a bit since then. In a couple of months following my introduction to it, everyone from the mountains to the valleys was on Facebook. It was the ‘in’ thing to do, and it was amazing. But today, I beg to differ.
What used to be a fun time pass has now become a full time window into the lives of others. But not just a regular window, a rose colored one, so whenever you peek inside, all you see is the world having a good time. But how can the world possibly be having such a great time at all times? How? Don’t they have bad hair days? Or days when the barista just makes your coffee wrong and instead of a kick you get a migraine? Or days when work sucks the life out of you that even crawling into bed is a chore?
Obviously not. They’re perpetually residing at one of the Great Gatsby parties. While you are mowing the lawn right outside the patio as they swing dance their lives away.
But, is this constant joyful waltz, sprinkled with wild abandon normal? I would think not. But when you look at it from the other side of the virtual fence, it certainly seems so. And when you look at it a lot, you begin to feel ‘Hey, why didn’t I receive my invite to this great party?’ It’s a strange feeling.
Personally, I don’t feel anyone should be privy to so much information, rather skewed information, about another person’s life, unless this exchange of information involved a face to face conversation over some delicious chai. This is what bought me to my present conundrum. I don’t want people to judge my life, happening or otherwise, and I definitely don’t want to be in the know about people’s private affairs at all times either.
But that brings me to the dreaded decision. How do you just switch off? Especially when you have been used to clicking this button so often to catch up and get in the know. How do you decided on a life without Facebook? Is it even do-able?