Full disclosure: I wasn’t going to do this until March 1st, but I found myself sitting in my office on Monday afternoon (February 26th), wondering: why not do this now?
With that thought, I have deactivated my Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram accounts that particular afternoon. It just hit me – why do I need to be on all of these things? To be on a device with all of my relatives, former friends and classmates – so they can, to some extent, watch over me and judge me. It began to feel more and more like some sort of grandiose psychological experiment. Therefore, why is this important to ME?
I enjoy Twitter. I enjoy blogging. These things will remain around in my social media life. I don’t intend to stop blogging unless God has other plans for me he’s yet to tell me about, and that will ultimately happen one day – because that day hits all of us.
The idea really began to percolate in my brain this past weekend. There was a story in the news out of South Florida about a “town hall” CNN had staged in light of the school shooting that killed 17 in Broward County. One of the students claimed elements of the show were essentially rigged, and I publicly posted on Facebook (based on some of my own media dealings) that this was probably true.
Most people liked what I had said – but what I thought was weird was who had objected to my observations directly. One was a classmate who only chats with me to disagree. The other was someone who was a friend of one of my high school friends who I don’t believe I’ve ever met, reminding me when I pointed out that when the Pinellas Park High School shooting occurred in 1988 we didn’t blame President Reagan – he reminded me that Reagan himself survived an assassination attempt in 1981.
It was a valid point, and I conceded as such. But when people go way out of what you perceive as “their way” (again – my perception, not theirs) to argue with you, what does that say about the arguments, and thus, about us?
Hence this experiment. Facebook makes me feel most times like I’m in a padded room, wearing a straight jacket I can’t get out of. Those who want to reconnect with me will find the way to do it. I’ll lose some of the connections I’ve made and enjoyed, sure – there’s a sort of social media Darwinism that will take place, I suppose. But why not give it a try? I might actually feel a little better about life, and how is that bad if that’s what winds up happening?
I’ll probably get back to this in the days ahead. Bear with me.