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Another brick in the wall

Social Networking

The Social Network is objectively a well-crafted film, though eight years after its release, it feels a bit dated. The film implied that the biggest issues at Facebook were immature, hard-partying executives and some casual misogyny. If the film were made today, it would more likely cover data leaks, Russian interference via social media in the 2016 election, and, most alarmingly, Facebook’s role in ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.

I’ve considered deleting Facebook over the last year as a form of protest and finally deactivated my account last month. Noticing how much less distracted and stressed out I’ve felt since then has been truly bizarre.

Since I’ve moved multiple times over the years, I was initially concerned about losing touch with my friends out of state. However, the downside of staying connected with people I haven’t seen in years is that I was also being constantly bombarded with updates from people I was never close to and barely remember.

The mildest versions of these nuisances were seeing people’s vacation and wedding pictures from extravagant photo shoots. While I felt happy for these acquaintances that were seemingly doing well, I also found myself feeling inadequate when, for example, comparing myself to the woman I went to high school with who posted photos from her fiancé proposing to her near a waterfall in Iceland.

My more immediate frustration with Facebook was seeing the constant political rants from people I hadn’t spoken to in years. I wondered, “How are these people so angry all the time? How do they have time to complain about Trump/Clinton/whoever five times a day?”

Being honest with myself, I was also probably guilty of this. As a political science major, I posted about politics regularly. I’ve definitely gotten into political arguments with people on Facebook before.

It’s been harder keeping in contact with some of my friends from out-of-state, though increasingly more and more of my friends are deactivating their Facebook accounts anyway. I have definitely felt a sense of clarity not being bogged down by useless information multiple times a day.

However, if I’m telling myself I deleted Facebook to protest corruption, it’s not a very good protest. I still have Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, Inc.

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