I’m not quite sure what it says about the culture, or just about me, that I’m sitting here writing a “thinkpiece” about why I pulled the plug on Facebook this morning. A Google search will yield all kinds of posts like this. Why I Left Tumblr. Why I Left Twitter. And I’m not even 100% certain I’m going to permanently scrap my Facebook page. What I do know is that it’s not helping matters right now.
I have clinical depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, and a host of other things simmering away in the janky old crockpot that is my head. The medication that was recommended I take backfired, horribly. So I’m back to the drawing board. And I am trying to think of what needless stressors I can jettison while I am trying to get well.
And I had to come to the conclusion that a big one was Facebook.
It’s not just because we’re in an election year, although that has something to do with it. There’s an epic fuckton of negativity going around there, from all sides.
And issues. So many issues. So many people all of a sudden terrified that the “transgendereds” (sic) are demanding too much special treatment, treatment that is evidently going to throw wide the bathroom doors and usher in a terrible new epoch where molesters in dresses will lurk in stalls and under sinks. And no amount of common fucking sense will quell the hysteria.
But then there’s just me. Me being the obsessive, perpetually panic-stricken weirdo that I am. Second-guessing every last goddamn thing I post, because I know that SOMEONE is going to take it the wrong way and launch some passive-aggressive ickiness my way. I don’t like to make people mad. But I also don’t like being pelted with “Well, actually…” when I’m trying to just work something out in my own space. That happened fairly recently. I also have had to deal with former friends creating fake accounts specifically to harass me after I terminated the original connection. There’s something about the place that encourages disrespect, and brings out some nasty things in people, myself included.
And as I’m trying to deal with this latest, near-crippling, depressive episode, I’m finding that I just don’t want to be anyone’s court jester right now. That’s pretty much always been my role, ever since I was a kid. But jesters need a break, too. But when I try to get serious, I’m apparently not serious enough. Or I’m exclusionary. I’m deliberately trying to make people feel bad. Can’t win. Tired of trying.
The thing is – I love Facebook. God help me. I do. I reconnected with a lot of old friends there. Very few platforms are easier to share one’s writing on, and for that reason, I’m wary of completely walking away from it.
What I need to figure out is just how important it is for me, really. How much I am really going to be missing by not being able to click in every 20 minutes? And then that brings up the more uncomfortable question: how much are people really going to miss ME? I have to admit that, as I sit here writing this, Facebook is rolling along perfectly fine without my wiseassery and Peter Murphy videos.
I won’t lie – today it’s been embarrassingly difficult to not log back on, reactivate shit, and pretend like I never announced I was leaving. I’ve seen that plenty of times, and I get it. It’s like being in junior high again and knowing in my heart of hearts that everyone is having a slumber party, complete with a rousing game of “Light As A Feather Stiff As A Board,” without me. And I desperately want to make sure that’s not true. But for my own sanity, I can’t. I’ve committed to being off this particular grid for at least seven days. I suspect I am going to be happier for it, but right now, I am jonesing hard.