Thursday, February 17, 2011

No more Facebook

I recently purged my Facebook account. Last year I spent irrationally much time there, mostly playing FarmVille, Restaurant City and other virtual build-and-manage-an-environment games, befriending strangers just to get more neighbours so I can collect virtual tripe by the dozens and exchange them for rare and seasonal in-game items. At a time when real life didn't offer many chances of success and had no positive feedback, these games gave me proof that if I stick to doing something on a daily basis, I can build something big and beautiful. And in that way they were helpful for a while and made me feel better. But then I became addicted and needed to add more and more games, till I found myself clicking those things all day long.
Do you know the worst part? At a time I convinced myself that I am doing it for my daughter, because on my virtual farm I had a pink virtual house and stuffed its virtual garden with virtual toys, a virtual see-saw and virtual swings, etc, while in reality I spent less time with my baby, because I stole time from playing with her so I can build an unreal environment she may enjoy looking at but will never be able to access. How dumb is that? Yes, Tamara likes the way the virtual puppy wags its tail, but she doesn't enjoy my spending 20 minutes daily on virtual feeding it. And that is just one game.
Anyway, I snapped out of it. I removed 75 of my 85 games. I removed all the pages I was a fan of. Why on earth did I ever decide to "like" Celebrity Birthdays in the first place? And did I really think I can save the rainforests by sending 10 virtual seeds a day? The games I have spared are only there because I feel sorry for the time and energy I invested in building them. 
Next I am gonna start to remove all those friends I don't really know. I am only worried about accidentally removing a few stitching friends, as I remember most of them by email addy and not by full name. Should it happen to you, please let me know. I wanna use Facebook for what I believe it was invented for, to keep in touch with real people who are really important for me in my real life.


Bronny said...

I understand where you are coming from and came to a similar epiphany a short while ago, but attacked it from a different angle. I created another fb page dedicated purely for family & friends (using yahoo email) and now have only 3 games on my gaming profile - one that unfortunately, I am currently addicted to it's mindless banality. (bingo). I don't join groups and I block all game apps from the serious fb page.
Kudos to yourself for taking it that step further.

Pauline said...

Good for you! It *is* crazy that something that stops us from conecting in real life is so addictive and so not real life. I think so many people have this problem and don't even realise the effect it has on them.

*I* need to do this with my blog. I have so many blogs listed and the reality is that I don't visit that many of them, and feel bad that I don't comment on those that I do visit.

I too have been thinking about this topic for a while...

Karan said...

Good for you! My SIL spends so much time on this too... her depression makes her feel everything is out of control, so she enjoys the feeling of being totally in control of her virtual world. Escapism from the realities. I hope that she will one day have your realisation. :0)