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Ajvar - a Hungarian told me he couldn't get it in Budapest, even though they're "next door" to Croatia. But here in Tooting, SW London, people even leave it on garden walls.
Ajvar – a Hungarian told me he couldn’t get it in Budapest, even though they’re “next door” to Croatia. But here in Tooting, SW London, people even leave it on garden walls.

Just a few weeks after my last post about my growing disenchantment with Facebook (and all social media, as it happens), I found an article by Theo Merz on the same subject in The Telegraph. “It increasingly feels like the party is happening elsewhere,” he says.

Roughly speaking, I agree, but I don’t think we’re looking for another party to join, so much as enjoying the forgotten pleasures of not being at a party, of enjoying some experiences for how they appear to us at the time, not reconstituting them for an imaginary public.

If anything has propelled me to the exit, it’s the trend for posting reasons to be cheerful, or 100 days of happiness and so on. I’m a big fan of positive psychology, and would recommend anyone to just list a few things they are pleased about in order to pull themselves a day and a millimetre at a time from whatever dark hole they’re in. I also like rubrics in blogs and posts – it’s prompts creativity and resourcefulness. I’m also happy if my friends are happy. But I feel that to post these things on Facebook is against the spirit of what makes focusing on positives work: if you’re feeling down, or finding it hard to get up in the morning, then the fact that you put the rubbish out on time – or some other task that everyone else seems to find routine and simple – can count as one of your three-a-day. But are you going to admit that to anyone except your closest friend or therapist? Probably not. Because Facebook is precisely the kind of forum in which you need to exercise careful impression management, to use Goffman’s term from The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.  





4 thought on “Oh so it’s not just me then – Facebook saturation point”
  1. I am totally fed up with FB too but finding it hard to leave. Maybe because I feel I can keep up with the happening of my adult children who live all over the place, but I could easily keep in contact with them in other ways. Also it’s useful for promoting my blog…or is it?

    I don’t like the constant barraging of charities and friends/friends of friends, posting things to make me feel guilty. I particularly despise, ‘only 1 pc of my friends will repost this, show your support for bla bla…. Also anything to do with , if you have a son/daughter who you love etc.,

    A couple of weeks ago I posted re the ‘ice bucket challenge’ saying I felt it was wasting precious water. I know it was for a good cause but I felt it had gone over the top and many people were just posting videos of themselves throwing bucket of water – not donating – and in fact not aware of what the original reason for the act was. I had some good and bad responses from my post and the end result was that I felt the need to backtrack and I felt guilty! Why?

    I need to find the strength to leave…how ridiculous is that? Just cut lose and use the time spent wasted on doing more important things.

    I always loved your posts though Jonathan…

    1. Re: the bucket thing, I saw your post, and thought it was a very good point. The backtracking, and thinking about how to respond in such situations without offending people is so time consuming and tiring – it’s the thing that I am most glad I don’t have to deal with anymore.

    1. Congratulations. I can’t see myself going back either, or at least only occasionally. I’m still dipping in at the moment for at the most 5 minutes a day, if at all (Stayfocusd won’t allow me more than that anyway). Look forward to reading the blog post when it comes.

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist