To delete or not to delete, that is the question

But what is the answer?

I am having an internal debate with myself that err, I guess won’t be internal for long once I’ve finished this. The question is: shall I delete my Facebook account?

I bet I already know what you are going to say. I don’t give a shit Betty. Alright, geez. You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. If you want to read something else, read Baby Hopeful’s post on Facebook. She even did Twitter research (you might be able to guess which quote was from me, but you won’t win any prizes for it, sorry). I can relate to every single word, but I guess I will endeavour to make a hash of saying the same thing on here anyway.

I’ve technically already deleted my account once. I did it in January 2012. By then I was beginning to find out just how much of a state my insides were really in, I’d been trying to get pregnant for over a year and many, many, MANY of my friends, relatives and colleagues had just announced their pregnancies. Many of them quite clearly hadn’t been trying for long; many of them were onto second and third babies. I guess some of them must have struggled, but that’s not the kind of thing you boast about on Facebook is it? Oh no. Not on our glossy Fakebook lives, no siree!

Anyway, I was in a difficult place and I just deleted it. I think it meant that I lost touch with a few people, particularly university friends I didn’t see very often. At the time I didn’t give a rats ass but I’m not so sure now. Friends aren’t that easy to make are they?

I reactivated my account earlier this year when I finished my last job. I had lots of friends at work and since we were moving far far away, I didn’t want to lose touch with them all and I thought Facebook would be the easiest way to keep in touch. I haven’t really used it much, I’ve just sent the odd direct message and commented on a few photos, yet I have noticed A Strange Phenomenon. Curiously, even though I barely use Fakebook I seem to open it at least once a day, and I can’t remember a day that I looked at my newsfeed and didn’t feel annoyed. Is this the behaviour of a sane person? Do I do anything else every single day at least once that pisses me off and leaves me angry, resentful and burning with puerile fury? No, obviously. Fakebook is my kryptonite, apart from unlike Superman I appear to be addicted to the stuff like some kind of masochist.

I am boring myself with this debate now. Let’s have the summary arguments:

FOR

1. It makes it easy to keep in touch with people when it would otherwise be slightly more difficult to do so.

2. If I was a nicer person, I would enjoy looking at pictures of my friend’s holidays, kids etc and feel more involved in their lives.

3. (Main Reason): you can show off about your own life.

AGAINST

1. Fakebook brings out the gloating smug in even the best people I know.

2. The most annoying of these people appear to have crap else to do all day so are concentrating on updating their smug all of the time.

3. Pregnancy announcements. To any infertile, these hurt. You get the cryptic smugs, “Well, everyone else is doing it so thought I’d better join in…!!”, the formal smugs, “Mr Boring Bags and I are delighted to announce that we are expecting a new addition to our Boring Family in October!” and the why-use-words-when-I-can-post-a-scan-picture smugs.

4. Pictures of babies all lined up in a line, or a circle, or pictures of babies covered in food. Seen one, seen them all. Wasn’t naffed about it the first time.

5. This might just be me, but I get a lot of status updates with incredibly far-fetched yet endearing stories about what people’s children have said/done. I guess there is an iota of truth to some of them, but I very much doubt most of them actually happened like they said they did. Just another light hearted, life affirming anecdote about my beautiful life and perfect children.

To me, Facebook really is Fakebook. It is an outlet for people to create a fake, glossy, happy, shiny version of their lives that they want other people to be jealous of. You can edit your life, and have your imaginary little rose-tinted version validated by all your ‘friends’ who clamber over themselves to congratulate you on your family’s perfectness.

This is beginning to take a turn for the bitter, so I think I should wrap it up. Maybe I will remain pregnant and be able to upload a puke fest fake version of my life online. Maybe if I have a child of my own I won’t interpret every single status update and photograph as if they are screaming, “LOOK AT ME! I AM BETTER THAN YOU.”

Maybe, but I guess I won’t have the chance because I have made my decision.

Sayonara Facebook, can’t say I will miss you.

BB xx

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22 thoughts on “To delete or not to delete, that is the question

  1. Bachelor's Button

    Oh, the joys of Bragbook. Suggest you abandon it now and return to it once you’ve had your baby so that you can post a hundred cliches to have your revenge. I love hate it. Hate the boring and incessant facts about what people ate for lunch or cryptic messages between people that clearly should be texts… Love the odd flash of interesting from friends of the past. Tricky. Not brave enough to press the button. Hx

    Reply
  2. Steph Mignon

    BB I love this post. You said all the things I think everyday when I look at my disgusting news feed. I won’t delete my account, because as an aspiring fiction writer social media is a necessity (unfortunately), but I won’t say I haven’t cursed Face F%$C many times before. Even when people post cool stuff I find myself seething with a strange mix of irritation, jealousy, and disgust. I even feel that way about myself when I post stuff. So bravo for you for freeing yourself from fake glossy lives everywhere!

    Reply
  3. Isabelle

    HA. I am guilty of looking at FB all the time. But I do have a group of secret group friends on FB that support one another on our TTC and infertility journey. But yeah, I do post things like what food I ate and all the mundane things that people probably don’t care about? I think I’d have a FB withdrawl if I had to quit.

    Reply
  4. Robin

    I think you can hide people from your feed, but I understand that annoyances come from all angles and even those you’d least expect. I think laying it to rest is a good idea – and then you can reactivate it whenever you want. If it’s causing more harm than good, then disable it. (Unless you can just not log in, which I find hard to do)

    Reply
    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Hi Robin! I owe you an email big time, I’m so sorry. I’m still not back at home… Turns out IVF, moving house and trying to work are all a lot more time consuming than I envisaged! I really am sorry for being such a flake. I agree with you re FB, I’ve hidden A LOT of my lovely, perfect, shiny friends but it still has a pretty negative effect on me. I don’t like the angry person it brings out!! I’ve decided to deactivate it, but I can always reactivate it at some point (probably when my nosiness gets the better of me).

      Reply
  5. May

    I am very careful to only friend people who amuse, entertain, or otherwise delight me. Boring shit about babiesbabiesbabies? Ignore! Endless boasting? Ignore! Endless whining? Ignore? I ignore a metric ton of old ‘friends’ because they irritate me. I am very lucky to have a fistful of wise and funny people to ‘hang out’ with. Some of them live abroad, so it’s worth sticking with FakeBook for that. Remember! You are allowed to hide people from your feed! They don’t know and you needn’t bother with them! Everyone wins!

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Why I Should Probably Maybe Definitely Delete My Facebook Profile | marissabergen602

  7. redbluebird

    I think you made a good choice. I’ve tried the “hiding” people feature, but I’m a masochist and always end up sneaking a peek one day and then feel miserable.
    I do like the entertainment aspect of Facebook. Like reading people’s political opinions during election season, or hearing about visits to the Creation museum, or questioning the sanity of the friend who posts 100 pictures of his dog every day.
    But still, probably not worth it. You can totally reactivate when you have your baby, & post all the pics of him/her pooing, sleeping, and eating.

    Reply
    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Snap! I’ve hidden loads of people, but inevitably a comment or picture will pop up that will lead me into a Facebook spying session. I can’t help but tune in to the people I’ve blocked, even though I know it’ll piss me off. I’d love to reactivate it if I have a baby and bomb all those annoying people with baby pictures, but I have a feeling the ones that annoy me will be the ones that will revel in all my pictures and reciprocate with their own inane comments and boring pictures, then I will die in a big steaming pile of drivel and drooling baby photographs of my own doing.

      Reply
  8. newtoivf

    Facebook makes you hate people you know, Twitter makes you love people you’ve never met! Get rid!……Although I’m still to much of a masochist to do it!

    Reply
    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Ha, that’s so true!!! Why is that?! I’m over Facebook, it’s going. If I’m desperate, I can log into my husbands for some spying. He has no qualms about hiding anyone so I can get the full, perfect, glossy, high definition version there.

      Reply
    1. barrenbetty Post author

      That website is amazing!

      I don’t understand what Facebook has become. I’m presuming it’s Facebook that has changed and not that I am now a cynical old toad.

      Reply
  9. jinxgirl

    @ newtoivf – very true!
    I have thought about deleting maaaaaany a time… but just cant bring myself to do it, no idea why. Guess its cos I’m so nosey and feel I’d be missing out. It would have saved a few tears though thats for sure.

    Reply
  10. dogsarentkids

    I look at Facebook all the time. I am definitely a glutton for punishment. It’s like a car wreck you can’t look away from, but in this case, a bunch of arseholes pretending they live a perfect life, even though it probably took about 200 pictures and 6 hours to get that one perfect shot.

    I did deactivate my account once, where you completely disappear but if you log back in, all your stuff is still there. The problem for me is that I am majorly introverted so the only time I talk to anyone, is on FB. It’s like a torture device to see how far I can be pushed before I explode.

    The answer? Not very. I explode on people all the time. I HAVE gotten the comment “Geez, you have turned into such a bitch.” I consider it an accomplishment.

    Reply
    1. barrenbetty Post author

      I’m not sure what’s worse… The ones that take 200 pictures, 6 hours, plus 5 hours of photoshop to get the perfect shot, or the ones that just post 200 shit pictures every single day with no editing whatsoever.

      Reply
      1. dogsarentkids

        They’re both conceited douchebags trying to wear pretty clothes over their dirty skin. I might want to follow your lead and just delete my FB before I word vomit all over everyone.

  11. journeyformybaby

    See, this is why I don’t update on fb about pregnancy stuff. I have infertile friends. It would be insensitive. I announced pregnancy and proved it with u/s photo. I didn’t get all gushy tho and I announced gender. That’s it. If people want to know more,they can ask.

    Reply
    1. barrenbetty Post author

      That’s very restrained of you! I think part of me would be tempted to pregnancy update and complain all the time to get back at them. I won’t obviously, Facebook is being officially deactivated. Whoo!

      Reply
      1. journeyformybaby

        Lol. Well good for u making that choice! I actually pretty much don’t post on fb at all. I read other ppls bullarky. That’s about it. I get out my real feelings on my blog. Fb wouldn’t b able to handle my realities.

  12. hopefulandhungry

    There have been times that FB has been a bad bad place for me to visit, like you said, seeing post after post of baby/pregnancy announcements. And the ultrasound pictures are the WORST! How are you feeling?

    Reply
    1. barrenbetty Post author

      It turns me into a person I don’t like! I’m definitely deactivating it for now, guess I can always change my mind if I magically grow into a nicer person. I’m okay thanks, starting to feel apprehensive about the scan but still very glad to be having one at all. I think I’m starting to have a few pregnancy symptoms, but I don’t know how much of that is just wishful thinking! Hope you are getting on okay preparing for the next round xx

      Reply

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