Yeah, I’m leaving Facebook for at least a while.
We’ll see how it goes; I may very well be back.
But for now, I intend to put myself in a FB timeout for about a week, and I’ll reevaluate from there.
I’ve taken brief time-outs before, but never for more than just a few days before I find myself going back. I participate in a few different communities on Facebook – drums and percussion, of course, but also a few local neighborhood-type groups, and groups that reflect some of my other interests. I’m sure I’ll miss a big part of that. But lately, and especially with the onslaught of the covid pandemic and the political dysfunction we in the US find ourselves, being even semi-active on FB just isn’t any fun anymore – and I’m not sure it ever truly was.
I’ve been reluctant to leave because like many of the people who work in music/theater/entertainment, FB does serve a certain networking function – of sorts, anyway. After all, FB is just a technology, and technology is neutral – it’s how we use it that matters.
Like many people, I’ve picked up a little work through postings I saw on FB, and through Facebook, I’ve met a lot of people in my field I surely wouldn’t have met otherwise. I’ve spread the word about gigs I’ve heard of and couldn’t take, and I’ve bought and sold instruments and other gear. I’ve been thrilled when someone I’ve considered important in my field has noticed my work and commented, and I’ve been crushed when I’ve found out unsavory truths about others that I once held in high regard.
I’ve reconnected with some long-lost friends, shared some triumphs and tragedies, celebrated births and mourned deaths, and raised my voice in advocacy of causes and positions I believe in. I’ve tried to share the sights I’ve seen and the flavors I’ve tasted, not just because I enjoyed them (which of course, I did) – but because I’m convinced that the more we’re exposed to, and explore the world and people around us, the better off we’ll ALL be.
But Facebook is also tiring. I’m tired of the deliberate dissemination of dubious, inaccurate, and outright inflammatory information. I’m tired of the outright stupidity and willingness to disregard common sense, the scientific method, logic, and basic mathematics. And I’m tired of feeling like FB is using me and my contributions in service of its own agenda. Any more, FB isn’t a gathering of friends talking about our hobbies and discussing the day’s events (was it ever, really?), it’s more of a data-mining party.
Our information is collected, distilled, aggregated, and sold to businesses and governments, which then exploit that data for their own motivations. Every “like”, share, and post is ultimately just another data point to the FB machine. And I’ve come to wonder, “what’s the point?” I need some time and distance to think about that.
So, I’ll be stepping back for a short while to reassess how I feel about all of this and how FB will, or won’t, be a part of my life in the future.
In the meantime, stay well my friends. Wear the damn mask, wash your hands, keep your distance, and let’s try to survive this politically-induced coma in which we find ourselves. Follow the science, not the politics. Politicians have never won an argument against science. NEVER.
I simply can’t imagine why it would be any different this time.