Recently, one of my friends announced (on Facebook) that she was quitting Facebook. Most people who want to quit something just stop doing it. Instead, my friend updated her status and gave her Facebook friends the chance to send her their contact information so as to stay in touch. In my opinion, this is just silly.
First, chances are you already have all the contact information necessary to keep up with the people who are truly important to you. Second, even if your newfound Facebook friends give you their info, there’s no way you’ll keep up with all their lives via email or give them a call to see if they broke up with “so and so” or got fat. These aren’t questions you ask people. But, it’s why we use Facebook.
We’ve all seen someone quit Facebook before. So what causes people to quit when clearly we can all see they were happily updating us on their grocery store experience just hours earlier?
I recently read an article in TIME magazine that said some people leave Facebook because it makes them feel miserable (I know, big leap there). The article went on to explain that many users become jealous of their friends or start feeling lonely when too many statuses change to “in a relationship.” A study of 600 Facebook users revealed that “one in three felt worse after visiting the site—especially if they viewed vacation photos.”
Another article by Bianca Bosker in the Huffington Post claims people quit Facebook because of the social network’s lack of respect for our personal privacy.
What I find interesting about all this, is that most of the people I know who quit Facebook come back. They make a grand exit and then a few months later you see them post a new picture and their timeline has been magically restored as if they never left.
Some people (those who leave for emotional reasons) blame their own feelings on Facebook. They feel jealous, lonely, or sad because they are going through a breakup while someone else is getting married or having kids. It’s not Facebook’s fault you’re 30 and single (nor is that a bad thing). I’m not always the biggest fan of Facebook, but if this is why you don’t like it, quitting it isn’t going to make you happier. These things happen in life and eventually, if you know and care about these people, you’re going to find out sooner or later (Facebook just makes you find out a lot sooner). If Facebook makes you miserable, life probably makes you miserable too. You need to take a look in the mirror and think about ways you can improve things and make positive changes.
Those who leave for political reasons are usually trying to be unique or protect their information. The funny thing about quitting to be different is that nobody will know you’re different…because you can’t share it. And the funny thing about leaving for privacy is that if you’re reading this right now, it’s already too late.
While it scares me to think of all the unborn children who already have an online identity these days, I think the world just needs to accept the fact that nothing is private anymore. At this point, it’s like complaining about the price of gas. Yeah, it sucks, but there’s not much we can do about it.
So anyways, people quit…to each their own. What’s sillier than quitting for these reasons? Coming back! Returning to Facebook after emotional or political exits is like getting back with your ex. Everyone will pretend they are happy to see you back together, but really they think you’re a moron.
Have you ever quit Facebook?