Friday, July 24, 2009

Why I'm Quitting Facebook

Okay, I'll admit it--it was fun at the beginning to see what friends and family were doing and exchanging little one liners and cute comments with people. It was fun to play the word games with our neighbors and see how close I could come to competing with their knowledge base (the short answer is: not very). And it was great seeing pictures that people had posted of themselves and their lives.

Then came the quizzes that were--again--initially interesting and almost enlightening. What 5 dead people would you like to meet, what place would you like to visit, live, etc. Gradually they have deteriorated into ridiculous wastes of time--what Harry Potter character are you? What car would you be? How Southern or Northern are you? Do you really need a quiz written by a 20 something year old who's making more money than you to tell you what you already know?? If you've lived in the South, you're Southern. If you don't like that, move or get over it!!

But these quizzes and "favorite fives" are not the reason I'm leaving. The real reason is that I find myself increasingly wanting to hide certain people's posts. I'm beginning to realize that I don't really want to know how some people feel or how they act or what they love or believe. I don't want to know that a number of my relatives are hell bent on making sure that my partner and I are denied the same rights they have. I want to see them once a year, smile, say "hi, how are you?" and they ask me the same and we share a meal and leave it at that. It is true, we do not choose our relatives, but we can choose how much or how well we know them.

The truth is, as I grow older, I seek the comfort of familiarity in relationships. I don't want them to be hard work and I don't want them to stir me on a visceral level. I don't want to dislike people I have always loved, but I have also loved them, in part, because I only knew a small part of them. Facebook has changed all of that. Now I know too much. And it can't be undone.

But maybe, if I leave this massive time waster I can eventually return to a state of blissful ignorance about some relatives. After all, will my life be any poorer because I don't know if one of them would be a Lexus or a Chevy Blazer?