Updated: Jan 8, 2019
I recently deleted my Facebook account. I decided to go cold turkey and walk away. There have been no withdrawal symptoms and I even made it through the holidays without the urge to post a single photo or "like" the latest Santa GIF.
Deleting my account has made me acutely aware of how much time we spend with our noses buried in our screens. We're delightfully distracted from interacting with those around us. It's as if we don't want to allow ourselves the joy of being in the moment, or of holding a conversation. Our new "social" behavior is to disengage with the present by escaping into this other Facebook world. A world that, unfortunately, exists only to manipulate us (Remember, you're being manipulated on social media: 4 essential reads)
There is something about social media that seems to fit perfectly with human nature and destroy it all at the same time. I've been mad at myself for having been sucked into this socially-less-social-inwardness for the last 10 years. Now I wonder what I missed? And, worse still, what I was led to believe about others that never happened? With the barrage of news about Facebook's nefarious dealings -- one has to wonder about what lies may be creeping into our understanding of the world. (Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech)
Anyway, good riddance to bad rubbish.
The podcast that I help produce, Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda, starts off the New Year on January 8th. Jaron Lanier is Alan's first guest in 2019.
Admittedly, Jaron's interview and book (10 Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now ) had a significant influence on my decision to leave Facebook. I'm the sort of person who is always asking myself the question, "Is it up to you?" Most of the time I find the answer is, "Yes." So, I concluded that turning away from Facebook was an action that was up to me -- it's a small step that I can take toward trying to be a better person by limiting the sources of manipulation that dampen human discovery and wonder.
I certainly realize that deleting Facebook may not be the best option for everyone. However, if you're curious about how to do it, here's an easy to follow guide for you: How to Delete Facebook and Instagram From Your Life Forever
I'm looking forward to a less static 2019. Happy New Year.