Farewell to Facebook and Back to Blogging

I started using Facebook as a kind of experiment at the end of last August, about one week after my wedding, as a means of updating my parents, my sister and her husband, and my wife's mother at the same time about our new married life. Since then I posted to Facebook almost daily, sometimes even several times a day, until I decided to quit it forever this week (unfortunately, it will take another week or so until my page is completely deleted automatically). And the more I used Facebook, the more I drifted away from my initial purpose of using it, showing a clear sign of addiction.

I had my first doubt about Facebook when the number of my "friends" approached 150 after a few months of using it. From my experience with email I already knew that this number called "Dunbar's Number" is the maximum number of people with whom I can maintain personal relationships. Every time my email address book exceeded this number, I checked it and cleaned up the addresses of those with whom I had no contact at least for the last few years. And this is what I also did with my Facebook "friends". I unfriended those with whom I had never had any interaction at all, reducing the number to a little less than 100, but on the other hand, I read all the posts of all the Facebook "friends" I had kept.

My second doubt about Facebook arose when I had my relationship with some of those whom I considered friends even offline seriously damaged as a result of a series of my objections to their political (and religious) views. I myself had decided from the very beginning never to post my own political (and religous) views though I have my own even very strong opinions about politics (and religion), but I couldn't ignore other people's views that didn't look fair enough purely logically. This way I lost some Facebook friends.

But the main reason why I've decided to quit Facebook forever in spite of its few benefits is that I've seen so clearly beyond any doubt that Facebook is first and foremost for those who are interested in shallow posts, whether as writers or as readers. The shallower the posts are, including my own, the more "liked" they are. As such posts constitute the majority and I'm not interested in them, I've come to a conclusion that Facebook isn't simply for me. I was too naive as to believe that it could also serve as a place for intellectual dialogs.

I've also seen that the more I wrote on Facebook, the less ready I became to write blog entries, which are by nature much longer and require more thinking. I even forgot that I have my own blog and didn't realize that I hadn't updated it for more than four months! I started blogging in September 2000 (the archive here is only from 2010) as an opportunity to reflect every Friday morning on what happened on that week externally and internally in preparation for Sabbath. Now that I've quit Facebook, I'm resuming this old weekly "ritual", hoping that I can still express myself verbally.

It's true that blogging is a dialog with oneself, at least in the way I blog. But blogging has at least one big advantage over posting to Facebook - the former is a collection of stocks that can be reread, while the latter is a collection of flows that are seldom or never reread and are consumed and discarded instantly instead.

In saying farewell to Facebook I have to thank it at least for one thing. It has helped me find several long lost old friends and get acquainted with a couple of interesting new people I couldn't have met except on Facebook. I'll definitely remain in touch with them by email and offline. And no less importantly, I can reappreciate life without Facebook now.


Planning to Resume Blogging

I'm planning to resume blogging next Friday, hopefully weekly. In my first renewed blog entry I'll explain why I couldn't update my blog and I've decided to resume blogging after such a long time.