Goodbye, Facebook

I was always suspicious of Facebook. It didn’t strike me as my kind of thing, whatever that may be. A bit too individualistic. And what did I have to say that was interesting?

In the end, while I was in university, I was convinced to sign up. I started to get a feeling I was missing out on stuff. Missing out on jokes, or on social activities. So I joined.

There then followed a couple of years where I loved the site. It was my connection to the outside world. It kept me in touch with all the friends I wanted to keep in touch with. It made it all very easy.

But in the last year I’ve become increasingly disillusioned. Not because of any changes the site made, or any silly reason like that. It’s more fundamental.

In the past few months I’ve been wanting to quit, wanting to free myself of the daily chores of checking to see who has said what to whom, and whether anyone found my last status remotely interesting or entertaining. I never really used it to let people know what was going on in my life, or what I thought on a hour-by-hour basis, like some people do. No, it was often just used to make some ridiculously stupid or bizarre comment. Sometimes they had some topicality, but mostly they were just whatever nonsense had come to my head that very minute.

I had started to grow attached to this. And this was very unlike me. I’ve always been Mr Not Really Popular. I only ever had a very small circle of good friends in school, and no one else mattered. Whenever I made attempts to change this, I was very uncomfortable, and ended up going back to the norm.

So to suddenly start becoming dependent on finding out what people thought about me, and thinking constantly about how I need to interact with other people, to sustain friendships, or to keep doors open, was actually rather tiring, and, on reflection, nothing like who I am. It sounds extremely selfish, but I don’t have the time to maintain minor friendships. And, let’s face it, there’s a reason why they were minor in the first place.

In the end, it was untenable. The people I actually want to keep in touch with are all available via other means. I can text them. I can e-mail them. I can speak to them on MSN. Those are the very small number of people who are actually worth it.

Or maybe they aren’t. Because that was the other doubt it put into my mind. Facebook exposed a lot of the people who I thought of as friends as being nothing of the sort. Some people would routinely ignore my comments, despite the fact that they were clearly using the site.

All these thoughts were just unhealthy for me, and so, about three weeks ago, I deleted my account. The addictiong took a couple of days to go, as I kept aiming for the “FB” favourite icon in my bookmarks bar, and realising there was nothing there… but now it’s gone I feel better.

Facebook just isn’t for people like me. We over-analyse everything to death. I’m my own worst enemy.

I think I’ve said that many times before…

One Week On, One Week Off

After a week spent back in the family home, it’s almost time for it to end once more. For another week.

This continual process of one week here, one week in my supposed new home is a bit ridiculous really. It’s far more than I expected. I thought maybe I’d come home for a couple of days at most. But the way it works out, there really is no other way to do it. It’s not advisable for me to buy a ticket for my return until I’m home, because things can change rapidly.

For instance, I came back last Saturday, knowing I had work to take me through to Tuesday. But on the Monday the regular job I do at a school encountered some extra problems and asked me to come in again to help clear the backlog. So I did, and in fact spent the entire day there yesterday. More money for me.

I’ve no idea whether I would have made enough, or even anything, had I been living in my other home. I have had two phone calls since I started with small local ads, but one of them I couldn’t do anyway and the other was kind enough to wait until next week. So I haven’t missed out on too much.

But when I get back I’m going to give a fair old crack at the leafleting campaign. Or rather, a letter. It might have a better response rate. Plus, the content is better anyway than the last leafletting I did around here, which was a bit of a disaster.

That’s tomorrow. The past week has, as usual, flown by, even though I haven’t really been doing all that much. Did some housework for my parents. Had some work, as I said… but otherwise it’s just been me, my laptop and the BBC iPlayer. Anything to avoid having to watch I’m A Celebrity, which my family have lapsed into watching. Not good at all.

I was hoping to have a bit more work to do, but unfortunately my almost useless housemate has once again said he would be either a) getting some new clients for me and; b) doing a website design ready for me to code. Unfortunately, neither of this has happened. I’m now beginning to take everything he says with a massive pinch of salt. There’s almost no other way to keep my levels of disappointment down.

But today… there is something a little different. An old friend of mine is coming here as he wants me to do him a favour: watch him give a presentation. He needs some feedback for it, as he’s soon going to be giving it live in a university masters interview. Always nice to help out, and in any case it’s nice to still have some friends who don’t only exist in Facebookland…