Facebook as a hobbyAugust 1, 2013
Manjil P. Saikia
By the time this gets published (which I hope it will), it will be more than a month since I have deleted my Facebook account. Yes, you heard it right, I have deleted the account, not deactivated it. It’s gone, forever! Well, of course I can make another account very easily, but that’s not the point. I had been on Facebook for a long time, almost 6 years and that’s like more than 25% of my entire life span till now. I had some 3700 ‘friends’, of which I probably knew about 2000 personally, and I updated quite frequently in my hay days, but towards the end my profile remained a bit dormant. Now what I want to say is that at some point during these 6 years I had made Facebook (FB) my hobby and believe me this can be the worst hobby that you can probably have.
Let me explain what I meant when I say FB was my hobby. People usually have a hobby to do something that relaxes them and that they like to do in their spare time. For most of my childhood and even now reading books had been my hobby. Then I discovered the joys of social networking and FB, and all was hell. I changed my hobby to FBing, chatting with random people in my friend list and following what they updated, commenting and liking everything I saw. In the process I forgot to read books! That was a great great mistake as I realized sometime last year. I was so into FB that the first thing that I did everyday was to login to my account. I left emailing, meeting or even talking to people. I did that on FB. That was pathetic!
But that was the past, now I am free of that vice and have moved beyond FB. To check that I wasn’t addicted to FB I would randomly deactivate my account and check if I could survive a week or a month without it. I could do that at will, and hence I concluded that I wasn’t addicted to it. Now I had to find a way to lower my FB usage, which came in the form of my ex-girlfriend. We had a lot of fights because of some of my activities on FB and as a result I drastically reduced the time I spent on FB. And the final nail in the coffin was dealt a few weeks back when I decided to permanently delete the account. I had to wait 14 days after I did that to be sure that there was nothing about me on the FB database. Well there will be a few things but then my account was deleted. I felt a kind of calmness and have been happy since then.
I am not saying FB is a bad thing, I met many good people through it with whom I now have a good relationship and I have been able to learn many things over the years using FB. But somehow the activity on FB is not that productive compared to what you can achieve in real life. There are really two kinds of people on FB and this I am saying after being there and doing that. There are boys who stalk girls and there are the rest of them. The first category consists of the mass of our youth who have nothing better to do, and have no inclination to focus on the actual problems of the society, but instead spend time in such a frivolous activity. The only thing that maybe they should realize is that all this is temporary, no one would even notice if you disappeared from FB right this instant. At least no one has noticed that I am gone.
Now that I no longer have FB, I am back to reading and enjoying books. I read a Man Booker Prize winning book, Dan Brown’s latest let down, a few poems, a technical book in this period while attending a three week advanced workshop in mathematics, and learning a lot of technical stuff along with the fights that I have with my girlfriend! (pun intented) This just shows that FB had decreased my productivity a lot and now I have a lot to catch up to. In case you also think that FB is your hobby, then maybe its time to change that!
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Hmmm….each for his own. I had many different reasons for taking that step.
You have struck a chord. I guess I too have developed this FBing ‘hobby’ and I know that it’s extremely dangerous. Sooner or later I am surely going to do what you did.