It has been about a month that I deleted your app from my phone. You know that we didn’t break up completely, I kept your messaging app on my phone for people who wanted to PM and contact me that way. I also kept you on my computer. It wasn’t you, it was me – I needed some space.
Week one was difficult, I’ll admit that. I found that I was still picking up my phone out of habit: I missed you. I would go to the news app or something else and then wonder why I did since the news was the same as it was an hour ago. It wasn’t the same. I was checking my computer every day for what was happening on my feed.
But over the next few weeks, I learned to live without you a little more. I noticed everyone else checking their phone while I was spending time looking out the window or watching people, usually looking at their phones. I wasn’t checking you every day on my computer, rather every couple of days. OK, so it was nice to see 25+ alerts when I did! You were still wanting me to feel wanted. But Facebook, I need to ask, are you my friend or something more sinister?
I began to notice, in my time away from you, was that I was able to concentrate for longer periods of time on things that I used to find that I would get distracted from. I was reading more. I was reading longer articles and chapters of books that were harder to understand: more than your short status updates and rants. Facebook, have you been changing me?
Did I feel disconnected? At times. When I did go back to you, you did tell me about things happening in people’s lives that I probably should know, and I was behind the news for a day or two. However, I was explaining to those people that you and I were trailing a separation and they were quite understanding.
But in our time apart there as something I noticed about you that I hadn’t noticed before. You tend to slant my view of reality. I know the whole point of your existence is to give people a public voice. But this doesn’t mean it gives an accurate picture of where society is thinking.
Recently there was a series of stories about the church’s involvement In Domestic Violence (DV). Let’s make one thing clear DV is wrong, it is a blight on our society and more so within our churches and it will face the judgment of God both within and outside our churches. As I talked with people about this personally, some people were disturbed by the stories (rightly so) though some were oblivious. The news sites that I was looking at ran links to the stories, but not as their main story.
However, if you were to see my feed, these stories were leading to the end of Christianity in Australia. The vitriol on both sides of arguments was at times toxic. Facebook, are you telling me the truth? Can I really trust you?
I think it is time for us to be honest: I know you are not a bad social media platform, but I don’t miss you, Facebook. I didn’t miss how people treated each other on social media platforms like you. I didn’t miss how you allow people to hijack important issues to justify their agenda. I don’t like how you are changing me.
Actually, it’s not me, it is you.