Charlie's Blog: The Thief of Joy


The Thief of Joy

Comparison is the thief of joy.

I do not know how long it has been since I left Facebook. I think it has been two years or more. Regardless, I can honestly say that the time since my departure has been joyful. When it comes to your life online, the most solid advice I can give to people is to delete their Facebook accounts and go live their lives.

I despise Facebook. When I was on Facebook, I used it the wrong way. For me, Facebook was a platform to share links and thoughts on things I found interesting. For everyone else, my oversharing was obnoxious and annoying. In hindsight, I realize that Twitter was the platform I should have been using and which I use now. As someone else put it, "Twitter is for exhibitionists while Facebook is for narcissists." I'm not sure what the gist of that quotation was getting at, but I find that Twitter is for people who love life while Facebook is for people who love themselves.

I was an annoyance on Facebook because all my links to interesting things crowded out what people were really interested in which was other people's business. This is the genius of Mark Zuckerberg. When people aren't fixated on themselves, their second favorite thing in the world is to stick their nose in other people's lives. This is why Facebook is so insanely addictive to so many people. It is also why it is so awful.

The first and most prevalent problem with Facebook is what is known as "Facebook envy." This is where people see the edited lives of their friends and family living out their dreams while their own lives are nightmares. The irony is that they edit their own pages to only show the good and not the bad and the ugly. The consequence is that Facebook is now populated by envious liars. These people appear happy except they feel awful inside because their lives can't measure up to the fantasies that friends and family are broadcasting to the world. If Facebookers were honest, they would include divorces, break ups, misscarriages, job losses, herpes outbreaks, and that last stubborn ten pounds that just won't come off no matter how much they diet and exercise.

The second biggest problem with Facebook is the lack of privacy. Now, I don't really care that Facebook takes your personal information and sells it to advertisers who then sell you products and services you might actually want or gives it over to the NSA whenever they ring up Zuck. But it can be traumatic when granny sees a selfie of her granddaughter gleefully getting gang raped at a frat party. If Facebook Edited produces envy, Facebook Unedited produces horror and disgust. Thanks to Facebook and your own lack of modesty and common sense, your relatives and boss can see you snorting cocaine off the naked bodies of those strippers at that crazy party you attended last weekend.

The third biggest problem with Facebook is the adultery problem. It is reported that Facebook is responsible for 1 in 3 divorces. It is easy to see why. Thanks to Facebook, people now have a way to contact old flames and rekindle those romances. Or, they can meet new people to chat and arrange hook ups. They even have a website about it.

The fourth and most costly problem with Facebook is the time that it steals. Facebook is the number one app on smartphones, and I consider it the biggest reason people want smartphones. Thanks to those connected phones, Facebook has gone from being something to pass the time on evenings and weekends to sucking up every spare moment of your life. But the biggest hit has to be to employers who pay their workers to goof off on Facebook unknowingly. Adults and children are little more than smartphone zombies these days unable to make eye contact at social functions because their faces are buried in their phones.

I didn't have these problems on Facebook because I wasn't a typical Facebooker except for the time issue problem. Leaving Facebook gave me my time back, but I think most people would get more back than I did if they deleted their Facebook pages and left it behind. Will people take my advice on this? Of course not. I've lived long enough to know that most people don't listen to good advice. They would rather complain than change. I give people advice, so that I can tell them to shut up when they complain again. If you want to put some joy back in your life, delete that Facebook account.