Why I Stopped Using Facebook – Reason #3
I felt like I was showing off. Showing off what i had, showing off my life. And since my Facebook account was private, the only people who were seeing my posts were my friends. So I was basically showing off to my friends.
Update: I ended up creating a new Facebook account, here's why.
It didn’t feel that way in the beginning though. I thought sharing photos about my car, my gadgets, my road trips/vacations, my son, was one of the best ways to utilize Facebook. Somehow I forgot that the point was to connect with other people. But what else is there to do after you’ve added them as a friend, have browsed through their profile and liked/commented on their posts? Anyways, of course I was rewarded with some likes here and there, which simply made me want to do it more. It was not until I noticed other people doing the same thing that I started to question what I was doing.
Was I rubbing people the wrong way by regularly posting about my “highlight reels” on Facebook? Was it offending people that I was posting about my car or mobile phone, when other people on my friends list can’t even readily afford those items? Was I being insensitive when I post photos of my son when I have friends who want to, but could not have kids?
One time I kept posting about the car seat that I bought for my son. It was a Britax B-Safe 35 Elite infant car seat. I thought it was really cool and so I was regularly posting photos of it online. At one point a friend commented, asking me if I was advertising the car seat. I was like “no, I’m not,” but that made me stop and reflect on what I was doing. I couldn’t tell if my friend was offended or if he was just genuinely asking a question. Either way, after receiving that comment, I never posted about the car seat again.
I also noticed that it became more of a competition when other people started posting about the same thing or the same themes. It was like a contest of:
- who had the best vacation?
- who had the newest phone?
- who had the coolest gaming PC?
- who had the most expensive car?
- who had the fanciest dinner?
- who has the smartest kid?
All of it leading up to, who has the better life? It was like people were unconsciously one-upping each other. Anything you can do, I can do better. If I can’t do it better, then I will at least show everyone that I can keep up.
Such is the extent of the influence that Facebook has on how people use their app/service, that people don’t even notice what they are doing. As long as the likes keep coming, they’ll want to continue doing what they were doing, almost unconsciously. All this happens almost unconsciously. Whether or not people knew what, or why they were posting about the things they were posting, I don’t know. All I know is, I was unconsciously a participant in that contest, a contest that I no longer wanted to be in.
If you stop posting about material things, what is there to post about everyday? Well you can post selfies, or you can post about your feelings or you can post about your kids. I don’t do selfies, and I don’t post about dramas in my life, and I have stopped regularly posting photos of my son due to privacy concerns, so that left me with nothing to post about. And considering how much tiring the news feed was and how it was making me judge other people, why bother keeping my account active?