So, I’ve joined my mate Gus in taking a break from Facebook.
Mine’s not virtually permanent like his, though, just a couple of weeks. (EDIT: Or maybe it is permanent, given it’s 2019-06 and I am still off it with zero inclination to return.)
The trigger for this one was the release earlier this week of the results for the same-sex marriage postal survey. Whichever way the result went, both sides (but especially the “yes” side, if the campaign itself was any indication) were going to spew vitriol at each other, and I’m just going to turtle it in order to ride out the storm. Call it “preemptive mental health protection” if you like. Call it cowardice, for all I care. Getting out ahead of the game. Even with a very carefully curated friends list, it’s still a sensible thing for me to do (not for most, obviously) at this point of time.
Given I’m studying media, I can hardly stay off it permanently, but being off it currently is no issue at all, surprisingly. Being booted off it earlier this year by Facebook was difficult, but a lot of that was tied into losing a decade’s worth of posts and communications with friends to a seemingly arbitrary and completely unexplained decision, and so on. Doing it voluntarily, and being able to give some warning so that people don’t get worried, is quite different. I’m still missing the updates from friends, and media outlets, but it’s OK, I’ll cope.
Having moved most of my messaging to Whatsapp from FB Messenger has also made it a lot easier to do. Apart from the fact that Whatsapp is simply a vastly better messaging platform, not having all your eggs in one basket is always a good system.
So I will be returning, but not right now.