Why I don’t have a Facebook

During my senior year of high school I made the decision to delete my Facebook. I rarely used it, and I was tired of the constant barrage of social drama, spamming, fishing for compliments and crudely articulated arguments about “current events.” Two years later, I could not be happier with my decision. I don’t feel the need to monitor the exploits of my friends and family via social media.

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Facebook is a common distraction among high school and college students. Screenshot by Samantha Rorke.

Perhaps I’m too cynical but I feel like oftentimes people put more effort into making their lives look interesting on Facebook than actually doing interesting things. The entire concept of social media is derived from a selfish desire for attention. Look at what I am doing. Like my post. Comment on my pictures. Look how cool I am. Show me that you think of me. Give me the attention that I require. I don’t have any disdain for Facebook or its users but that just isn’t my type of scene.

The benefits of not having a Facebook have been numerous. I’m not tempted to check my profile in class, I don’t spend hours pouring over pictures of people I knew from high school, I don’t get suckered into playing those addicting games, I don’t get wrapped up in petty Internet drama and I don’t have to worry about getting tagged in a compromising picture.

Admittedly I’m not in contact with a lot of people from my various social circles back home, but my reasoning is that if they were an important person in my life then Facebook ought not to be the only way we communicate. To be frank, I don’t care what my middle-aged next door neighbor ate for breakfast or who my old high school crush is dating in college now.  Sometimes I wonder what my Spanish teacher Mrs. McCarthy is up to, but I will just visit her when I go home for break and catch up.

Many people don’t understand why I don’t have a Facebook. When I meet someone new and they try to look me up they are thoroughly confused when they can’t find me. At least once or twice a week it comes up in conversation and many people are shocked that I don’t have one. It seems like it’s an expected social norm — so much so that it even came up in one of my interviews for a summer internship! The interviewers wanted to check me out on Facebook and they didn’t believe me at first when I told them I didn’t have one. When most people ask I just shrug and say that I don’t want my personal information and private memories eternally present in the depths of the Internet.

I shudder to think what children and grandchildren will think when they search for their parents or grandparents and can see their Facebook from high school or college. It’s hard to keep your children from doing something that they know full well you did because you posted it all over your profile.

In any case, I’m a Facebook-less heathen and loving it. The next time you log onto your profile, scroll through the news feed and look at it from my cynical perspective. It might make you change your perception of what Facebook is all about.