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Saying Goodbye to Facebook

About a month ago I shut down my Facebook account after over six years of use. Before doing so, I downloaded all my posts and had to smile when I read my first post on Facebook, given I had just shut the account down.

happy fuckers? i’ve conformed to a necessary evil.

(Apologies for the profanity, I was young) However, the fact was that as a college freshmen before the social media explosion, Facebook was a bit of a social necessity. A few year later though, I can tweet, text, email, or god-forbid call, one of my family members or friends. I am not against social networks, but just found that too much of my time was being spent on them with little benefit. As an easily distracted worker, I needed to cut down my distractions. I still have twitter so I might miss a few interesting links on Facebook, but overall I save some time by not checking Facebook.

I also cancelled my subscription to Netflix, which was a much harder thing to convince myself to do. But the main point remained, how much do I need? Do I really need to watch shows on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon’s streaming service available with a Prime membership? The answer was probably not. So now I save $7.99 a month, but miss a few shows I may have otherwise enjoyed. Again, a little given up, but probably a lot more saved.

It’s the same reason I don’t have cable. I miss some cultural things, but do I really need all those TV channels? Nope. You learn to survive without them pretty easily actually. I also grew up without cable so it’s nothing new. I think I can blame my parents for my lack of Facebook now too. Out of myself, my parents and my four siblings no one has Facebook anymore. That’s can’t be purely a coincidence.

Less is more is cliche, but faced with a post-coursework schedule that is almost too flexible, I have turned to simplifying my life to put more order in it. With coursework it was easy to get lost in the everyday of the semester with frequent, short term deadlines. When studying for comprehensive exams and working on my dissertation, the deadlines are very long term. I feel like I need a relatively uncluttered daily schedule to maintain focus on these big goals and getting rid of Facebook was an attempt to unclutter my daily routine.

I had to keep twitter though, I follow the Dalai Lama. I mean following him will give me inner-peace, right?

Published in Academia

5 Comments

  1. daddy dave

    1. Didn’t your parents ever tell you know to swear? Come on MoFo!
    2. Maybe your parents really are on FB–they just don’t friend their kids?
    3. Feng Shui, I say! As long as you have access to Notre Dame football, you’ll always be happy.

  2. You make a convincing argument for getting rid of Facebook. It seems we are at the same stage of our studies with these sort of boundless dates for completion. The reason I keep Facebook is so that I can have a place to unleash my snark unfettered. My hope is that I offend my friends and family so much that they all unfriend me thus accomplishing my quitting Facebook without really quitting. Well done to you on getting that structure going that is sorely lacking after coursework.

    • Brian Sarnacki

      I agree that Facebook can be useful and I enjoy social media. I found one form (twitter) to be a, relatively speaking, good use of my time while another (Facebook) was almost pure procrastination (and before this I found Google+ to be a complete waste of time). I can see the roles of theses sites being reversed in different situations. I do wonder why we need social networking in every part of our Internet lives, though I fear this may be the part of me that also likes to eat dinner at 4pm…

      • I wonder about Google+. I haven’t tried it yet, though Google has been trying to trick me into using it through their other products. I have heard many people who share your opinion — namely, it’s a waste of time — while I see people who actually just use it for new purposes, especially in terms of teaching/classroom stuff. I am still on the fence about it as I really don’t know if I want to add yet another social network to the rotation at present.

        • Brian Sarnacki

          I have heard good things about Google’s hangout feature, but Google+ never seemed to gain much momentum with my friends or family

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