People have been asking why I left Facebook. Mostly all I have to say by way of explanation is “why do you think?” and they understand. People inherently know the reasons already, they know how social networking can be a bubonic tumor on a person’s life. Still, I get that they’re curious as to my specific reason. It was just an overarching amalgamation of various “oh God why am I doing this to myself?” moments that finally led me to pull the plug.
As you can imagine, life is lovelier for me these days. I know the phrase “ignorance is bliss” is usually said in tones of snarky irony, but it’s the damn truth. I am ignorant of all the menial observations, complaints, announcements, and “debates” of people I don’t really care about. I am ignorant of which random acquaintance got engaged or a promotion at work, what their dog looks like, or their first world problems. I’m ignorant about the Grammy’s, about what everyone had for dinner, about what my exes are up to, about which parties I wasn’t invited to, about new tattoos, about break-ups, about pointed song lyrics that are obviously not meant towards me, and about which level of Candy Crush my friends are on.
Woe is me, I’m just a big ignorant dummy who knows nothing about anybody 😉
I guess all there’s left to do is keep working, and now I have all this extra free time to write and read and feed my soul and strive towards those ever-higher goals. Darn.
The cool thing about it is that, in the same way, nobody knows anything about me, either. I’m guilty of formerly being a HUGE over-sharer, and most of my in-person conversations had to begin with the disclaimer, “Did you already see my status today?” I won’t even get started on the ridiculous high from counting those stupid likes.
Nobody likes anything I say anymore, because I’m not saying anything. It’s an odd sort of self-discipline, teaching yourself to shut up because you don’t need anyone’s approval. I read somewhere that confidence is silent and insecurities are loud. That really stuck with me because I want to be the kind of person who can sit in the back of the crowd and observe, not the one in the center yelling for attention.
And that’s not to say I’ve completely ostracized my friends. But anyone who is worth it to me has my number, and we end up having so much more to talk about when we haven’t been secretly reading each other’s lives behind a screen. You learn so much more about a person when they’re looking directly at you, speaking directly to you, and there’s just so much to be appreciated about actual conversation that most of us take for granted.
With that being said, I just recently joined the Goodreads bandwagon and it’s the only social networking site (besides WordPress, obviously) that I can dig, because it’s for readers. Call me narcissistic, but I don’t give two flying fruits about you if I can’t talk to you about books. I’m a librarian and a writer; if you don’t read I will have nothing to say to you. Conversely, for some strange reason, if you happen to be an avid reader and we happen to have similar tastes in books, I tend to get this starry-eyed admiration in my heart for you forever. It’s weird.
You can find me at https://www.goodreads.com/Charkweek if you are so inclined. It’s an excellent tool; part of my New Year’s Resolution was to read 15 books by my birthday in June. Goodreads has a 2014 Reading Challenge widget which I’ve used to measure progress towards my amended goal of 30 books throughout the whole year.
To wrap this baby up in a nice little bow, social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. may be your thing. They’re not for me. But everybody’s gotta do what’s best for themselves, and that includes a little loophole now and then. Goodreads seems to be a good alternative for me, where at least I can make myself believe I’m on the classy side of social networking. If you get tired of seeing your friends’ baby pictures and Zimbio quiz results, come talk books with me 🙂