It’s been exactly four weeks since I quit Facebook. I miss reading my friends’ posts. Every now and then something cool will happen, and I’ll consider posting a new status, only to remember that I no longer have a Facebook account. I also sometimes feel out of the loop, because often people use Facebook to plan events or share important information.
But I don’t regret it. I am enjoying my “face-to-face” relationships more, and gaining more from my conversations. For example, someone might say to me: “Did I tell you about what happened the other day?”
Several months ago, I may have replied with: “No, but I saw it on Facebook. So is everyone feeling better?” And the person would have replied, “Yes, so glad that is over!” and then we would have changed the subject to something we hadn’t already covered online. But now, I don’t know everything that has happened to my friends. And so my response is more like, “No, what happened?” Then I get to hear the whole story, more in-depth, with more range of emotion than a few typed symbols can provide.
The Facebook newsfeed leaves out some of the most important parts of the story. It’s like the difference between watching a story on CNN about a hurricane, or talking in person with someone who actually experienced it. With a newsfeed, you get the basic information. The windspeed, the size, the wave height. But in person, you hear the thrill in their voice, the fear, the apprehension, the excitement. You see their hands shake when they recall the harrowing evacuation process. There is something MORE that happens when we connect in person—or even on the phone—something that black letters on a screen cannot convey.
Yes, I miss reading my friends’ posts. I don’t know what’s going on with hundreds of people – or what that one kid from high school ate for breakfast. But it’s been nice to enjoy conversations again, instead of cutting them short because “I heard it on Facebook.”
One month without Facebook? No problem. That’s only the beginning.