In addition to considering that road trip this summer, taking a vacation from Facebook may also not be such a bad idea. According to the Pew Research Center, sixty-one percent of current Facebook users have taken a break from Facebook at one time or another. But if you’re anything like me, checking your newsfeed may be just as much part of routine as brushing your teeth or combing your hair.
I first started my Facebook profile back when it was still considered to be for college students, and it’s hard to believe that I’ve had it for over six years. Only now, I’m just a part of the two-thirds of American adults who use it. If there’s anything I’ve noticed over the years, using Facebook during the summer is particularly unbearable. With the seemingly endless wedding photos and status updates that border on self-congratulation, checking my Facebook has become more of a chore these days. People have more time on their hands during the summer, and it’s particularly during this time that they think using Facebook makes their lives seem more interesting when we know that, like ours, it really isn’t.
My attempts to get rid of my profile, however, have been futile. The last time I tried, it was only matter of days before I came crawling back to see whether or not my friend posted that photo of us in our bathing suites from our trip to our beach. Much to my relief she hadn’t, but it was a great justification as to why I thought I needed to reactivate my Facebook account.
To be fair, Facebook doesn’t make reactivating or cancelling your profile exactly easy. Before deactivation, they ask if you’re sure you want to deactivate your account as if you are agreeing to be taken off life support. Underneath, they show a collage of all the friends you may or may not even know anymore. Bethany is going to miss you… how are you going to keep in touch with your 585 friends? What I think they really mean is how will you keep up with your friends. Facebook is essentially a more modern version of keeping up with the Joneses. It is the new social benchmark to which we not only measure ourselves, but also how we measure our friends in comparison. This is where the downfall lies, because you can’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty.
In this way, a vacation from Facebook can mean taking a few weeks away from it or simply changing the way you use it. Withholding information these days is just as powerful as sharing it, and I hope to be judged for as much as what I do say as much as what I don’t. Either way, I don’t think most of my friends will pay much mind. They’re probably too busy worrying about how many “likes” they’re getting on their status update.