So I’ve decided to once again attempt to quit Facebook. In all honesty, it has been harder than cigarettes by x1000. I think some of us get addicted to things like Facebook for much the same reason we have addictions to anything; it produces a quick, little moment of euphoria. We like to know we’re needed and liked and we find that quick buzz of self-gratification when we see people posting messages for us online. We also like the spectacle of outrage, when we can jump in and act indignant. After eight years I’ve come to the point where I absolutely despise Facebook and the way people act on there.
Truth is, most people really shouldn’t be interacting with each other. 50 year old veterans are not going to have anything in common with a 20-something college girl and shouldn’t be debating with them on topics like abortion. A white 60 year old mother of four really should have something better to do than discussing black on black crime with guys who pose giving gang signs.
In real life, you tend to move in herds, either with your family, your social group or your career. You go for lunch with co-workers, not the people who work for the local pharmacy, or have a coffee with another person in the factory, not the CEO of your competitor. The people you meet then have some basis of identifying what kind of person you are or at the very least can appreciate your position in the herd. With Facebook, that basic level of respect and community is gone. What you have is people who have no qualifications, no experiences, no knowledge of particular subjects all throwing around theories and condemnations about issues that are beyond their realm of reality. Everybody is an expert on everything, and the real experts are ridiculed or ignored. It’s a strange, weird, way of interacting with each other, a method that I find depressing and infuriating.
The only people who seem to really thrive on Facebook and find any joy in it are those who have some level of success; with loyal fans as friends, you get a lot more positive feedback. In my case, the entire thing was nothing more than a huge drain of my time that could have been spent writing.
I don’t recall one “Facebook Friend” out of three or four hundred people, ever buying any of my books. I have had people contact me through Twitter and e-mail saying them bought them, but never anyone in my “social network”. I can count the number of times that important book posts were shared on my fingers.
Now I don’t expect people to buy the books, but I kind of hoped that since I spent 8 years online telling people how great someone’s work was, that they would at least reciprocate that easy little bit of promotion. Nope. Hell, at this point I’d have been lucky to get someone to hit like button.
My family will be able to keep in touch through my wife’s page and anyone who is an actual fan of my work will be able to contact me at any time. I put my e-mail address in every book. Those who actually were friends should have no problem finding and contacting me, but as far as I know, I don’t actually have any. I have acquaintances who I am close with that work together with me on certain projects, people that I have a lot of respect for, but those people live all over the world. Hopefully they’ll still follow my blog, Twitter and Google + site.
I’m tired of Kickstarter requests, tired of being tagged in other people’s work, tired of political debates, tired of white people who post about black crimes every day but deny their racism (I am pretty sure that calling the dead kids of the colored community thugs who deserved it is some kind of racism). I am tired of people half my age with half my IQ trying to debate issues with me based on their feelings, tired of being bombarded with promos for other people’s projects or from companies I have interest in supporting.
I’m tired of being called negative because I have standards and convictions that make other people feel bad. I’m tired of believing in personal responsibility and having to fight with people because I won’t march in their self-pity parade, or because I defend people being attacked because of their beliefs. Homophobes and racists still have a right to their own feelings and thoughts and guess what? They are protected from abuse and bullying too, no matter how many people may want to see them hanging. If they aren’t bothering anyone, why should they be bothered?
Yes, this is a long ranting post, but I feel that the more I share my disgust with Facebook and the people who called themselves “Friends”, the less likely I am to go back.
Now here’s where I take it a step further and really show what a jerk I am: I am also cancelling all collaborations and partnerships I have with anyone. Any scripts I wrote for anyone that haven’t been published yet, I am taking back. Anyone I solicited to work with, sorry I bothered you, but I can’t continue forward. I don’t want to keep working on projects that go nowhere. I am only going to write my own books or take paying gigs. Few people ever come through for me and I am tired of waiting for collaborators who will never have the same dedication I have to my work.
I’m not going away, I’m just scaling back. I’m sorry, people of Facebook, but I don’t want you and all your baggage in my life anymore. In fact, I’ve wasted enough time on this post, time to get back to the next LEGION book!
This is Day 1.