Facebook Made Everyone Forget My Birthday
A Social Experiment
I don't even know how to start this. I thought I would be okay, but now that I finally decided to bite the damn bullet and write about literally everyone that I care about forgetting my birthday, I just can't seem to start this thing.
We should start at the beginning...
A few months ago, I decided that Facebook was making me very unhappy. So for my own well-being, and I've always been honest to my readers and online following that I have collected over the course of my many years working on different parts of the internet. I mean well-being. I decided to delete Facebook.
By this time, I had been on Facebook for ten years, having made an account way back in 2009 when MySpace was dying and my Class was graduating.
I'm not completely oblivious. Facebook is, the number one Social Media Website on the internet right now and the way it's growing and evolving over the course of months into years, despite its scandals is keeping it up there at number one. So I know and understand that all of my friends are on the website and some even use Facebook solely as a means of communication. So before I deleted Facebook, I disconnected Messager so I wouldn't lose direct connection to my friends and family.
I know that Instagram is under the Facebook umbrella but I couldn't part from my beloved photo albums. Over the course of six years (because I made my main Instagram account in 2013), I have made four different accounts on Instagram. Which I'm sure everyone does: I have my main account where I dump bits of everything, my art account where I dump all of my art content, my photography account where I dump all of my photography content, and the account that I made for all of my game-related content. I'm not particularly ready to erase six years of photo history and easy access to my artwork and photography for the curious eye. But the gamer account has been dying since my headaches and my health have been becoming a bigger issue so it wouldn't be the end of the world if I decided to delete that account.
Because Facebook and Instagram were really the only Socials I used when I did use Facebook, I pulled out the dusty old Twitter login and decided to start using the fast pace flow of random and unnecessary information.
Mixed Feelings about deleting Facebook?
Trying to date without Facebook has been kind of refreshing? Yeah, in the last four months since deleting Facebook I've only been in one real relationship. But not seeing constant family photos shoved in my face from my friends moving on with their lives and reminding me that I hadn't found my 'special someone' has been a treat. It's really hard for me to write that because it reads about as annoying as it sounds in my head, but dear reader, believe me when I say that it was making me sad. You don't get posts like that on Twitter.
My relationship with my boyfriend didn't last long and maybe that's another post here of its own because I do have a lot of juicy goodness to say about that particular butthead, but for this story, I'll save it for later.
But during my relationship and even the last few weeks leading up to today, a few things have popped up in my real life, where I have either wanted to 'check Facebook', thought that something would have 'made a good post on Facebook', and I realized I genuinely missed interacting on the platform.
Addicted to Facebook?
In an Article posted in 2011, by Amy Summers. She discussed how an American Psychologist introduced a new term to describe the addicted behavior that was happening every time a user would log onto the website. He called it F.A.D. or "Facebook Addiction Disorder," which he described as being 'defined by hours spent on the platform.' So much time in fact, that a huge chunk of an 'individual's life is affected' by Facebook. And as of 2011, 'approximately 350 million people' were 'suffering from this disorder.' How do you know if you have F.A.D? Amy Summers provided a list for her readers. Stating that people genuinely show 'two to three signs over the course of a six to eight month time period', do you show these signs?
- Withdrawal: (Which I did suffer from for a few weeks after I quit facebook.) This is a scary word because a lot of people associate this with drug use but, since 2011, far more articles have been released talking about how those likes to dislikes ratio release dopamine into our system and make us feel good. So why on earth would we want to put down something that makes us feel good? Well, if your Facebook wall is constantly on your mind. It may be time to step back from the platform. Common signs of being away from Facebook or not being able to pick up your phone and check the app are 'anxiety, distress, and the need to talk about Facebook and what might have been posted on your Facebook wall or Newsfeed.'
- Tolerance: This term gets tossed around a lot and when it applies to me it's usually about my pain tolerance, because for the last few months I have been trying to figure out why my head has been hurting so much. (Turns out having brain surgery when you're six can lead to problems twenty years later, who knew?) But have you ever found yourself scrolling up and down your feed and you'd think you'd only been doing it for like 10, 15 minutes tops but an hour maybe five have passed? According to Amy Summers you may have F.A.D.
- Fake Friends: I know, I know! Trigger Warming! Internet Friends are real friends! Trust me, I know. I feel you. I was a teenager in the early 2000s too. I had a Myspace and my best friend was the only person I knew on it I get it, but according to this study, if for every ten friends you have, eight of them were people you didn't know (so what is that? 98 percent?) there's an undeniable chance that you may have Facebook Addiction Disorder.
- Complete Addiction: Have you ever introduced yourself to a new person and then followed up that introduction with "do you have a Facebook?" seems pretty normal now. But in 2011, if you were asking this, you were probably showing signs of F.A.D. and didn't even know it.
Some of these are kind of silly and a little outdated in my opinion, but Amy Summers had a point in writing these down in 2011 and they still hold strong here in 2019. Because everybody relies on Facebook for everything.
I know I suffered from some kind of internet addiction. Maybe it wasn't F.A.D. but it certainly was something and it was making me upset because it was no longer releasing those happy chemicals into my brain and making me feel good. If it even ever did in the first place. So without saying anything I just decided to deactivate Facebook.
Everyone forgot my Birthday because I no longer had a Facebook Page to remind them about my Birthday
Because Facebook provides us with so much we can very easily let ourselves forget important things. By making our lives a little easier it has made us a lot lazier. And sadly it has proven true this year. None of my Facebook friends or any of the family that I had on Facebook reached out to wish me a Happy Birthday and honestly, it kind of sucked. It felt like I was in an episode of The Twilight Zone. It was odd. But that was a week ago, and so far... only my dad has remembered 'oh crap, my kid's birthday.' And that's all that really matters to me.
Facebook didn't win. I still have my account deleted.
Let this be a lesson for all of you Facebook users out there, don't rely so heavily on the platform. It may be convenient, but only to the users who have active accounts.
And if you did associate with any of Amy Summers' list but don't want to permanently delete Facebook like I did, but would like a break. Press and hold the app until all the apps do a little wiggle and then press the 'X' and watch that sucker disappear off your phone. Try it for a day, a week, a month. Who knows? You may actually find solace outside... or on another platform.