But let’s start from the beginning. Each of us started to be part of the facebook world at our own pace. Some of us soon had hundreds of friends, some not so much.
What we decide to post also varies a lot; you can talk openly about a family member being sick, a difficult period you’re going through, or mainly share articles of interest, music that you really like.
It keeps you connected somehow. A connection to a broad imaginary audience (well, you’re just never really sure of how many of your friends actually look at what you post), that reacts with extremely expressive little yellow faces, with likes and dislikes, and with words. A lot of people have a cheer-leading way of reacting on facebook: you can do it, wonderful, you look soooo beautiful! And everyday, several times a day, we browse, we peek, we read, we like, get surprised, smile at the site of cats surprisingly fitting into small boxes (how could we not?).
It becomes a habit. It can become addictive. Well, maybe for most people it actually is. Because it never stops, it’s always there, with new things, pictures, events, notifications, oh somebody’s thinking of you, they liked what you did, shared, commented. It constantly requires your attention and calls you. But it also gives you an opportunity to explore certain characteristics of yours, sides of you, while leaving unwanted things out of focus.
Simultaneously, a lot of people are not that happy with facebook (interestingly enough, there were more articles on this in 2012 or 2013; what might have changed we can wonder). They don’t like the company’s policies, namely concerning privacy, they don’t see easy ways to solve their problems (technical support can be terrible, specially for deleting the account, for example), and a lot has been written about its’ CEO that can make you wonder about his philanthropy…
The most important question is, though, what is it doing to the way we interact with each other, with the people we know well and not so well. Fast comments and easy judgements, what can we make of that?
And what about the constant spotlight on you, what you think, what you stand by, and how you look? What does that say about ourselves? Does it make things better for us, or not really, and it ends up feeding a narcissistic and voyeuristic need in us all, so we’re just there feeding a system that feeds on us?
Well, then might come the hard part if we decide we don’t want to be part of it any longer: deleting it. You see all those pictures, all those moments, all that interaction, everyone right there just a click away. They all stay, but you go. And facebook keeps asking, are you really sure, you can come back you know, just deactivate, don’t leave.
Yes, it can be quite challenging to delete a facebook account.
And quite liberating.