I have a confession. For the past few years I have been having an affair…with Facebook. It’s no secret that I have a Facebook profile, lots of *ahem* ‘friends’ and post regularly (albeit mostly via Instagram these days). What has been a secret is my utter obsession with it.
I have often joked about being addicted to social media but in fact, the situation isn’t funny at all. I find myself getting pissed off with people I barely know preaching about minutely specific causes and those who post cryptic, attention-seeking posts. I watch way too many time-lapse videos about how to cook Nutella 16 ways and get momentarily inspired by pseudo-intelligent memes created by self-appointed gurus of the human psyche.
My issue with Facebook goes deeper than just a need to see what’s going on. It has forged a place in my daily routine and become a source of reassurance. I’m sure there are many of you who will be in a similar situation and lots who are perfectly content with Facebook playing third wheel at dinner dates, or accompanying you on family trips to soft play, etc. But not this mama. Enough is enough.
I have spotted the withering looks from Mr. British Maple as I try to subtly close whatever social media app I’m perusing when he walks into the room. I am also acutely aware of the ‘mummy time’ my obsession has taken away from the boys. I am fed up of trying to keep abreast of every development in other people’s lives, instead of focusing on my own
Facebook has made us lazy. It has taken away the art of correspondence and devalued what it is to have friends. Its indomitable power has steered the weaklings like me towards a pressure to keep everyone informed. It has prevented many ‘friendships’ from taking their natural path into a warm and fuzzy memory bank. Instead, I can tell you that a girl I met on holiday ten years ago is married with two kids – pointless, useless information that serves only to spoil the surprise if I were to randomly bump into her in the future.
So, as of September 2016 I will be deleting my Facebook account. I am not completely void of curiosity so will remain on Instagram because I have genuine friends all over the world with whom it is logistically tricky to speak to (and some of them have ridiculously cute kids too!) But I am done with Facebook.
As a self-confessed reassurance seeker this will undoubtedly have an effect on me. This blog, for one thing, gets pretty much all of its traffic from the link I post on Facebook…let’s see how many people will actually sign up to follow The British Maple when it’s more than just one click away (I mean, two clicks and writing your email address is hard, time-consuming work, isn’t it?!)
For a lot of you this will be a final farewell, but for those who are genuinely interested (and not just aimlessly looking for something to fill a few minutes of idle time like me!) I will see you on the other side!