Live Through This

Breaking Up With Facebook

Sorry, Facebook; I’m just happier without you.

Collage by Emma D.

At first, Facebook was pretty awesome. I held out for a long time, mostly because I already lived near a bunch of my friends and didn’t need a virtual way to stay in touch with them. But I finally joined when literally every student organization at my school had abandoned the sweaty after-hours classroom scene and was exclusively active online. I wanted to get involved, so I bit the bullet and created an account.

At first, joining Facebook felt like waking up from a nap, the kind where the sun is still shining, birds happily chirping along the treetops, and it’s only, like, two PM, so you still have an entire, well-rested day ahead of you. Here were all of the people I loved in one place, talking about awesome stuff! All I had to do to access it was…NOTHING. It populated my friends from my email account and information just rolled in like a wave, refreshing itself constantly, bringing me more fresh gossip and old pictures. It was a one-stop nostalgia-flooded shop, and I was in love with it all.

After the initial euphoria, though, Facebook started to feel like real life. In real life, managing your interactions with people can be sort of a drag. Initially lured by the fancy promises of nonstop communication with the people I loved most in life, my Facebook experience eventually turned into a sea of blocking, hiding, and otherwise ignoring everyone except for the five people I already talk to regularly. It wasn’t that I didn’t like people; I was just starting to realize that I sort of didn’t have a lot to say to most of them.

It’s possible that I’m just a jerk.

But it’s also possible that Facebook contributes to vast amounts of friendship fatigue, that feeling you get when you get worn out by people simply because you are in constant, unrelenting contact with them. Because something we fail to acknowledge right now is that it’s totally possible to run out of things to say. I used to spend HOURS after school on the phone with my friends, rehashing the entire day we had just spent together, like some sort of live-action RPG of our own lives in real time. The conversation, which generally started with a “who’s dating who” litany of information, generally dissolved into complete and utter silence while we both lazily clicked through TV channels in our respective houses. Eventually, our parents would see us holding a phone in silence and drooling at the TV, and tell us to hang up. But Facebook doesn’t employ any babysitters, and when your parents find your account it’s like the worst thing ever, so I never hung up; I just spun around from one profile to the next, this wall to that wall, not really saying much of anything but constantly feeling the need to be plugged in to whatever was happening.

I keep it pretty close to the vest where friends are concerned. I’m friendly and I smile a lot, so I know that I’m lucky to have a bunch of acquaintances. But there are only like eight people in the entire world I’d call to pick me up when my car breaks down, or that I know would say, “Yes!” without hesitation if I invited them to an impromptu concert on a school night. Why does Facebook want me to call everyone I’ve ever met my friend? Friendship is sacred space, reserved for my one-phone-call-from-jail buddies. I did a really good job of keeping in contact with a few people after high school (before the internet, we just wrote letters and sent them around the world by pigeon or horseback), and by the time I signed up for Facebook I wasn’t feeling any sort of lack in the friendship department. The people I talked to regularly were on there…but so were about 200 people I definitely hadn’t spoken to in a decade, and really didn’t want to. It was fun to catch up with them for about five minutes, but then the reality of how different our lives actually were started to shine through and freak me out a little. For every one of their posts about going to church in the morning, I had one about coming home from a concert at three AM and how awesome it was to have a Double Double In-N-Out burger for breakfast. We had nothing in common—so why force the issue? Can we just be civil to each other and not be “friends”? What are the social politics on Facebook that make me feel like I have to accept and be friends with everyone who sends me a message—and isn’t that totally abnormal?

Facebook also brought a lot of drama into my life. Not that drama wouldn’t exist otherwise, but the immediacy and permanence of Facebook seems to make it really easy to mess up. I forgot to say “happy birthday” to someone once, and they flipped out about it, even though I forgot to wish them a happy birthday for at least four years before I joined Facebook. I accidentally posted a VERY PRIVATE MESSAGE about someone on my VERY PUBLIC WALL, and half of my friends were convinced I was the devil. Someone got mad at me for constantly rebuffing their invitations to join their Mafia Wars gang, even though I was like, “Wait a minute, we don’t even hang out in REAL LIFE, why are you so upset that I won’t be in your FAKE GANG?” It can be difficult to work your way back into someone’s good graces when the evidence of your misstep is in their face every time they log on.

I had a Facebook account for about a year before I finally quit. I think I quit because I wanted something more real and tangible about my friendships, even with the messy and dramatic parts. I don’t think Facebook is horrible; it just totally didn’t work for me, or improve the kind of friend I wanted to be. Facebook sort of flattened me out and revealed everything about my friends all at once, without ranking information in terms of import or surprise. I wanted to be surprised by people again.

When I finally deleted my account, my friendships got MUCH better, and much more intentional. I love talking to my friends! Since I’m not around to read an update every 10 minutes, I actually get to hear some great stories and details when we talk or email one another. I started picking up the phone to call people, and writing them letters—actual letters!—just because I was thinking about them. Even though they’re less frequent, the conversations I have now seem more meaningful without the distraction of Facebook constantly tempting me to write something, anything, about my life. ♦

103 Comments

  • KinuKinu April 19th, 2012 7:05 PM

    This is so true in every way. Friendship fatigue…..yup. Never had a Facebook, never plan to get one :D

  • MissKnowItAll April 19th, 2012 7:05 PM

    Maybe because I’ve never had a facebook or twitter or anything, but I just don’t understand how people are so obsessed with it.

  • Mimi V. April 19th, 2012 7:11 PM

    Thaaank you for posting this! One day I’ll give up on Facebook. ONE DAY. Right now it just seems like the only way I can keep up with people, and I don’t like that.

    • Sea goddess April 19th, 2012 10:48 PM

      Ah I think the same as you, it sucks that the only way people are mainly connected today is by fb

  • Sarah M April 19th, 2012 7:14 PM

    Now that I’m out of high school, my views on facebook have changed sooo much. I used to look at the crazy girl Rachel’s updates and be like “sheesh, why do I even associate myself with her?” and then shrug it off, but then I got to college and I had this great epiphany that I DON’T have to associate myself with crazy girl Rachel any longer! Agreed, it’s fun to be nostalgic for a few minutes, but I’d like to focus on my future with some people instead of dwelling on the past.

  • missblack April 19th, 2012 7:15 PM

    Hmmm. I rather like Facebook. I keep my list of friends very carefully edited (midnight deleting sprees are common, haha) and I’m not on there EVERY SINGLE SECOND of EVERY SINGLE DAY.
    I check it like once a day, at the most, and usually it’s just to write a message to one of my friends because it’s easier than sending a limited-to-160-characters text message (and I refuse to abbreviate, say ‘c u l8r’, or do anything else remotely related to text-speak, so my texts can be pretty, er, long). It doesn’t affect my friendships at all, and its a nice way to keep in contact with my relatives that I don’t know well enough to text but do know well enough to comment on their status updates.
    My mom, on the other hand, is TOTALLY ADDICTED so I can see how people would want to get away from it.

    Little&Trivial

  • Ysabel April 19th, 2012 7:16 PM

    thanks so much for this article!I got off of facebook about 2 months ago, it was getting too addicting. I’m able to catch up on my drawing now which makes me feel much better about myself

  • Freedom April 19th, 2012 7:24 PM

    No joke, deleting my facebook cracks the top 5 best decisions of my life.

    • Ida April 20th, 2012 10:52 AM

      For me to! Even though I have trouble explaining to people why I don’t have facebook anymore, and people at school don’t know who I am since they can’t look me up, I am very happy to not have facebook!
      I removed it about one year ago, saying that I would come back after summer. But eventually I felt how nice it was without it, so I never logged in again.

    • sasha jade April 20th, 2012 6:34 PM

      i couldn’t agree more, even if i’m doing nothing in the time i would have been on facebook…i can get more nothing done

  • Fortune_Goddess April 19th, 2012 7:30 PM

    I have a Facebook (I’m on it right now, in another tab) and I don’t mind it. It’s the best way for guys to connect with you… Otherwise you’re seen as a dork.

  • Maggie April 19th, 2012 7:40 PM

    I am so glad someone is championing Facebook defection here at Rookie. I admire how insightful and non-bitter-sounding this article is. The internet needed this! And I agree with you on every point. Except I think you’re more laissez-faire than me. You’re like, “Facebook, ya know, it’s not for me,” and I’m like “PEOPLE GET OFF FACEBOOK IT’S DESTROYING US.” Your approach is certainly more sane, probably more effective as well.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN5CyhXGoq4

    • Anaheed April 19th, 2012 11:52 PM

      I LOVE THIS VIDEO. P.S. Where are you? Is that your house? P.P.S. I think my favorite part was where you were enveloped in a comforter. P.P.P.S. Is that Nicolas Cage?

    • SpencerBowie April 20th, 2012 1:45 AM

      Okay gurl, I loved that vid!!! U make perfect sense and I could qoute u all day!!!

    • danielleh April 20th, 2012 2:30 AM

      Your cat ahhhhhh! I think I’m less “laissez-faire” and more lazy. I love people, but I also love being alone a LOT.

  • Lucy23 April 19th, 2012 7:44 PM

    This is what I have to explain to people every time they ask if I have a Facebook- it’s too stressful to be “in the loop” all the time! It kind of eliminates the idea of “time alone” and “privacy”, because every time you are alone you go on Facebook (I’ve never had one, but this was the case with literally everyone at my last school) It’s also appears to be addicting!

  • nocoloredsocks April 19th, 2012 7:50 PM

    I completely agree. I just came back to Facebook after being gone for six months and I loved not being on. However, I’m trying to penetrate an extremely social industry and not having a Facebook makes you a complete outcast. I wish it were not so, but I’m learning to use it as a tool for creating relationships that would be difficult to foster otherwise rather than to communicate with my friends. Making that distinction is really important for me.

  • mwong1025 April 19th, 2012 7:51 PM

    The only reason why I still have a Facebook is to play the Hunger Games Adventures. That and to laugh at the statuses people that I haven’t talk to in 2 years post.

    http://www.style-abuse.blogspot.com

    • Kathryn April 19th, 2012 11:35 PM

      omg hunger games adventures so addicting! except mine is glitchy right now and won’t let me do anything. :(

      • mwong1025 April 20th, 2012 7:54 PM

        That sucks! I know, it’s so addicting. Every single day, all I can think of is how much I need to harvest those damn apples and oranges.

  • alicerose April 19th, 2012 7:59 PM

    This is so true, I got Facebook like a month ago because people were so hostile with me for not having it – now I wished I didn’t really!

  • Sahara4895 April 19th, 2012 8:03 PM

    The same (sort of) thing happened with me. At first Facebook was fantastic and I felt so grown up but after a bit it started being a negative place. I wrote this message to my crush and he responded with a vague but public message saying he didn’t like it when people spilled their emotions out. I was sad for a while and when I finally got a little bit better I deleted Facebook.

    I saw no point in the ‘friends’ and being bombared by updates from people I didn’t really care about.

    • danielleh April 19th, 2012 10:13 PM

      Good point – I didn’t even consider it as a space where people could be careless with people’s emotions. I’m glad you’re feeling better!

  • yeslucy April 19th, 2012 8:09 PM

    I had Facebook for a while, but a month ago I deleted it. At first I felt like there was a party going on that I wasn’t invited to, but now I don’t even think about it. I feel more slowed down and I’m glad I don’t deal with that drama anymore. I spent too much time being totally numb.

    • Mags April 19th, 2012 11:00 PM

      Absolutely agree. It seems to have dissolved into this place where people post pictures and check into “cool” places just to show off. It has a very sketchy vibe.

  • unefillecommetoi April 19th, 2012 8:22 PM

    I’ve been spending too much time on facebook, and there are so many great things on the internet that wasting hours on looking at pictures or reading comments of people you alredy know is a waste of time and energy. People spend A LOT of time building themselves a persona. I still have a facebook, because I have found it useful for spreading information massively to all the people I know (I found a stray kitten in my backyard, I took a picture of it and posted it on facebook and found a home for it in an hour) but I definitely want to give it a rest. I look at it as a massive bulletin maker, not a friendship tool.

    • Maggie April 19th, 2012 9:39 PM

      What disturbs me about FB is how much the site masterminds DON’T want you to use the site in a healthy, moderate way, i.e. announcements and kitten-placement. They want Facebook to be a way of life. They try every which way to keep you plugged in to the site so they can profit from you. Thinking about it just makes me shudder.

      • Mags April 19th, 2012 11:01 PM

        THIS!!!! Nobody seems to care that all of your information, PRIVATE information, is being mined to hundreds of corporations just so they can make money in advertising. It’s frightening.

      • KinuKinu April 20th, 2012 12:01 AM

        Yeah.I agree with Maggie. It’s everywhere. I shudder with Maggie.

      • danielleh April 20th, 2012 2:29 AM

        YESSSS. It’s not just “Oh, I’ll just check today,” it’s incessant! AND they are constantly taking your info for profit. Yuck.

      • unefillecommetoi April 20th, 2012 8:32 PM

        Hahah, “kitten placement”. Update: I deleted my facebook account yesterday and like today, a friday night, I realize I used it to find out about parties and stuff but always ended up calling my friends anyway. So things you think you need it for, you actually don’t. And I agree with you! The facebook makers want you to believe it’s a way of life. Now I was thinking “shit! now I can’t talk to my friend who move to spain!” but at the same time, when I was on fb, I never talked to him. If I ever go visit him or something, I’ll try to email him or find out about his phone number somehow. People will be connected if they want to be. Facebook I don’t need you! (I also thought that Jenna from Girls doesn’t have a facebook, ha)

  • Samantha April 19th, 2012 8:30 PM

    I don’t totally hate Facebook – it definitely helped me stay connected when I moved to LA by myself.
    But now that I’ve got a friend group here, I find myself “needing” it less and less and deleting more and more “friends.”
    I really like that this article wasn’t hard-and-fast “Facebook is evil.” It’s not. We’ve just allowed it to permeate and sometimes replace actual socialization. And it is too bad – friendship are something special, not something determined by a mouse click and pixels on a screen.

    http://poorgoop.com/

  • R. April 19th, 2012 8:31 PM

    This is a great piece. I think it goes for twitter and tumblr as well, although tumblr is a bit more complex because of the blogging aspect of it. I deactivated my Facebook account last year and never felt better, but sually the people who quit literally act like drug addicts, just waiting for an excuse to go back (“I need someone’s address” / “I really need to get in touch with someone” / “Just this time!” etc.) Brrr it’s frightening.
    I feel like sending a post card, a simple e-mail to catch up (never gave up on the good ol’ e-mails) or just, you know, going outside to grab some coffee feels refreshing nowadays. It’s so nice to know your priorities and not have your brain passively connected 24/7. How come almost no one feels this way anymore?

    • Kathryn April 19th, 2012 11:39 PM

      I completely agree. I wish that people still wrote letters or even E-MAILS. Even those seem outdated now, and it makes me super sad. I want to start sending them to people but they would just think I was being dumb.

  • starcollector April 19th, 2012 8:33 PM

    Okay, I tried to type an intelligent response to this article… but I couldn’t stop staring at the popsicle boy’s face. The one to the left.

    His eyes are staring into my soul. Piercing me. Him and his half-eaten popsicle.

    http://china-lily.blogspot.com/

    • Anaheed April 19th, 2012 11:56 PM

      Also it looks like he just CHOMPED the popsicle in half in one bite? But his mouth is too small! He is just a childe!

      • KinuKinu April 20th, 2012 12:03 AM

        OMG. You guys are making me laugh at midnight!! That childe is scary.

  • poppunkgurrrlx April 19th, 2012 8:41 PM

    I deleted my fb at the beginning of this year, and I have no regrets. although, I do miss some interactions with people that I only ever talked to on Facebook. and the gossip, because I’m nosy. I also miss talking to boys on there. sadly, the last two guys I were serious with I technically met off of Facebook. I think it’s a great way to casually flirt, which can eventually lead to texting. other than those things, I’m so glad I deleted it because now I can focus on school more!

  • yourenotfunny April 19th, 2012 8:42 PM

    i have a facebook, but i really make no effort to update or check up on it consistently. my friends get mad at me because i never change my profile picture haha. but good article, i really don’t see the appeal in social networking or why its such a huge part of people’s lives.

  • Tyknos93 April 19th, 2012 8:49 PM

    Deleted mine before college and I think I’m a better woman for it. I became a terrible narcissist updating things or writing witty phrases to see who would like it. It almost jeopardized my friendship on multiple occasions. I’m rarely on Twitter, but Tumblr has replaced any online persona I had prior to it. It’s anonymous enough that I don’t feel creeped out when someone follows me and there’s a constant stream of good thoughts and beautiful pictures. Like a vast mood board.

    http://blazoningpens.tumblr.com/

  • Caden April 19th, 2012 8:49 PM

    I deleted my Facebook for all the reasons you said. I kept off of it for about a year but I did make a new one. I only have about 20 friends on it I.e. people I actually talk to in real life. I find Facebook is very good for sharing photos and setting up events.

  • moonchild April 19th, 2012 9:23 PM

    My friend has a fb and she let me log in to look at a picture she posted. I stayed logged in (she didn’t… really… know…) and I kinda got obsessed for like two days. AND THEY WERE THE WORST TWO DAYS OF MY LIFE, LEMME TELL YA. I lost all the self-esteem I had built up my ENTIRE LIFE. (not literally but STILL.) Really though, it was like a constant viewing of EVERYTHING I was left out of. And sure, I do stuff without other people but I don’t make it public to EVERYONE THAT I HAVE EVER MADE EYE CONTACT WITH.

    It was all people going, “THE TRUTH IS UR REALLY PRETTY AND WE HAVE TO HANG OUT MORE”.

    Like, HONESTLY? You don’t start a friendship by saying “you’re really pretty”! That’s illogical and shallow!

    Gawd. I totally logged out and did not write down the password.

    • danielleh April 20th, 2012 2:31 AM

      We could be sisters. When I used it, I USED IT, MAN. I lost countless hours to weird one-player games and rolling timelines.

  • Nikkita April 19th, 2012 10:14 PM

    This was actually pretty enlightening. It made me realise that I have facebook open in one of my tabs pretty much 9 hours a day. I just like to always be available if anyone needs to talk to me. Now that I think about it though, if it was that important then I’m sure they can find another way to contact me. I don’t think I would be able to quit facebook completely because for a lot of my friends it’s the only way I can contact them and I’d feel so out of the loop because 80% of all the parties/group things that we do are organised on facebook, people that aren’t on it just don’t get invited. It’s also helpful when you have no money on your phone you can talk on facebook for free, or if it’s a proper conversation you can type it instead of getting a thumb cramp from texting and it’s just as instant, but maybe we need to call more or meet in person instead. Thanks for this!

  • maddzwx April 19th, 2012 10:16 PM

    I agree. I deleted my Facebook a bit ago and I seriously don’t miss it AT ALL. I also don’t really miss all the “friends” from my old middle school, even though I know I will most likely never speak to them again. I found it so weird how people would want to chat with me for HOURS on FB at night and not even say hi the next day.

  • ...Diana... April 19th, 2012 10:16 PM

    Hey! It´s so hard for me to write in english, but maybe there is someone here, who will understand my spanish:

    Deje Facebook hace unos meses despues de haberlo tenido por mas de un año, pero aveces siento que me estoy perdiendo de muchas cosas e informacion que de verdad me interesa como actividades, reuniones, conciertos… asumen que todo el mundo tiene Facebook y aveces me siento como en una burbuja!
    Aun asi soy mas feliz sin Facebook!! :D

  • Mary April 19th, 2012 10:45 PM

    I just broke up with facebook after a tumultuous four year love-hate relationship and I have no regrets. I’m glad you wrote about this! Makes me feel less crazy. I am also 19, so EVERYONE I know has one and I seem like a loon to some for not participating.

  • decemberbaby April 19th, 2012 10:55 PM

    Just as I was about to delete my Facebook page, I went to an online high school… which is wonderful, and I love it, but it means that Facebook and Skype are my only equivalents of school hallways, or something, where you can socialize :(

  • wallflower152 April 19th, 2012 10:56 PM

    Thank you for writing this! I used to be big into MySpace when I was in high school cuz it was a fun way to connect with friends after school and stuff. Then Myspace started to become obsolete and everyone was on Facebook. I tried it out for a while and didn’t really like it. This was about the time I graduated and I was like…wait, why do I need this? There is only a handful of people that were in my class that I actually cared to keep in touch with. Why do I care what the girl who sat next to me in 4th period English is doing with her life? I hate that people waste their time with it, do you not have things you like to do? I hear friends talk about fb drama and I’m so glad I removed myself from that world. I do have a Twitter but no one I talk to really uses it, I just use it to keep up with my favorite bands. Do yourself a favor and DELETE YOUR FB!

  • anton April 19th, 2012 10:57 PM

    Totally get this. What I suffer from is Facebook Fatigue. It’s tiring logging in during the day and reading about people you don’t really care about. And what really annoys me about Facebook is the fact that you think you don’t really need to put any effort into relationships, simply because you have an easy mode of communication.

    • danielleh April 20th, 2012 2:32 AM

      YES. I like making an effort to show my friends how much I love them!

  • Mags April 19th, 2012 10:57 PM

    YES!!!!!!! I think Facebook causes a lot of unnecessary drama, and I also think that at times there is simply TOO MUCH INFORMATION. I do not want to know that you just got a colonoscopy or you just checked into three hundred places in one day, or whatever. I deleted my account over a year ago and I don’t miss it at all. I’m so happy to be drama-free. I feel liberated.

  • wallflower152 April 19th, 2012 11:07 PM

    Another thing, (sorry, this is a subject I feel strongly about) in my opinion fb is extremely narcissistic, I think that’s why everyone is addicted to it. It’s all about me, me, me. Pics, funny status updates, comments, etc. I do wish I could have one to stay in contact with the 10 or so people from hs that I still care about or my family members who live far away but not enough to put up with all that comes with having a fb account. I think if you’re still in hs it’s ok to use but have other hobbies. There are so many other fun things to do than sitting in front of a screen looking at pics of acquaintances. : )

  • marineo April 19th, 2012 11:24 PM

    I have a facebook, and my main issue with it is that people who are “always on” start to never tell you things, big exciting happy things, in real life. That justs makes me sad.
    For example, I found out that one of my best friends tried out for the X Factor via facebook, and only because I am going to her birthday party and she had to move the party later because she would be going back for a second audition.
    I was sad that she didn’t tell me in real life, because I would have been so excited for her.

    • danielleh April 20th, 2012 2:34 AM

      Wow! This is such a good point. I can’t even tell you how many times a day I hear “Oh, you didn’t know [I had surgery, etc.]? It was on my Facebook.” O_o

  • paige.xo April 20th, 2012 12:43 AM

    I’ve been thinking about deleting my facebook for a while, but I don’t want to regret it and make a new one a few weeks later…. :P

    • A Fox In The Snow April 20th, 2012 12:01 PM

      You can’t delete a facebook account :) You deactivate it and when you want to use it again, you simply log in. So if you want to try it, I suggest you to do it, because you’ve got nothing to lose! :)

      • danielleh April 20th, 2012 6:19 PM

        I deleted mine completely – it takes 2 weeks for them to do it but it’s totally possible.

  • guiltfreedonut April 20th, 2012 1:11 AM

    “The conversation, which generally started with a “who’s dating who” litany of information, generally dissolved into complete and utter silence while we both lazily clicked through TV channels in our respective houses. Eventually, our parents would see us holding a phone in silence and drooling at the TV.”

    I thought I was the only one who did that!

    And the WORST part of Facebook is seeing pictures of people you’re friends hanging out when you weren’t invited…

  • rosanoseall April 20th, 2012 1:45 AM

    While I too hate the (friendship-reaping) = (drama-hoarding) aspect of Facebook, it regretfully prevails itself as the only way of getting my friends to email me back in a timely manner. Kudos for anyone who can live without it!

  • SpencerBowie April 20th, 2012 1:49 AM

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, FaceBook is the Wal Mart of the Internet.

  • SpencerBowie April 20th, 2012 1:54 AM

    I had a Facebook for like two weeks, then the most random people would want to chat, even kids from church that never spoke a word to me would want to talk about “the game”! I never watch “games”! So I had to go!

  • SpencerBowie April 20th, 2012 1:56 AM

    I will say that I loooooooooooove Twitter! Lot more fun! And I don’t have to enter my school or “friend” or “like” anything or anyone!

    I’ll tweet, follow, and retweet anyday! Lot more fun!

  • christinachristina April 20th, 2012 2:32 AM

    I’m in my mid 20′s and Facebook is a way for me to keep in contact with friends in college or otherwise living elsewhere, to organize my Nintendo and murder mystery parties, to have conversations with people when, in the middle of the night I’m feeling profound and post “how do you describe color to a person who has never been able to see before?!”

    Though I use Facebook daily, I am fully aware of the importance of Real Life conversations every chance you have—and I’m aware I how few and far between these may be. I feel as if the generation after mine (WHO IS TOTALLY AWESOME, SO AWESOME OMG) is way more technologically advanced than mine was. And with this comes a loss of Real Life conversation and personal relationships. (And grammar.) I know all of you Rookie readers are so smart and wonderful and awesome and I’m definitely not trying to offend, but I’m just sayin’: use Facebook! Cause it’s awesome! But don’t forget about real life!!!!!

    • Johann7 April 20th, 2012 3:39 PM

      I’m in the same boat as you. I use Facebook all the time, but I only have friends on it with whom I’m actually friends (not every person I went to high school or had college classes with who messages me) and I primarily use it to communicate with people when I’m at work, when one of us is out of town (or moves), and to plan real-life activities. Also for linking news articles and videos I want to share with my friends (and being linked to them) – as far as I can tell, mass e-mails would be the only other way to do this, and that gets old really fast.

      Most of the complaints seem to revolve around people’s inability to self-regulate their behavior with respect to how they use Facebook, not problems inherent to Facebook itself. If one doesn’t approach Facebook as a replacement for in-person interaction and/or accept every friend request and group invite, I think a lot of the problems people have with it vanish. Use technologies in ways that serve you, don’t use them in ways that don’t, and everything’s cool.

  • Yellie April 20th, 2012 2:55 AM

    Yeah i had Facebook for a little but deleted it a while ago.
    I got left out of my PROM and YEARBOOK voting because everything was done on Facebook.
    I don’t care that much, but like come on!
    It’s crazy!
    I know other kids who don’t have accounts either, We found out like a month later!

  • Afiqa April 20th, 2012 3:09 AM

    I don’t like and don’t use Facebook that much so I deleted mine, but then my mum forced me to reactivate it because she said it was one day going to play an important role in communication.

  • mayaautumn April 20th, 2012 3:14 AM

    i used to be on facebook ALL the time, but ever since i started blogging, i dunno, I’ve sort if weined myself off it in away and i don’t feel that i have to be on there to check everyone’s status updates etc anymore. im just blogging mostly which is actually a MUCH better thing to do and is way more enjoyable! i haven’t deleted my account, I’m just not on there constantly:) really good article by the way x

    http://cottonmixblog.blogspot.com

  • Killjoy April 20th, 2012 4:13 AM

    I don’t have a Facebook and I don’t plan on making an account. I use Tumblr and it’s so addicting, but it’s wonderful because I get to open myself to new ideas and there’s a lot of beautiful and inspiring pictures.

    • KinuKinu April 20th, 2012 5:17 PM

      I agree. I’ve never had a facebook or a tumblr (i’m going to make one soon) but for me tumblr is a huge source for inspiration and discussion. I think tumblr is much better than facebook.

  • Violet April 20th, 2012 5:05 AM

    So thankful for this article, it’s so on point!

    I have never had a Facebook, because intuitively felt from the beginning that it wasn’t going to work with me (I have too much of an addictive personality, I barely get around to organize myself to do laundry on time, and I’m already addicted to Rookie – no space left in my life).

    I am so pleasantly surprised that so many people in the comments don’t have an account or not any more! It’s really harsh how much peer pressure there is to get one.

    Also it feelt SO GREAT when people DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING. It’s like enjoying your own secret world, and the coolest thing is, it’s not even in your dreams, it’s in REALITY.

    Note: One of the best-connected people I know (has REAL GOOD friends all around the world, travels a lot, etc.) is somebody WITHOUT a facebook.

  • Nurkle April 20th, 2012 10:03 AM

    It’s kind of pathetic, but I’ve actually LOST friends because of Facebook (and I’m nearly 30).
    One friend always posted her drama on the wall during breakups and expected everyone to flood her with sympathy. The first couple times it happened I sent her a message telling her how sorry I was and gave her my number if she wanted to give me a call. She never replied, so I just stopped responding to her dramatic posts at all. Now she won’t even acknowledge me, and we used to hang out all the time.
    The second friend, who was one of my best friends for three years, seemed to take it personally when I deactivated my account and now won’t contact me and barely responded to the few texts I sent him. I guess if you’re not on Facebook you don’t exist anymore?
    After deleting my account I sent emails to two other friends who live across the country–no response. We used to send long, funny emails to each other all the time before FB took over.
    At first I took it personally, but my feeling is, if not being on Facebook can destroy a friendship, it may be wise to consider just how valuable that friendship was in the first place.

  • Stacey April 20th, 2012 10:59 AM

    I completely agree. I had my facebook for almost three years, but deactivated it over a month ago. I closed it because I’d barely ever post anything about my personal life, because I didn’t think that the people I was “friends” with on there needed to know. They were mostly just people I’d known my whole life, and people I’d met at summer camps, or concerts, that I’d most likely never see again. It was pretty much just a place I’d be on all the time doing absolutely nothing. I’d also get mad almost every time I was on there. I’d get mad at myself for caring whenever I saw my old friends hanging out without me, or moving on with their lives. So I got off facebook to move on with mine and I do feel a whole lot better. I have twitter and my tweets are protected. Only my close friends follow me on twitter and I feel a lot let better saying whatever I want. Thank you for this! I loved it.

  • izzybee April 20th, 2012 11:10 AM

    Deleted my account just after christmas, I was just sick of people saying things to people that they wouldn’t dare say face to face and people boasting about Christmas presents and taking a zillion photos of them self captioned ‘I’m sooooo ugly!!1! xoxox’

  • ReneeRevolution April 20th, 2012 11:35 AM

    I left Facebook about a year and a half ago. There was so much drama; like you said, I felt obligated to be “friends” with pretty much everyone. Then, after being “friends” with many of my family members, more drama was stirred up if I attempted to do or say anything that they didn’t agree with. Being myself was nearly impossible. Not to mention how impersonal everything becomes through FB. Instead of telling people in actual conversations about really important life events (relationships, jobs, engagements, pregnancies, etc) it all just winds up on FB. The social network is actually making us less social.

    I could go on about it all day. This post is great, though. It definitely is strengthening my resolve against going back. I won’t lie, it can be tempting to reactivate my page.

  • A Fox In The Snow April 20th, 2012 11:39 AM

    Thank you for this article! My main problem with facebook is that it is so boring and addictive at the same time. I deleted my facebook account a year ago, but because you can reactivate it I sometimes go on there again to watch photos. This is a great reminder for me to delete it again, because I’m starting to waste time on there. Deleted it right now :)

  • alix April 20th, 2012 4:37 PM

    Me and facebook had a very up and down relationship, we broke up for a while last year but I finally threw the towel in a while ago. I don’t miss it, its so boring and useless.

  • Mariann April 20th, 2012 4:54 PM

    It’s gotten so bad that I find myself thinking about the day I’ll close my account. It is so silly! I’m not even popular on Facebook, and by that I mean people write on my wall or tag me on stuff like every alignment of planets or so. I admire your spirit and easy-going mentality about it, I am now more inspired to one day close mine.

  • Jayna April 20th, 2012 5:47 PM

    Well said! I totally know where you are coming from… That is exactly the reason why I don’t update too much on my FB either!

  • oriGINAlity95 April 20th, 2012 7:32 PM

    Facebook is vital for me – it’s how I keep in contact with pen-pals and my family that all lives out of state – but for people I see on a day to day basis I’d rather NOT see their posts on Facebook. I regularly do Facebook sweeps and delete friends and even take “vacations” for a week or two to keep it fresh. I’ve found really honing my experience down to just what I want – 86 friends, is SO much better than when I first started using it. Loved this article!!

  • thiskid April 20th, 2012 7:58 PM

    i got Facebook about a year ago because i was changing schools and wanted to stay in touch with my old friends. now, i sort of don’t want it anymore, but i’m afraid that i won’t be able to stay in touch with the people i used to be friends with, even if it just means me liking their status or something. I’m also afraid that i am going to miss out on all this stuff—i don’t really care about who is going out with who, but other stuff that could be important, even school stuff, pretty much stays on Facebook. I don’t think i want to really keep my account, but i’m afraid that i’m going to lose some valuable people who i don’t really get to see and miss out on everything thats going on.

  • eliselbv April 21st, 2012 12:10 PM

    I moved in Africa last year after six years in Paris. At first I thought Facebook would be an incredible way to keep in touch with everybody and indeed it was: i spent hours checking the latest status of people in Paris I bearly knew and I made no effort to meet new people in Africa, this was totally stupid.
    Moreover, once I deceided myself to be open with people of my new school they already knew everything about me thanks to (because of?) my Facebook profile.
    I closed my Facebook six monthes ago and hold a blog instead. I know now who are my real friends and this is way much better!
    thanks for this article and excuse my mistakes in English if there are.
    Elise
    http://www.iloveyourjokes.blogspot.com

  • Juli April 21st, 2012 5:54 PM

    Well said, sister! I’ve had three to four facebook accounts over my high school sentence, and I’ve disabled all of them. It’s great for a little while, but if you step back, you realize there’s so much more to life. There’s this huge world that lies beyond facebook, and online social networking in general, and I think our generation is really losing out on some of the best parts of life by being committed to a virtual world. Anyway, I’m totally done with that kind of thing. I mean, what’s wrong with people talking face to face once in a while?

  • Kaleidoscopeeyes April 21st, 2012 10:28 PM

    The way I feel about FaceBook, at least in middle school, is that friendship is like a performance. Every reference, every joke, every photo, feels like it’s there to be shown off to the world, to an audience, not to enjoy and represent a friendship.

  • sarabigail April 22nd, 2012 1:56 AM

    I totally just deleted (whoops! I mean “deactivated”) my account. It feels so great. “Initially lured by the fancy promises of nonstop communication with the people I loved most in life, my Facebook experience eventually turned into a sea of blocking, hiding, and otherwise ignoring everyone except for the five people I already talk to regularly. It wasn’t that I didn’t like people; I was just starting to realize that I sort of didn’t have a lot to say to most of them.” YES. I only talk to 3 people on Facebook regularly but it totally brings me to the next point you said – how you just run out of things to say. It’s such a bummer to be talking to a friend and then just get to that awkward point where you don’t know what to say. The internet is such a beautiful thing, for the most part, but man can Facebook really bring ya down!

  • Vince April 22nd, 2012 7:46 AM

    I agree with some of the reasonable comments above. Facebook is not the problem if you are having a problem with Facebook. It is like any other social setting. You need to be able to control your own behaviors and set boundaries. Quite frankly, you sound a bit aloof in your post. Like you are not interested in being “bothered” by certain people – well, you should never have friended them or you should “unfriend” them on Facebook. I am sure they won’t notice you are gone – or perhaps they may be thankful.
    Facebook is not a fad or a trend. It is a new way in which society interacts. It is global and pervasive. Perhaps, understanding how to connect with people and create proper boundaries is more importan for many of you. It also sounds like many of you didn’t have the ability to discipline yourself.
    No one NEEDS Facebook but the reality is that it is one of perhaps many emerging ways that community happens. It is how I found this blog.
    If you don’t NEED Facebook “AT ALL,” I am glad for you. But, to me, it has a strange ring too it…it sounds a bit like either: A. I don’t like people all that much; B. I can’t discipline myself; C. I am scared of my own stalking disposition; D. I’d like to be Amish.
    Good luck with that.
    Unfortunately, since you are not on Facebook, I am not sure I will know when you blog again.

    • Meemee July 16th, 2012 3:53 AM

      Facebook is not at all bad. Some people just don’t like it. You like it so that doesn’t mean everyone should be on it. It is just that some people find it nor useful to their lives. And you’re right though, there are people who could not discipline themselves on how they use it, I am one of them. I am honest enough to admit that I’ve grown so attached to it, I’ve created an alternative image based on what people should view me as opposed to who I am in reality. And so what I did was to delete it. Not everyone is perfect and I am taking control of my inadequacies. I find it no longer useful to my life as well. :)

  • aHorror April 22nd, 2012 10:11 AM

    I deleted my facebook account recently and I feel so good! Facebook made me feel like someone else, someone inadequate. Watch this video, it made me a better person:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UouP8cRYZ8

  • cfsizz April 23rd, 2012 5:14 PM

    It’s just so annoying when i tell people I don’t have a facebook account and they go “oh.”.

  • Minella May 12th, 2012 12:23 PM

    I’ve used facebook a lot over the past two years. Like every day, all the time.
    I do have been thinking about quitting because i’ve realised it’s become some sort of addiction and also, i think facebook is really stupid because it’s all about maintaining an image and i don’t even want that

    So, after reading this i just deleted it. I didn’t even give myself time to think about it!

    SO ROOKIE: THANK YOU SO MUCH!
    xxx

    • Meemee July 16th, 2012 3:39 AM

      I just deleted my FB as well. I felt so liberated. :)))

  • carolpd May 12th, 2012 3:04 PM

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who hates facebook, I noticed that people don’t even have a nice conversation anymore, they’re log in in facebook say 3 words and think that’s enough, that’s why I hate it so much

  • KellyJ May 16th, 2012 7:55 PM

    I had a facebook starting before 7th grade and went on it extensively. I had a forced breakup with it when, after I got into a nasty comment war with this one guy, my parents deleted it. I deleted the original comment thread, but then he wrote on my wall, accusing me of “censorship”—even when I explained to him that it was immature and reflected poorly on the both of us, we attacked each other viciously. I didn’t delete this thread, and my parents saw and deleted my facebook. Oh, guess what—now, he’s dating one of my best friends, even though he also cheated on one of his ex-girlfriends, then refused to admit that he had done something wrong.

    I was pretty upset that I couldn’t go on facebook, but I honestly wasted much less time. But quickly, I found another drug—gchat! I spent lots of time instant-messaging people. Now, a year later, I KNOW that it’s impersonal to talk to people on the internet and not hang out with them in real life. But my parents have strict requirements on essentially being able to hang out ONLY if I have a project and have to work with friends, or on a weekend with little homework. (Working on projects is also optimally on weekends.) Before, I didn’t have much of a problem with this since most of my friends were like me and had strict parents too. But this year, after meeting more people and meeting some who find a way to do sports, hang out with friends, AND get straight-A’s…that totally shook up my “worldview.” :P

    But I don’t know what I could do to get my parents to realize that I can balance school and a social life…do you guys have any advice?

  • KT May 24th, 2012 10:07 PM

    I loved, loved, loved this. SO well written.
    I had a Facebook about a year ago, for about 3 minutes. The second I logged on, it magically pulled up these names that “I might know,” and I did. After I added this one guy, he immediately popped up in a chat box and told me he didn’t know I had a Facebook, and after I told him I had just gotten it, he told me how happy he was.
    This guy would never say anything like what he said in real life, and I knew right away it was a mistake to register. Ever since then, I have refused to get one, even though my friends complain about how I’m “missing out.” I’ve told them how I’ve seen how fake people are, and how creepy, and how the things they post now are going to seem so irrelevant when they look back at it.
    Too bad they don’t believe me.

  • Breaking up with Facebook Book June 21st, 2012 6:44 PM

    I would like to sample you writings for my book if you dont mind. Thank you, Marc…

  • Meemee July 16th, 2012 3:37 AM

    I recently deleted my Facebook account ever since I noticed I’ve become too dependent, borthering on being obsessed with it. I’m just glad that I was honest enough to admit to myself that I’ve evolved into this nasty narcissistic creature who craved for likes and affirmation from people I barely know. In a way Facebook controlled the way I see myself in my friends’ digital affirmation. It was not healthy for me anymore that most of my relationship circled on how people should see me as opposed to who I really am in reality. I don’t see Facebook as a bad thing, it just doesnt work that way for me. And I’m glad I’ve flushed it all the way to the drain. Best decision so far that I’ve come up to for the past few years. :)