Enjoying My Unplanned Absence
I’ve been on Facebook since the early days, and I’ve always sort of sneered at people who make the big proclamation that they’ve abandoned Facebook, only to see them return a few weeks later. I’ve read the articles about how it puts unrealistic expectations on people to show only their perfect life, or how it causes jealousy of what others have or do. And honestly, I’ve never felt that way.
But the last few months have been different. I don’t think anyone will be surprised when I point out that this year’s election has brought out the vitriol and hate, but I had always assumed that it would be limited to comments on politics alone, and I carefully muted the feed to minimize that.
I was so wrong.
Within a two-week span, it seemed that even the most benign posts were met with hateful replies.
“I made the best tandoori chicken this weekend. I think I’ve finally nailed the recipe!” was met with a comment about “I can’t believe you eat that f***ing dirty Muslim food.” (Wait, what? That’s wrong on about 11 different levels.)
“My book club read XYZ book, and we really liked it. If you’re looking for a good one for your club, I recommend it,” was met with “What is this, some stupid feminist group? I’ll bet they’re all ugly man-haters.” (What???)
Those were some of the more polite comments. Many were worse. There are always worse comments.
And one day, I decided that I just couldn’t deal with it, so I didn’t log on. And by and large, I felt better. So I didn’t log in again the next day. Or the next. And I realized that I felt a lot better overall.
So for now, I’ve abandoned Facebook — at least until the next school or extracurricular activity uses a Facebook group as their communications hub. I know that I’ve missed birthdays and event invitations, and I’m sorry for that. I’m not intentionally ignoring you, and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. This is just what I need right now.
Maybe I’ll go back again someday, and maybe I won’t. For now, you know where to find me.