Seriously people, Facebook. How much more will this phenomenon be allowed to grow? If (God forbid) you don’t have a Facebook account, it’s as if you automatically become a second class citizen; suddenly you are odd, or some sort of outsider. You end up missing a lot of information, or big events, that you then only hear about weeks later when somebody who does have Facebook mentions it. This is usually followed by a response such as, oh you must get on Facebook, you’ll miss everything.

Of course ‘everything’ extends as far as what your friend’s day has been like, and what their friend’s mum’s work friend did last week. Thrown in are a couple of event invitations or people’s parties that suddenly seem to depend on your citizenship of FB country to be entitled to attend; if you don’t have FB you better make sure your (real) friend does and that they tell you about that event (if you even care).

It’s been around nine months since I deactivated my FB account. I actually had every intention of reactivating it afterwards as the reason I did it was very minor. But then after it was gone (again) something inside me decidee to not reactivate it. The first week became two, which became three and four. I’d often find my thumb float toward the blue ‘F’ on my iPhone, but then I’d resist and tell myself to persevere; always just wondering how long I could go for.

Then after a month, I started to forget. I got many “why aren’t you on FB any more?”s, some people asking me on multiple occasions, trying to encourage me to go back on. The months went on, becoming six, when I couldn’t believe it had actually been six months. This second ‘world’, where everybody’s lives were interconnected and looked at by everybody, which is what the citizenship granted access to, that I’d been a part of for five years or more or more, wasn’t a part of me any more. I wasn’t constantly on view to anybody who wanted to look, good or bad, friend or foe. I was no longer at risk of criminalising myself because I mentioned something a little controversial or ‘illegal’. My employer could no longer use my profile to catch me out if I’d been out the night before (whether I showed up or not). My ex girlfriends or ‘others’ couldn’t see who I was talking to, or who I’d been tagged in a photo with.

The FB universe became far too big, enabling access to too much of our personal lives. True, I found some family in Australia there and I got back in contact with my closest (in childhood) cousin. But it was sad that FB is how I found out he had become a Dad, and saw his baby for the first time. The world of social networking in the purely ‘social’ sense has changed what life, love, family and friendship are all about.

So anyway, it’s been nine months without FB and there are parts I miss and parts I don’t. Personally my privacy and security are far more important than social network relationships that I should be having in real life are. In real life, you have to make the effort to call or text- even texting these days seems to be becoming obsolete. And then you have to make the effort to go out and see the special people in your life, to maintain contact with them and sustain your relationship. Not forgetting the risks from the Government no longer imposed by the citizenship when you do withdraw.

Maybe one day I’ll go back, start a fresh slate. That’s if they haven’t already taken over the world and we are all branded with the blue ‘F’ as we march single file down some cyber current.


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