The day before Yom Kippur 5774 (a few weeks ago), I disabled my Facebook account. I am struggling with this decision every day - even though I know I made the right choice for myself.
Once upon a time, I thought the internet was a glorious place to frolic. Reading blogs written by people from all over the world, engaging online and learning about all kinds of new things. Things that I could only learn, well, from strangers on the web. I promoted social media. I spoke at conferences about the power of Twitter. I thought the new wave of the internet was going to bring so much positivity into my life.
One day the social internet stopped being, well, a positive place.
Everywhere you turn, you have folks vying for your attention to increase their click thru’s. Everywhere you turn, folks have more negative things to say than positive (myself included). The saying “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all” is not applicable on the web.
Now I care about negativity and positivity on the web, but since most of those folks are strangers, I take it with a grain of salt. If I do not know you and respect you, I will care a lot less about what you have to say and how you are saying it.
Facebook is the place where most of my real life friends passively (or directly) communicate. And yet, it is the worst spot on the internet for me. Not because it is a time waster, but because this is the spot that makes me think twice or three times about my friends.
I have friends from all walks of life, with opinions that are polar opposite to mine. Like most folks on Facebook, they like to share topics that are close to their hearts yet enrage mine. I used to sit behind my computer staring at the screen and judge them for every single stupid (in my mind) post/picture/comment. I didn’t want to judge my friends.
See, I am comfortable sitting with friends and discussing different topics in person. What I am not okay with – is having a conversation online. So many aspects to the conversation get lost, are misconstrued, or just not communicated in a way for others to understand. Not everyone (including myself) are writers with the ability to fully explain their thoughts in written form.
The bottom line was that I was unable to stay positive and non judgmental when scrolling through Facebook and I didn’t want to be that way anymore. So I deactivated my account and hope that my friends stay in touch with me even though I am not there.
And I have to say- kicking this habit feels a hell of a lot worse than it did when I quit smoking. And I was a serious smoker.
How the internet ruined my social skills
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