I logged into Facebook again just now, and it made me nauseous. I'm a few days away from shutting it off, and the unpleasant feeling that I got looking at the page and thinking about that fact reinforces my desire to leave. Here are some of the reasons: The top post on my timeline involved people talking about me -- or, at least, about something I posted. My mother quoted this piece on my blog, listing quotes by Republicans on rape. There was a discussion going on. The next one down was a post from one of my closest friends.
The six notifications that I hadn't checked were mostly about events that I had no intention of attending, no ability to attend, or already missed. The last one was an invite on some game.
I also had a friend request waiting for me. It looks like one of my close friends remade her Facebook profile, and she sent me a friend request. It makes me feel awful not to accept that request. It makes me feel awful knowing that it's going to go unaccepted, because my account isn't going to be there in a few days. It feels physically painful. I feel sick.
I'm not okay with the websites I visit making me feel sick. I don't want to feel like I'm unable to leave a website, for fear of losing my whole social life. And I know that's true of Facebook -- that company does everything they can to organize my entire life, and my friends' and family's entire lives, to rely on it. I refuse to continue using a website that seeks to hold my social life hostage while it feeds my information to advertisers and governments.
The attitude a lot of people have about the 'dangers' of the internet, the risk of internet addiction or obsession, annoys the hell out of me. It's a paranoid, hyperbolic fear. But it's not based on nothing at all. The minor horrors that some people like to blow way out of proportion do exist, and while I don't believe they'll take root enough to do permanent damage to humankind, I think that's the case because enough people will notice and shake them off while they're still small.
In the scale of all human life, Facebook is still very small, and now's a good time to shake it off.