Truths I gleaned from a desperately needed Facebook hiatus:
1. People will notice you’re gone.
You’ll notice, because when you see them, they’ll all make the same statement or a variation of it: “Hey! where have you beeeeen?” drawing out the E in ‘been’ says two things. A. I need you to tell me if a seedy scandal surrounds your absence.” and B. “I didn’t prepare a follow-up statement, so I’m holding on to this E. Help me, E.” If I haven’t gone anywhere, asking me where I’ve been is revealing on your part. Beware the statements that unveil your Facebook-centricity.
2. In the absence of social media, its presence is suddenly magnified.
I finally lifted my eyes from the cracked screen that was my phone, and I realized that everyone else in the world had their eyes down. Everyone was on their own cracked screens, occupying their thumbs, and the time in between shitty spoken sentences. Sentences that started with “Did you hear about…” They served as intros to conversations that ended in them showing me a picture of someone from high school on vacation.
3. You will miss it. Dearly.
The first time someone you wouldn’t say hi to at a grocery store, but still like their baby’s pictures, has a party that you’re not invited to, it stings. Why weren’t you invited?. It’s because once you’re not on Facebook, you don’t exist. At least not in those loosely held acquaintanceships that are dependent on the status Like that you afford each other. Pre-hiatus: “She always Likes my stuff. I’ll invite her.” Post-hiatus: “Who is 'Her'?” Likes are the new currency, and Facebook party invites cost. Without those acquaintances, your invites are reduced to real-life-friends and family. Goodbye, ego. Hello, meaningful connections. …………………….Hey, ego…You still there? I miss you.
4. You will realize its value.
When you’re drowning in it, you can’t take advantage of the benefits that Facebook offers. You can speak the benefits: “I use it to expand my network.”, “I need the exposure”, and other expressions that involve reaching a large number of people for something vaguely profit related. But then you get stuck replying with an ”lol” on every comment someone leaves at your new I Went to a Bar photo album. Productivity becomes increasing your notifications by involving yourself in a conversation about how much you like that restaurant that your 5th grade teacher checked into. Finally, it’s time to step back. When you’re not trying to think of a clever way to status update what day of the week it is (I hate Mondays/back on my grind, ”this week is going by so slow,” hump day, “Can’t wait for the weekend!”, TGIF!), then you can actually see connections, patterns, and form new ideas. Ideas that involve opportunities and activities and not new ways to communicate a laugh through text… “LLAA: laughing like an asshole? ha! good one, Me.”