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Liberated ... for now


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Liberated ... for now

NAOMI ARNOLD

My very first Facebook status update in mid-2007 was typical of the mindless drivel that would follow it for the next five years. If I recall correctly, it was something about wanting to body-slam some Jehovah's Witnesses who had turned up at the front door and refused to go away.

I can't go back to check my timeline against my memory, because I deactivated my Facebook account a few months ago. It was a tiny action that has left me feeling liberated.

Those few of you who've so far managed to resist becoming involved in this little online world might as well stop reading now, because you'll shake your head at the inanity of it all. But those of you for whom Facebook is as integral a part of life as it was for me, it might ring a few bells.

I was like Pavlov's dogs with Facebook. I'd check it every few minutes, seeking that little buzz that arrived with something new when I refreshed the page. If I was bored in the evening, I'd post some sort of update and wait for reaction, interaction, feeling the need to connect – but ending up with a vague sense of isolation instead. It felt like shouting into a busy room.

I'd scroll through my feed of people and read their posts about dinner plans, carefully constructed status updates, links to their band or business, or highly edited photos showing only their good sides.

After a party, half a dozen people would each upload hundreds of unedited photos of the same event. It was narcissistic, boring, and most of all, pointless white noise.

I knew what everyone was up to, and yet nothing real about their lives at all. I hadn't sent an email or made a long phone call in years. While chatting with them on Facebook I was switched off, doing a hundred other things on the computer at the same time.

One of the last straws was climbing Mt Owen, pulling out my phone to take a picture of the incredible view, and just for fun, seeing if I could connect to Facebook and upload it. I could, and did, with probably another inane status update, which people immediately commented on.

It was cool – but kind of disturbing, and not the sort of world I wanted to live in.

They say we only have enough energy in life to develop meaningful relationships with a few close friends, and Facebook wasn't helping me become closer to anyone. I liked seeing what people I care about were up to on the other side of the world, but phones and emails work fine.

So I quit. I went from hyperactively checking the page all day to not checking it at all. Finding the link to do it was hard enough; I had to Google it.

Turns out there are two ways to shut the door: you deactivate your account, or delete it. I deactivated first to see how I'd handle having my social lifeline cut off.

After clicking the link, up popped a page with my smiling friends' profiles, saying "Matt will miss you" or "Claire will miss you".

No, they won't, actually, because they have my work, personal, and probably my old uni email addresses, they follow me on Twitter – which I still use occasionally – they have my cellphone number, and they know where I work.

Should Matt or Claire get into a situation where they urgently require my attention, they can reach me. And with hundreds of friends on Facebook of their own, Matt and Claire will certainly not miss my presence.

And you know what? No-one has noticed I've gone. Two people have contacted me asking why my profile has become a grey face in their list. After a few months of disconnection, I feel saner, more private. Turns out – surprise, surprise – my online presence didn't mean anything to anyone but me.

I've discovered the pleasure of meeting up with people and being genuinely surprised and interested at the changes in their life, because I haven't seen them scroll past me in a haze of complaints about work and children.

I've discovered who I genuinely want to keep in touch with, and who wants to keep in touch with me. When I moved, I got a landline put in, and now I'm looking forward to evenings of actual phone calls, listening to the whole story, not just clicking "Like" on the edited highlights.

There are some things I miss. How will I find pleasures such as Bill Cosby Dubstep now? And I expect I'll have to get back on the Facebook train for work before too long. Social media is so useful for journalism that it would be foolish to shut it off completely. But what a nice holiday it's been.

- © Fairfax NZ News

Article Source: stuff.co.nz

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This came across my newsfeed today because it had the word "Jehovah's Witness" in it at the beginning, but beyond that I thought it was a VERY interesting article for those who are addicted to Facebook and other social media. Could it be that our being "connected" is really just a facade?

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I am on Facebook......I hate it! I can't quit because my husband isn't on it but ALL of his family is and they complain that if it weren't for my Facebook page they wouldn't know anything about what we were up to. So it's either delete it or we will have to visit the in-laws more often. I picked the lesser of evils.

I don't care to "check-in" places very much because I'm not down with telling everyone "Hey we aren't home!!!!". People's constant bragging makes me sick. The "my kids better than your kid" competition is exhausting. 99.9% of what's on there is pointless and meaningless and basically a waste of time reading. Ok, I'm done with my rant. Stepping off soapbox now.

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I am on Facebook......I hate it! I can't quit because my husband isn't on it but ALL of his family is and they complain that if it weren't for my Facebook page they wouldn't know anything about what we were up to. So it's either delete it or we will have to visit the in-laws more often. I picked the lesser of evils.

lol! I only post petty comments and the occasional photo, never anything meaningful. Facebook is not good for any sort of discussion the way it is laid out.

If I actually want to talk about a topic, I do so here or on a number of topic-specific forums I am also a member of.

I don't care to "check-in" places very much because I'm not down with telling everyone "Hey we aren't home!!!!". People's constant bragging makes me sick. The "my kids better than your kid" competition is exhausting. 99.9% of what's on there is pointless and meaningless and basically a waste of time reading. Ok, I'm done with my rant. Stepping off soapbox now.

I check in when I am checking out if I do and am on my way home. I also like to remind people that I have a couple of crocodiles that we leave out of their cages when we're away :P

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I deleted my facebook about 3 months ago. Thank goodness!! After i came back in the truth i gradually deleted all my wordly friends bar a few but couldnt really delete my worldly family and after having enough of seeing filth on there as well as digs at the bible, God and jehovahs witnesses i decided i could delete myself......so i did >:D< Within a few hours i got text messages asking if i deleted my account.....you would think id told people id removed my right arm. My 'real' friends in the truth still made the effort and the few wordly friends on there who had been mates for a long time well only 2 have bothered to make any effort even when i contacted them afterwards.

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I deleted my facebook about 3 months ago. Thank goodness!! After i came back in the truth i gradually deleted all my wordly friends bar a few but couldnt really delete my worldly family and after having enough of seeing filth on there as well as digs at the bible, God and jehovahs witnesses i decided i could delete myself......so i did >:D< Within a few hours i got text messages asking if i deleted my account.....you would think id told people id removed my right arm. My 'real' friends in the truth still made the effort and the few wordly friends on there who had been mates for a long time well only 2 have bothered to make any effort even when i contacted them afterwards.

That is the best thing to do. We have avoided FB like the plague and I can't really put my name out there due to the work I do for Australias biggest telco comppany. (security reasons) but hubby joined recently to boost the window cleaning web site profile.

We have had no worldy friends for ever . . so joining and being 'added' by well known Bros & Sis has been fun. He has not even been approached to 'friend' by any worldly FB'er.

At your age and stage of life . .you will find old school friends might look you up out of curiosity . . but at our age . .nobody cares any more. Yay! :raspberry:

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haha Jan.....i think its called 'over the hill' :secret: Btw i think we r due for another coffee club catch up or u can pop over!!! :wave:

Hi Shannon. Over the hill . . :punk: . . We WILL do it. You need to come to me after next Wednesday . . second operation on my foot to get rid of the 'nasty'. :crying:

I will be here a lot for 3 weeks as I get over my operation. I will get to do 'Letter Writing' ministry for a month. :dance: BUT I have a FANTASTIC coffee machine. :ecstatic:

Watch for PM next week. >:D<

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