My Facebook Relationship Is Complicated

As I sit here typing on my iPad, my thoughts spill over with uncertainty. I feel conflicted – over my Facebook account! This should not be. And you’re probably thinking, “Really!?”

I’m not being melodramatic. Yet where do I begin? How about we try to keep it simple. Simple is good, don’t you think?

Cyclical Relationship

Over the last 10 years, I’ve joined and deleted and rejoined Facebook (squeaky clean new account) too many times; I’m up to four I think. My latest cycle was last year. I quit Facebook in March 2018 then rejoined in August (4 months #facebookfree).

I’m on the downswing again with my finger hovering over the big red nuke button. Will I delete Facebook…once more?

The cyclical pattern is consistent:

First phase, I’m attracted to Facebook, sign up, and enjoy a honey-moon period, being more “social” than usual. Like I’m smitten with digital extroversion.

Phase two, the romance wears off. I become bored and use Facebook less, finding it distracting. Like a drug user who can’t keep using enough of the drug to get the buzz back.

Third phase, I grow more distanced. And at this point I become more deliberate against my Facebook account. I go from “non-use” to “anti-use.”

Finally, the relationship ends in divorce. I delete my account. Like I’ve said before, it’s a “nuke-from-orbit.”

On a related note, I canceled a Facebook service last month when I deleted my Instagram account. And I already deleted the Facebook app from my phone and tablet last December.

Critical Thinking

To understand my circular pattern, I re-read my own posts from last year about quitting and rejoining Facebook. I try to make a rational decision, taking time before any “final” action. But, like any relationship, there’s an emotional part too.

Another part of this comes from being influenced by many sources online that spotlight Facebook’s formidable flaws. They make me think, “Staying on Facebook is totally bonkers!” When you focus on one negative thing a lot, it gets magnified.

Sometimes I think the pros of Facebook outweigh the cons. And other times I think the opposite. Facebook’s a roller coaster: fun at first, until it makes you puke.

One of my biggest problems with Facebook is the nature of the Newsfeed. Its design leads me to mindlessly scroll it in an addictive behavior pattern.

On top of that, the majority of the posts in my Newsfeed are junk. Its signal-to-noise ratio is bad; there’s too much noise.

Considering Options

At this point, my options are simple yet not easy: continue my very limited and controlled use of Facebook for its few small benefits. Or discontinue – delete – my account and risk repeating the cycle of re-joining later.

For now, I am holding-out. I will keep coasting with my account and not worry too much about it. I suppose I could just Deactivate it…

But if I can’t resist, so be it. I won’t worry about the cycle (that’s what I’ll keep telling myself). I’ll accept my account deletion and embrace/enjoy life off of Facebook (which I know first-hand works fine). And I’ll try to stay off for good and hope it sticks.

Am I over-thinking it?