I have been Facebook-free for a few years now. Until last night, some very special friends created an account for me. My reasons for leaving were the typical and classic ones you hear from the anti-Facebook activists: it’s a time-sucker, too many messages would go unchecked, the apps like groups/pages/events/games were not my cup of tea and I didn’t feel the “need to belong” or the “need for self-presentation”.

In general, Facebook became more of a pain which I had to constantly check and manage and I really didn’t have time for this added stress while I was away at university. I wouldn’t say I’m against social media, but I am not a huge proponent of it either.

Many argue that they could never leave Facebook because of the groups they are a part of, whether they be scholarly, work or interest-related. I see and understand where this idea comes from, but contrary to popular belief, it is possible.

 

Upon leaving Facebook, I had the opportunity to re-evaluate my relationships and values. After that, I became conscious of the irony of Facebook. The disconnection between the apparent “Facebook friend” of whom you see their vacation pictures and meal choices, and the awkward, unannounced real-life encounter.

I don’t regret leaving Facebook, nor did I experience the Fear Of Missing Out. I never would have used the resources that require a Facebook account such as online dating or Tinder. But I just don’t think that’s my personality type anyways.

There have been several peer-reviewed articles published on the dark side of Facebook including topics like narcissism, self-presentation, and the need to belong. Don’t believe me? I’ve included links to a few of the recent ones below.

Nevertheless, Facebook is a way to “connect” with people, but more importantly, to promote yourself in a way that is most flattering. Thus, I re-embrace the narcissistic lifestyle. Bring it on Facebook!

“By giving people the power to share, we’re making the world more transparent”

– Mark Zuckerberg

The dark side of Facebook: Semantic representations of status updates predict the Dark Triad of personality.  http://www.sciencedirect.com.proxy.bib.uottawa.ca/science/article/pii/S0191886913012890

Self-presentation and belonging on Facebook: How personality influence social media use and motivations. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886912004916

A two-process view of Facebook use and relatedness need-satisfation: disconnection drives use, and connection rewards it. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21280967

Facebook Is Just a Place for Narcissists and Neurotics to Show Off.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dainius-runkevicius/facebook-is-just-a-place-_b_5730570.html

Image source: http://nrmedia.biz/facebook-narcissism-study/

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