Over the years, a few of technology's sucking dead-end vortexes have sucked me in for periods of time. They all start innocently enough, and most that last for any amount of time contain a social element. Muds. IRC. Usenet. Blogging. Facebook. Farmville. At some point I "awoke" and realized what might have once had value had become twisted, abused, and no longer beneficial.
None of these tools are in themselves a problem, just as a knife can be an incredibly useful tool, or a weapon for crime.
Such it had become for Facebook; I found myself following people not worth the time, compelled to check in with them just as shut-ins might tune into a soap opera each day. Being outgoing and loving attention, the ability to brag about my doings and get props for doing so led me to live in a world where my attention was often bifurcated; in a moment of bliss I'd think, "This is so cool, I can't wait to FB it!" When I did, my mood was buoyed by those who commented, but often raised doubt in my mind if certain people didn't comment about certain things, and on and on it went.
That's just fucked up right there.
While lamenting some simple things that never seemed to get done, I thought to myself that I just don't have the time. But that was a lie, for that same day I'd spent about 30 minutes on Facebook. (Edit: and let's be honest; if you think it's 30 minutes, it 1-2 hours.) As is often said, it's not that we don't have time for things, it's that we simply are not prioritizing them. This realization was simple: the issue was not time, for fact is there is always more you want to do than you have time and resources for. Rather, it was simply a poor prioritization on my part.
So over two weeks ago, I declared I would be leaving Facebook. On Friday I posted that I was going to take a 30 day break, and informed people of my phone and email. On Monday I logged back in (having not peeked over the weekend), and deactivated my account.
In short: best thing I've ever done. Not because Facebook is evil, but because I was caught up in a game of false reality similar to any of the items above. What is emerging is a better system of priorities, realizations about connections and relationships, a lack of constant interruption and problems focusing.