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Personal Musings

The real reason I left Facebook

It had nothing to do with politics

About a year ago, I ran into one of my old friends from high school. We had been friends on Facebook before I left for good three years ago. He asked how my family and I were doing. I told him we were doing well, very good actually. I reciprocated the question to him.

He answered, then immediately segued to Facebook as a topic of conversation, and said, “I know why you left and I can understand. All the talk about politics.”

I didn’t correct him. But that’s not why I left. I grew up in a very conservative place — politically and religiously. So, I’m used to not agreeing with pretty much anything everyone around me believes or says, including friends and family. But we’re still cool. I would give them the shirt off my back and I know they’d do the same for me. (And no, I don’t identify as a liberal simply because I’m not conservative.)

The real reason I left Facebook was for a very simple reason. It had nothing to do with politics, religion, staged family photos, fake outrage, drama, vitriol, or cynicism.

As a parent of two young kids, I found it a terrible waste of my time. Even if it was only a fraction of my time spent in the day, I felt it was time squandered I’d never get back with my own family. Fifteen minutes a day (at a minimum) is an hour and forty five minutes of my life in a single week. And no one who has Facebook spends only fifteen minutes a day on the platform.

That was the real reason I left Facebook.

And it was that simple.

(Twitter was a different story. Twitter is little more than a dumpster fire where everyone brings sticks, marshmallows, and chocolate bars. And, I don’t like s’mores.)

Most everyone I know who left Facebook did so for a similar reason. The reason can be that simple: how can I better spend the limited amount of time in this life with the people I love sitting right in front of me?

Don’t make it more complex than it is. It’s not worth it. Facebook is a form of virtual reality. Not reality. Recognize this simple truth.

Photo by dole777 on Unsplash

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By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, TheBody.com, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.