Who is ArcoJedi? A life-journeying Christian, ecstatic husband, proud father of four, web guru, all-around geek and Star Wars fanatic. Read these thoughts that he felt were worthwhile. Then wonder why he thought that way.

2017/12/26

I Forget How Long I've Been Off Facebook

Was it October? Anyhow, I've been logged out of my Facebook account and it's been 'deactivated' since some point several months ago, likely October. And it has been great for the most part. In fact, my account has been on-and-off deactivated for most of the last year. There were a several instances where the account got unintentionally reactivated. For example, if you connected your Spotify and Facebook account back in the day and could at the time use your Facebook account to log into your Spotify account, that was semi-convenient. But then you separated them so you could still use Spotify after deactivating Facebook. And then later you log into Spotify, but mistype your password... it recognizes that your username was once connected via Facebook and tests this method. This attempt fails to log you into Spotify, but it does use the cached user and password token on Facebook behind the scenes. Despite not going to the Facebook site intentionally, you get a "Thanks for coming back to Facebook!" email as a surprise. When I get mad about that, I don't even know who to vent my frustration at.

But I've been taking an extended break from Facebook and enjoying that quite a bit. Is social media great and a powerful force connecting all of humanity in a new and amazing way? Or is it a cesspool of boiling atrocity where all of the worst of humanity feeds off each other's insecurities ad nauseam? I used to think it was the former. More recently, there are some days I think it might be the latter. But more rationally, more realistically, it's likely somewhere in between in sum total. Seventy-thirty? Sixty-forty? Fifty-fifty? I don't know, it depends on how you measure it. And it's a highly subjective thing anyhow. A multiple set of gray shades.

When the FB account would get reactivated, I'd often just deactivate it again right away. But a few times, I did browse around for a little while just to reaffirm my conviction that I'm not missing anything too important. And I do miss that certain connection with long-distance friends and family. Especially around the holidays these past few weeks, I've felt a bit un-tethered. But not enough to keep my account active.

I could list my reasons for avoiding Facebook, but they are many and some I don't want to share. There will be specific people who will surmise that it was something they said/did/posted, but it was not any one person or entity that soured the experience for me. There were several "last straws" and they couldn't be ignored in sum total. Maybe this will be permanent. Maybe not.

Note that I'm still on twitter, so this isn't exactly a completely closed moral stand against all social media, just Facebook. We'll see how long that lasts.

Update

Not even two days after I posted this and I am listening to the morning NPR radio show 1A, which I do lately. And they did a special program on The Psychological Effects Of Signing Off Social Media. In the recording, which you can listen to still, they discuss some important questions.

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Lucas James Arconati

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