Why I Quit Facebook (again)

Facebook needs this.

At the repeated requests of my sister-in-law, I reactivated my Facebook account about 2 months ago. I must admit that for a good 3 weeks or so, the ability to catch up with long lost friends and acquaintances-some of whom I had presumed dead-was intoxicating. I eagerly watched my Inbox for Friend Requests and marvelled at how my “numbers” seem to shoot up weekly. Yet, the whole time, something was eating at me. Perhaps I subconsciously began to see it as an addiction, simultaneously craving and hating it. Then, as bathroom time permits me these days, I cracked open the latest Wired Magazine and read this great article about Facebook by Scott Brown:
It pretty much sums up how I felt. The next day I deactivated my account (again). You see, I have always felt that homosapiens have a limited capacity to care for others. It’s a physiological safeguard to keep us from overextending ourselves emotionally, so we can get on with the business of basic survival. In the same way the human brain sifts/sorts through memories via dreams (an organic disk defragger, if you will), I believe we subconsciously sift/sort through our relationships throughout life. Some we keep, others we leave behind. (See Brown’s feedback comments: Some agree with me.) We don’t have the emotional capacity to keep all of them.
It boils down to this: With 45+ “friends” (on Facebook) with whom one has daily “contact”, it becomes more work than play. I have 2 jobs (full-time day job and full-time father) and can’t handle a third. Sooner or later, one of my long lost college drinking buddies or now-platonic ex-girlfriends will suffer a horrific personal tragedy, which they will likely broadcast on their Facebook home page. Tragic, yes. My condolences and deepest sympathy. Does it look as hollow to you as it does to me?
My feelings about Facebook can be summed up in the reason I left in the Comments section when leaving this most recent time: Social and emotional bandwidth exceeded.
Update: Back on the FB wagon AGAIN. Dammit! Now mulling over a way too keep me off permanently. Stay tuned…

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