Recently I conducted an experiment on myself, the one probably very familiar to all of you, which consisted of pushing that Deactivate button on a blue and white background of the most loved and the most hated social network that is Facebook. I wanted to see, since I am on Facebook for a couple of years now, how it would affect me and what could I learn from it about myself primarily.
It’s weird not to be connected. I miss the habitual actions, like waking up in the morning, drink that magnificent cup of coffee, light a cigarette in the process…and then I was ready to face the world and to roam the vast wilderness of the internet.
I miss him. I fear that I might forget the way he looks like…
I feel a bit better now regarding all this, I don’t feel that lost any more, like yesterday, or cut off from the rest of the world. I was working yesterday, so I didn’t have time to think about all this, but still occasionally I checked my mobile phone to see what is going on on Facebook…And then a surprise, or more of a “damn-I-deactivated-it” type of reaction, which just made me put down my phone and forget about it. It was weird seeing that I deactivated my account and that there is nothing to see there, only a blank screen. The breaks during my shift were the hardest, because I had time to think about it, and let me tell you, it didn’t help that feeling of abandonment that I was experiencing simply by deactivating my blue and white account.
I still miss some people. But decisive in my pursuit to find out what is so addictive on FB and why we cannot be without it, I started thinking that if they all want to talk to me, they knew where and how to find me. Those who care. Those who are important. Abandonment again.
So, today, I woke up pretty relaxed actually. I know that my morning routine is disrupted beyond repair, since I’ve omitted the crucial part of it from the big picture. And I liked that feeling. Being relaxed and not burdened by all the information that circulates on there, whether good or bad, useful or useless. I miss my habit of going to my friends’ profiles and look at the photos of their lives coming together, experiences that they’ve gone through and the way the deal with life. I am far away from home and I miss them dearly, so sometimes, just watching their photos, without saying a word or talk too much, feels comforting. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.
I gave in. I activated my account at 3 am in the morning, just for 2 minutes to see some possible changes that might have occurred…nothing changed. Nobody misses me. He doesn’t miss me at all. Sadness is in order. I shut down my laptop and go to a restless sleep.
I don’t feel that interested in other social media. I do have a Twitter account, which I created primarily for promotional purposes, but sometimes the speed of tweets on my screen feels so inhuman and artificial, because there is a matter of processing too much information in seconds. I like to linger a bit, and ponder about something that I wrote or read, not just do it and forget about it. Or maybe I am just not used to it as much as I am used to Facebook. I’ve gotten used to the fact that I connect FB whit the thought that it is easier to hear from my family and friends, rather than anything else that this cyber relationship might imply. Maybe that same thought is the reason why I feel so detached from everyone when I am not on FB. It is easier to connect with people who really matter to me through it, because, let’s face it, they all use it, 24/7, I know where to find them, and I can always access it if I want to, or need to. Or it might be that omnipresent habit of creating new lives somewhere far from the real world, safe, private and ours only.
I think it’s the habit. I need to get back there soon, because most of the things that I am doing, like reviews and writing for sites recently moved on FB, because the communication is easier and quicker. Instead of “so long FB”, which was my intention in the first place, i get “hello again, my old tormentor”. People, me included, do take FB more seriously than normal, which is the flaw that drags us into complicated lives and weird situations. We easily get wrapped in that personal experience that we call our own PRIVATE FB profile, we block and ignore people, comments and statuses we don’t like, because it is easier to do it when there is a barrier between us and them, as opposed to saying everything to their faces. We also guard secrets from the outside, real world. “These are my messages, my private ones, for my eyes only” is a fertile ground for many broken relationships in real life, as well as for made up hopes and dreams. We make ourselves suffer in an unhealthy environment that we create for ourselves on FB, giving way to doubts and fears we can’t control, because we take a simple and fun thing like FB too serious, it becomes our life, and we detach ourselves from the real life that we are supposed to be living. In my case, I sometimes have a problem with communication, probably because I an away from home, among other reasons and problems that I let FB create for me in my mind…but we all want to feel close to someone, experience that exotic relationship with people we don’t really know, because it is so hard to fulfil our dreams in reality, no matter the reason. FB has its pros and cons, just like every social network, but when we stop seeing that boundary between what is real and what is not real, we transfer ourselves in this virtual world and neglect the one we are living in. But, reality is a tricky thing. Something that is real to me, doesn’t mean that it will be real to you.
I got back on FB. I have things to do there, new reviews to write, new business opportunities to attend to. I don’t feel good about it like I thought I would anyway. I still feel like I don’t belong and it creates a certain amount of pressure for me. But that’s life, I guess. It consists of all the good and all the bad things, we just need to find a way to cope with them, be it the real or the virtual world. This short experiment is over. I only confirmed what I already knew about myself, as well as others. There is no way back. We are a part of the virtual , and it is a part of us. We’ll see where will that kind of relationship lead us in the future.
I experimented on this in late September. It was something that I needed to do, because I like to know things, all things. Have you ever done this kind of experiment? If not, try it, it really makes you think about life and your personality, and that is always good.