I didn’t even want to join Facebook in the first place! I remember when I first created my account way back in 2006 when you still needed an invite to join. One of my friends sent me an invite and I told her, “Why should I make a profile? I have a MySpace!” Well I eventually figured why not and created an account. As more and more of my friends joined, I grew to like it more. It was easier than Myspace, and didn’t have all of those annoying themes! In the last ten years though, I’ve begun to hate it more and more.
It seems as if everyone I know is on Facebook. My friends, co-workers, and family all have Facebook accounts. Sure, its nice to be so connected to people all the time. It’s easy to share photos, funny videos, and good life moments, but what’s also easy to share is the bad moments in life. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to ask for prayer from your friends when you’re having a rough time, and I know that Facebook is a great way to ask for mass prayer because everyone you know has it, but maybe its better to do so in private.
As you may or may not know, my Grandma passed away last week. In the last few months her health was deteriorating and just the week before we’d had to move her into a nursing home. What does this have to do with Facebook? Well, I happened to be in California for a friend’s wedding that weekend and was flying home the Sunday my Grandma passed away. My flight had been delayed an hour so to kill time I decided to scroll through my news feed. As I was scrolling, I came across a few posts that indicated my Grandma was doing poorly. I knew her health had been declining so it wasn’t much of a surprise, but after reading some comments, I came to the conclusion that she had died. I immediately got up from my seat, walked to the bathroom and had a good cry by myself in the stall. I knew my mom was waiting until I got back to St. Louis to tell me. When I finally landed in St. Louis one and a half hours late, my dad picked me up and told me the news.
It wasn’t until the next day when talking to my mom that I found out I had cried prematurely. I had read those Facebook posts and comments about an hour before my Grandma actually passed away. If people could just keep things to themselves, I never would have had to cry at LAX alone in a bathroom stall. That is one of many reasons why I hate Facebook. It makes people think that we always have to share everything with everyone just because we can, but some things are meant to be private.
Facebook has made people in general both more and less personal at the same time. On one side, we’re more personal in the way that we share every little detail with practically everyone we know! I’m sorry, but that random classmate from high school that you’re only friends with because you feel bad deleting them does not need to know what you ate that day! Some things are definitely worth sharing, I get that. I often share my good news on social media, but it has made us less personal at the same time. When we share news on Facebook, good or bad, that’s it. We don’t share it in person, over the phone or Skype, or even text! Sharing news with friends and family personally connects people. It creates more of a bond. I can personally say that I feel much closer to those people who call or text me personally with news than the people I only receive it from via social media. Facebook is disconnecting people from each other.
This is obviously all my opinion, you don’t have to agree, and I know I’m somewhat of a hypocrite. If I hate it so much, why don’t I just delete my account? It’s the only way I keep in touch with some of my distant friends and family. I’ve considered it before, but then I worry that if I do, I’ll lose touch with a lot of people. I know, if I lose touch with them they weren’t really my good friends to begin with, blah blah blah, but isn’t that part of the point I’m making here? Without Facebook, I’m not connected to people. If you’re reading this and we’re friends, don’t feel bad asking for my phone number or Skype name because I’d much rather text or call you than Facebook you! I miss the age of deep personal relationships rather than superficial ones.