A neat little side-benefit of marriage is the ability to experience life through a second set of shoes. Even neater is that you don't have to fully wear those shoes. When my wife tries something new, I end up taking notes for my own future ventures.
My wife recently deleted her Facebook account — at least I think she deleted her Facebook account. Maybe Facebook still has all her content saved in a data farm. Maybe somebody in India is photoshopping an image of her right now. As far as we know, her account is “nullified”. And technicalities aside, I’ve keenly observed the repercussions.
She loves Facebook-less life.
Facebook is either extremely positive or extremely negative. I bet the scale leans toward positivity. The most common sharers are those who are happiest and proudest of themselves or their families. World travellers, bar hoppers and glowing mothers roam Facebook’s utopian climate. It would be unnatural not to want and envy those who are most successful. Facebook’s instant — and overwhelmingly visual — nature can press one too many buttons.
The ultimate litmus test of Facebook’s shackles are birthdays. Wishing someone a happy birthday is the very definition of “obligatory”. It’s a simple, personal and oh-so easy way of showing someone “you care”. And the more “Happy Birthday” splattered across your wall, the more positive your self-concept.
It turns out that the opposite is also true. Comparisons abound when a lesser percentage of one’s followers offer their habitual birthday wishes. Little "Happy Birthday" is a gut shot which bleeds pride and self-worth.
Facebook is a billion dollar business that thrives upon the thumbs up. Could you imagine if they implemented a “dislike” button? I think suicide rates would spike and cyber bullying would see state intervention.
So my wife gave it up. She was tired of endlessly striving for Facebook acceptance. She was tired of seeing greener grass on the other side of the fence.
Instead, she jumped over the fence and planted her own grass. Her grass is thicker than ever before. And there may even be a horse prancing around on her grass.
I'll stop with the metaphors. She even looks healthier.
It’s funny. In the end, to achieve the prerequisite lifestyle of a likeable Facebook post, she had to quit Facebook.
Next up: Instagram.