Facebook used to be my way of keeping up with people without having to talk to them. As an extroverted introvert (and yes, that’s a real thing – find signs of an extroverted introvert at the link above), this was the ideal situation for me. I knew what people were doing without having to actually interact with them.
I, personally, find social interactions exhausting and stressful. I have to mentally prepare to leave the house and I don’t deal with changes of plans well. In a crowd, I find it hard to engage with others. It’s easier for me to fade into the background and not be noticed. Even though I may seem to be loud and rambunctious, that’s me trying to be what I think you want me to be. In this state, sometimes things come out of my mouth and I know they’re on the verge of crossing a line or over that line entirely and I can’t seem to stop it. If I feel comfortable with you, you probably notice a marked difference between the times I’m interacting with just you and when I’m in a group. This is me overcompensating for my lack of social engagement.
Over the course of the last six months, I’ve un-followed people on Facebook that I didn’t know who kept showing up on my feed, people who I couldn’t stand the constant political statements and links to unsubstantiated news reports (this includes family members), and people who I just didn’t like and couldn’t figure out why they were on my friends list anyway. This left very few people left that i did follow.
Some of the people that I follow, I don’t know where the hell their posts are ending up but it sure as shit isn’t on my feed. When I look at Facebook now, all I find is postings from Delish – which is okay, I get some decent recipes from there; click-bait postings and I’m not going to lie to you, I go through those lists sometimes; posts from friends who “liked” something else. I scroll through my feed staring at a bunch of posts from people I don’t know and I’m like, who the fuck are you and why do I care?!? Finally, there are the blatant advertisements.
You may say, Suzanne – that’s the way of the world now. Well, I don’t like it.
This has forced me to call, text, and email people. This has caused me to schedule actual in-person gatherings to keep in touch and know what’s happening in the lives of others.
Anyone reading this who knows me and takes this as – well, she doesn’t want to talk to us so why am I wasting my time? Don’t. That’s not true. I value you and your friendship, I just find social interactions hard. I’m not a person who “chats”. I don’t care about the weather or those little conversations that people have to fill time. I don’t have the patience for that or the social skills to do it well. I want to know about you. I want to have a real conversation and talk about real issues. Most people don’t have time for in-depth conversations and especially in a group, those conversations are personal and inappropriate.
I’m getting off track.
You may not realize this, but if you’re active on Facebook, you inevitably reveal who you really are. People are so free on social media that they sometimes forget that other people are watching. This is why I loved Facebook. I could get a glimpse of who you were without the stress and anxiety of the social interaction. Now, my Facebook feed is filled with shit that I don’t care about and useless pictures that range from everything from cats to beer cans. As you can imagine, that’s a pretty wide range. I would say that I could start following people again, now that the election is over, but I’ve seen that my hope in that realm have already been dashed. People are more divisive and aggressive than ever.
Facebook and I may have to part ways. I don’t know yet. I’ll have to see what 2017 brings.