Thursday, November 10, 2016

Why I Finally Said Good-Bye To Facebook

I have been a Facebook user since 2006, when it was limited to college students. I was participating in a summer externship at UCLA Medical Center with other nursing students when I was introduced to Facebook by a colleague. It sounded like a great way for us to keep in contact with each other after our externship and to connect with other college students, so I joined.

As a Facebook veteran user, I've had a front-row seat to its evolution. It began as people sharing relatively harmless updates on what they were doing ("Zarrah Jane is tired!" and "Zarrah Jane is hungry!') while discovering all those people that one has lost touch with over the years. Then came fun pictures of weddings, children, trips, and even some old-school throwbacks from time to time. Simple enough. It was a great tool for reconnection, and it certainly helped me keep in touch with family and friends while I lived overseas and couldn't talk with them on a regular basis.

However, I've grown steadily disappointed in Facebook over the past few years. It has become less about connections with others and more about dumb shit. Offensive posts, memes, and politics abound while I rarely see anything about actual people anymore. Facebook has taken on a different life form -  a magnificent trainwreck that no one can look away from but few choose to participate in. This is evident by the many real-life comments I receive from family/friends regarding my posts and knowing that these people rarely post anything themselves.

My breaking point came over the last few weeks. One of my hot buttons, Trump's hot-mic conversation with Billy Bush and the subsequent women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, found me on the wrong side of Facebook. I was awake until 5 a.m. in a pissing match with strangers who held extremely right-wing views. During these conversations I was called an empty-headed liberal, a bitch, and a LYING BITCH (because you KNOW people are serious when they use all caps). A lying bitch just like those lying bitches Hillary Clinton and Alicia Machado. A disgusting person. A repulsive specimen of a woman. After I finally fell asleep and woke up the next morning, I was sick to my stomach with anger and sadness. I immediately deleted all of my comments and blocked users, but it didn't matter. The emotional damage was done.

After this experience, I started to feel a little better and went on with my normal life, including a visit with some of my fellow nurses and former coworkers at a nursing conference. One of these lovely ladies posted a picture of us on Facebook to commemorate the occasion. The next thing I saw was a childish, derogatory remark made by MY OWN FATHER, who asked why I was hanging around such old people. I was absolutely mortified. These women are some of the brightest, kindest women I know - women who assisted me with my own career when I was a brand-new nurse caring for NICU babies. I credit them for my successful career, and here was my family member degrading them in a way I couldn't even fathom. This was the final straw - I was completely over Facebook.

When did it become acceptable to spout off whatever bullshit pops into your head? When did it become acceptable to say anything without consequence just because we are protected by anonymity and a computer screen? Is it now perfectly okay to call a stranger a "repulsive specimen of a woman" and an "empty-headed liberal LYING BITCH" because her views don't align with your own? I'm not buying it. I have not forgotten that, in the cold, dark world of Facebook, there are real people behind those posts. People who have feelings and who struggle to find connections. People who DON'T deserve to be shit on just because someone is feeling confident and cocky behind their keyboard.

Good-bye and good riddance, Facebook.  I refuse to continue to allow something in my life that holds such power to cause the emotional devastation that Facebook has caused me.

1 comment:

  1. Stay Unchained. Fuck those people. Love, Bling*