I deactivated my facebook account today. It has been a while coming, but today was the day. I have several reasons for it.... many of which the answer given would be, "Well, you don't have to be there" so I'm not.
I know some people do not participate in the following things that I am going to list, and some people are not guilty, but if I pared it down to exclude all of these, then I would actually only have about 6 friends left, so I figure we can just talk on the phone and face to face.
First of all...one thing that has bothered me for a while...is pictures. People post pictures that I don't want to see and really, are inappropriate to share in this widespread format, in my opinion. I know people who train for fitness competitions, and pictures they post are so borderline nude, that I am truly uncomfortable seeing them. Also, pictures of their parties and get togethers just really give me more information that I really care or need to know. And, it seems that the people who post them do it just to get a reaction many times.
Secondly.... it's becoming very "cliquey." I find that I could list "groups" and "cliques" of people from among my friends. It excludes people and just isn't nice.
Is this sounding familiar? I am finding that my list of complaints about facebook very much resembles a list I might make of things I disliked about middle school.....popularity contests, PDA, bad language, jealously, bragging, the rich people showing off to everyone else...arrogance, red-necks being offensive, trying to fit in, trying to be cool, everyone in everyone's business....and I'm not even friends with any middle schoolers!
Another thing is status updates. People go WAY too far in many ways... one big problem is language. I did NOT need you to show off that you know all those words in order to shock people. Other things.. none too subtle hints directed indirectly at OTHER friends either in complaint or disgust. Complaining is another issue. Some people just whine whine whine. Some people use it to post ridiculous "copy and paste" forwards that usually turn out to be a hoax, or what not.
Another thing people love to post in their status is BRAGGING. Bragging on what they just bought, or did, or saw, or participated in. I don't mean legitimate things like "just won a contest" or something neat...I mean like.. "was just voted best person ever in the best world contest" now you know that's not a real thing, but the bragging is obvious and if you've seen it you know what I'm talking about when someone posts something just to let people know, not because they are sincere.
What really put the final nail in the coffin today was the problem of GOSSIP. A friend of mine was "anonymously" but very successfully drug through the mud by another "friend." Then left it for completely uninvolved and non-mutual friends to comment on and add to the muck with their completely irrelevant and misguided opinions and assumptions about the situation. The original poster did not respond to anything all day. The entire situation was out of context and it just really opened up my eyes to the power of gossip left to grow and spread via the web. It's the new three way calling but now it's unlimited in participants. Not only can people spread gossip through their statuses or wall posts, but people can stir up interest and speculation about their own lives through changing information on their page, etc. It's just a breeding ground for all kinds of trouble that I refuse to participate in any longer.
And, there's always the old standby evil: facebook destroying relationships. I know of serious trouble in marriages that started over a facebook issue. Something said to someone else and misconstrued by outside parties...or true infidelity. Or in the case I mentioned..... friendships and reputations destroyed over something petty that could have been brought straight out of a 5th grade classroom.
I know that facebook can be great. It can reconnect old school friends, or keep people in touch across the miles. It can be a place to encourage others, or share prayer requests. But, for me...the positive does not outweigh the negative and I will not be returning this time. I'm going to let real life provide all that "good stuff" for me from now on.
And, I am going to try my very best to not allow "real life" to provide all that stuff I dislike about Facebook either!