I do have a personal Facebook account where I’ve gathered my family, friends, and co-workers. I’ve also gathered several reasons to avoid Facebook.
I actually enjoy how easy it is for me to keep up with what everyone else is doing on Facebook. That part is convenient for me and is why I’ll never completely rid myself of this account. Because there’s a part of me that’s very nosy and enjoys being in other people’s business.
However, it’s also very rare for me to post anything about myself there. If I do post anything, it’s usually a non-offensive meme or a video of Family Feud goofs. But you’ll never discover anything personal of me on that account anymore. I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. I even posted about some of my preventative measures in a previous post: Alarming Ways an Online Stalker Can Find You.
A few reasons to avoid Facebook are listed here:
1. Safety. You probably have at least one Facebook “friend” who has stalker/invasive tendencies that FB encourages by displaying to them personal parts of your life. And the difficulty with this is that sometimes you don’t even realize a person has these concerning characteristics until they’ve already crossed the line, revealing themselves. By that point, it’s too late to take preventative action. For example, I’ve visited somewhere before and made the mistake of posting about it when I arrived or when I was on my way there and the next thing I know I’m “running into” them. And I know it wasn’t a coincidence.
2. Drama and Gossip. Especially among my coworkers. Holy smokes! They are so incredibly vicious and judgmental over what I’m doing. And everything I post gets circulated amongst the rest of my coworkers, even the ones I’m not FB friends with. There was always so much office gossip (and most of it was overwhelmingly negative) over where I was, what I was doing, who I was with, etc…
Other things my coworkers have done to me, was that when I would post pics of a meal I had at a restaurant while I was on a work trip, they would LOOK UP the menu online and calculate how much that meal cost and then circulate around the company how much I was spending. Frankly, as long as I was following the expense rules (and I always did), then it shouldn’t have been anyone’s business how much it was. It was so invasive.
3. Censorship. I’m not specifically talking about any “Fact-Checker” censorship that occurs on FB when people post some political/health-related content, which is certainly one of several reasons to avoid Facebook. But what I’m referring to here, is the censorship we impose upon ourselves in order to avoid hurting others’ feelings or hiding info that we don’t want specific persons to know.
Basically, I feel like I don’t have the freedom to post what I want on my FB bc of the people in my real life that are on it, who will judge me and question me and stalk me and gossip about me, etc.
For example, I went to a little event last weekend, but I knew not everyone in our friend group was invited, so I couldn’t post about it because I didn’t want to “out” the hostess for not inviting everyone. Because that could possibly cause issues for her. So I’m always thinking ahead for potential problems and avoiding posting anything to cause them. It’s exhausting, quite frankly.
4. Procrastination. Facebook is definitely a mindless rabbit-hole that can consume your time and attention that could’ve been spent on other things. It is a convenient tool to escape chores, work, real-life relationships, etc if you let it. So definitely make sure to stay mindful of the time spent on FB – as well as all social media – in order to validate that it’s not preventing you from being present in other areas of your life instead.
5. Discouragement. There will always be nay-sayers in the world, who are always quick to criticize and point-out all the negatives in any situation. But when you actually know them in real-life, like your friends and even family that you’ve added to your Facebook, then any such negativity just hurts a heckuva lot more. It’s definitely a deterrent to posting anything you can be excited over on FB, when you have some so-called “friends” that always want to make an inappropriate joke over it or inform you on how they would’ve done it better. It can ruin the moment.
6. Mental Health. We all need to take social-media breaks from time-to-time, and the reason for this is because it’s necessary for our mental health. There’s a stress associated with the bombardment of information that our brains are exposed to when scrolling social media. And Facebook has the additional stress that we actually know these people so any issues with them are greatly magnified because of the potential impacts to our real lives.
Any drama, conflicts, differences of opinions, or comparison to others facilitated by FB will have potentially greater consequences because you cannot block these people from your real-lives. You can hit that “unfriend” button on FB all day and they’ll still be at your daughter’s next soccer game. Sitting right next to you.
7. Divisive. There’s no other way to see it whenever you see those FB posts “If you believe x, then unfriend me now”. No matter what x is, I don’t appreciate ultimatums. Everybody is different with their own history, culture, backgrounds, and chemistry which makes them believe what they believe. And people who don’t care to understand any of that underlying context, I don’t want to be friends with anyway. And no, I won’t make it easy for them by unfriending them myself (they can use their own manpower to do that), but I do “hide” all their posts from ever seeing the light of day on my feed again.
8. Facebook is listening to you. C’mon, we all know that this definitely happens even though FB denies it. They definitely even use your phone microphone to uncover what you are speaking about, because that is the only way they are able to send you targeted advertising for things you’ve never typed into your computer or phone.
So that’s it for my list of reasons to avoid Facebook. What do you all think? Did I miss anything?
When I launched this blog, I decided to be anonymous so I wouldn’t have those same issues here. I want the freedom to be myself and post what I want. I don’t want to manage other people’s feelings. I don’t want to feel like I have to censor myself. I hope this can be my safe space.
I did create my Pepper Valentine alias and an anonymous FB to support this blog and interact with other bloggers I enjoy. Nobody I know from my real life is allowed. You’re all welcome to follow me there if you’d like. I’m at www.facebook.com/peppervalentine77.