Saturday, 10 November 2012

The social network...

I know I did this last year, at about this time too, but I have left facebook again. I don't know, since the ''account settings'' on facebook are very difficult to navigate anyway, but facebook doesn't seem to have any concrete way of facilitating an actual account deletion, only a deactivation (which only serves to suspend the account, where you are free to re-open it again, at any time, and more or less pick up from where you left off), and so I went to great lengths the other day to manually delete almost everything on my account. I have ''unliked'' all my ''liked'' pages, untagged all my friends' photos, deleted all my own albums, deleted all the past statuses, links, check-ins on my timeline (although there were two I simply could not delete, so I made them visible only to myself), deleted all old messages, wiped my profile information clear, etc. I then went on to ''unfriend'' all my friends. Of course, it would have been impossible to delete absolutely everything, and I was not about to waste time going through peoples' timelines and looking for past likes and comments of mine, but after all that I changed my name and sex, and then deactivated my account. I just hope I have the will power this year to actually not go back. The Liturgiae Causa page will be deleted in two weeks.

Why, you ask? Well, it's simple really. The reality is that facebook does not enhance friendship. In the balance facebook had more of a negative influence on my life than a positive one. I am suffering from clinical depression and nothing was more irksome to me than to be constantly presented with such things as: ''now waiting at the airport, going on Safari with friends,'' or ''just off to the Maldives,'' or ''sampling some very expensive claret,'' or even ''I just love my job,'' a host of lives riddled with standard of living. I never was an envious person, having indeed a store of my own life experience (and a monstrous sense of entitlement), but I have hit rock bottom; and I am one of those people that if I am miserable, I want the whole world to share in my misery. I could, of course, have simply ''unfriended'' all my real friends and replaced them with an inferior stock, in order to lord over them, but that would hardly have worked, would it? This is not to mention the constant vanity, the endless pointlessness. Everywhere you look on facebook you see people tagged in thousands of photos, most of which look exactly the same, and the vulgarity of ''checking-in.'' No I'm not interested if you're having your nails done; no I'm not interested if you check into some night club with a string of your friends. Of course, facebook does have ways of restricting who sees what, but then your friends just become a number in a list, and so what is the point in having them there? Having no qualms at all about this sort of thing I started to ''unfriend'' some of them, going from some 180 friends to 113 (at which point I started deleting indiscriminately). This, of course, impacts on your life in other ways; maybe you won't receive a Christmass card from that person, or maybe you won't be invited to their wedding, or something. To think that facebook has this kind of monopoly on human interaction! What on earth did we do before it!?

What am I left with? Nothing, and at the moment this suits me. Yesterday I spent the afternoon in town; I had tea at Brown's, went into the National Gallery (where I spent about ten minutes staring at Constable's Cenotaph to the Memory of Sir Joshua Reynolds, a painting so wonderfully autumnal and melancholy), and then went to see Swan Lake at Covent Garden. The music and choreography are so familiar but ballet is an art form that, like liturgy, I never thought would grow stale. The performance was marvellous but I felt nothing, only tired and uncomfortable, and people don't dress appropriately anymore. I am blessed that the performance lifted any sense of bitterness I had felt throughout the day but I fear that I am still left with an exhausting sense of apathy. Even my dogs don't help.

Those of you who will may email me at my personal address:

1 comment:

  1. Patrick
    See this website for how to kill your accounts...

    In ICXC

    I stay far away from pretty much all of those social networking sites. Too many shades of 1984 for me.