Why I quit Facebook and you should to.
I left Facebook in early 2016 and haven’t returned since. It’s been a rough year and a half for me. I had had to undergo a personal transformation during this time, which naturally implied taking time away from people. While people themselves aren’t a problem but the (unspoken) expectations of superhuman perfection is what causes me discomfort.
Here’s why I (had to) quit facebook:
I was perpetually failing on Facebook.
I confess. I was a failure on Facebook. I didn’t have a life to brag about. I didn’t know how to make a mountain out of a molehill. I was afraid of pissing people off. I just couldn’t keep up with Facebook. It was almost too hot for me to handle.
It caused me anxiety.
Do we not have a specialised term for facebook anxiety? If not, we must. I noticed that every time I had to log into the site, my heart started sinking. I felt like someone with a metal chain was stifling me from behind. My chest could almost implode if I didn't log out.
It reminded me how much of a misfit I am.
I didn't have party pictures. I wasn't traveling the world. I didn't have pets or friends or lovers or fancy clothes or brilliant thought provoking opinions about current affairs. (What I did have or did was/is my private life and not for Facebook). I didn't have anything that an eligible facebook-er seems to possess. I was neither controversial nor happening for Facebook. You can say I just didn't have the balls for it. I couldn't sustain inside the mirage.
It made me feel lonelier than I was.
Yeah, call it social networking as much as you please. Facebook divides people into territories based on their lifestyles, opinions and cool quotient (none of which I possess). I felt more isolated than ever before. While I'm reasonably content being alone (not lonely, mind you) in real life, Facebook turned my alone-ness into loneliness.
I felt like a loser.
So what if my project was getting featured in national dailies and international biggies, I felt more and more like a loser. Because no matter what I did, Facebook kept expecting more and more. The more likes I got, the more burdened I felt. (Could be my low self-esteem but being out there only enhanced it). I just couldn't breathe.
It expected me to act like a celebrity.
Yea, the more I was noticed, the more people expected me to act like a special (unaffordable, uncompassionate but opinionated) wallflower. I couldn't open up about my personal battles because people expected untouched perfection out of me. I was becoming less human and more of a touchstone. Few wanted to follow me and some started to despise me. Both the former and the latter forgot that I'm a human being after all, not a brand.
I wanted to be a human being not a brand
This follows from the previous point. In today's day and age, a post turns people into brands. They are put on a pedestal and all their words are then minutely scanned through a radar. I couldn't live like that. I know many of those who started alongwith me (in their digital projects) have far surpassed me, turning into globetrotting speakers. I have seen how they started. I know how shallow are the waters in which they swim. I couldn't stand to be another shallow swimmer. I want(ed) to swim deep, to question myself at every stage and that wasn't in lines with the (in)ethics of Facebook.
I doubt if facebook is for human beings who laugh, cry, fail and are often trying to find themselves. Instead, it is for robotic brands who can sell themselves without fail. In retrospect, I am trying to find a less intrusive way to get back into Facebook for the sake of my work (after over an year of total abstinence). If you can be the face of my work on Facebook (and in the media), ping me! But do understand, that mind, motivation and determination are the prerequisites for the job.