Last week, I chronicled my adventure of 40 days without Facebook, an experience that was strange and oddly lonely. However, as soon as I reactivated my account, the storm of awkwardness and other emotions was remarkable.
Reactivation: day one
After reactivating my account, I spent all afternoon on Facebook, about six hours. I looked through profiles, read recent status updates and noticed changes in relationships. At this point, Facebook felt creepily akin to looking in people’s back windows, or reading their mail without their knowledge. Although I realized that people put this stuff on the Internet because they wanted people to see, I felt creepy.
A lil’ turned off: day two
Turned off of Facebook because of how creepy I felt, I only checked my page once. I had a couple of notifications, but didn’t post anything new. I didn’t feel like the Internet had a right to know what’s on my mind.
Curiousity kills: day three
As my curiosity began to get the better of me, I started checking my page more. I still didn’t post much. I didn’t feel as creepy. I decided that if people wanted the Internet to know what they did last night, I might as well know.
Going mobile: day four
I finally gave in and re-installed Facebook for Android on my phone.
Who cares? Day five
As the week wore on, my status updates began to be more frequent. “Does anyone care?” I kept asking myself, and although I decided that probably no one did, I posted anyway.
Mobile sharing strikes: day six
I shared my first photo via mobile phone. This was the beginning of the end for me, I think. Since then I haven’t gone crazy, but my mobile uploads album certainly has grown.
Back in the habit: day seven
Although I haven’t gotten totally back into my old spam-a-lot posting habits, I think that my 40 days without Facebook was basically a fail. I chose to deactivate my account in hopes that I would find no need or even curiosity for the social networking site upon my return, but quite the contrary is true. I have found that things I would just take in stride are much funnier. I realized that Facebook is a primary culprit in the way our society is breaking down the walls between public and private lives.
Ultimately, I like Facebook. It’s a fun, easy way to share your life and to snoop into other people’s lives without being too creepy, because hey—they put it online, right?
Bethany Hardgrove can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org