I unfollowed all of my Facebook friends and this is what happened
It’s just your normal Sunday, that Johnny Cash song written by someone else but I can’t remember, and I’m wishing I was stoned. I didn’t make the cut for Demo Day in my hackcelerator program and for whatever reason I decided to skip one of my meds so yeah, I’m depressed for no good reason.
First, contemplate suicide and decide that takes too much work
Yeah, and I don’t even know why it would require too much work. I decide that I’ve already steered myself in the wrong direction since I’m already taking insulin each day to stay alive (type 1 not the “you did this to yourself Anakin” type), so why start being inconsistent now? Also, suicide means I’d have to go downstairs and stop moping in my bed and I know the second I did that I’d realize I’m full of shit and it’s really just withdrawal symptoms from my ADD meds.
Second, attempt augmented-reality suicide, because I’m into that passive aggressive bullshit
So what’s a way I can make myself disappear from the world without getting out of bed? I decide to unfollow everyone who shows up in my Facebook feed. I only unfollow as they show up in my feed— I’m not going out of my way to unfollow people, that would require… wait for it… work.
Now I know what you might be thinking, why don’t you just delete Facebook, that would be easier? Well, not really, because one, I’d lose any hope of getting free Candy Crush lives from friends — and more importantly that rich self-righteous feeling of ranking above your friends in a game and thinking, “Yes! I finally discovered hidden objects faster than you, now I can pretend like I’m smarter than you.” Also, I know tomorrow I’ll be feeling normal again and I need people to spam and share my shit with.
How else am I doing to get validation for my clever Banana For President marketing campaign?
If you really love me, then you’ll click on the Banana For President link above and then take the survey that pops up on the next screen before you get forwarded to a John Cena YouTube video.
Yes, I’m aware that Facebook might be happy to delete me.
Third, marvel that people still exists
Yeah, as I unfollowed all the people I actually care about on Facebook, I started to see people I had totally forgotten about. Like I thought my old boss at Slalom just never posted anything to Facebook and was purely incognito stalker mode. It turns out that he occasionally shares stuff and gets tagged in stuff. He has a brother.
I thought maybe he unfollowed me and that’s why I’ve never seen any of his stuff.
While writing this article I reached out to him and asked him if he had unfollowed me. He hadn’t and was able to report seeing some of my stuff with my sabbatical, Go-Go-Banana and my Angelhack Hackathon win. There goes that theory. Which naturally leads me to believe…
Facebook actively blocks people who are founding start-ups and share self-promoting links.
Do I have any evidence? Not really, but is that what this country really needs right now?
Can I blame Facebook for repressing my link shares? Not really. I, also, am self-aware.
While we’re talking about self promotion, checkout out my old boss’s landing page for his start-up business. It’s depressing, it totally kicks my Banana-For-President-Landing-Page’s ass. FORTE streams live and on-demand avant-garde boutique fitness classes. Yeah, if you clicked on my link from earlier don’t click on my friend’s link. It’s much too good. (Random fact: that former boss was the one that got me into blogging during my bench time at Slalom. So thanks, I guess. ;) )
Fourth, what the hell is Purple Clover?
So besides that Colorist I added as a friend five years back because he did some work on the cheap for me, I start finding all these weird Facebook pages that I’ve liked. I feel like I have to unfollow this Purple Clover one like five times just to get it to remove from my feed.
There are numerous friends as well that don’t seem to want to disappear from my feed. As soon as I think I’ve unfollowed one friend I get a notification that they posted some stupid selfie about how they’re so awesome that they no longer live in a city that smells like piss.
New York City smells like piss.
Turns out they were in a Facebook group called “Close Friends”, which used to be known as the “star” feature. It’s not very intuitive figuring this out. Removed from group. Unfollow. Again.
Fifth, out damn spot called Mark Zuckerberg
I liked Mark Zuckerberg? When did I do that? After three unfollows he’s finally off of my feed.
But discovering all the people who were no longer show up in my feed has been its own joy.
Sixth, wait did I just time travel?
When I logged into Facebook the next day, guess what? Everyone was still there? I was like Dorothy waking up from her Peyote Wizard of Oz dream.
So I started unfollowing all over again. Then I realized that all the posts that were in my feed were somehow cached. As if Facebook creates a personal feed on my phone and then updates as necessary from its services. Interesting. I feel like I’ve seen the ghost in the machine.
Seventh, only one post left that I can’t remove
This is all I’m left with now, two days after the fact. (This morning I unfollowed someone that liked Dan Rather, and unfollowed Graham Hancock after liking his share of a guru channel comedy video. Haha. Like. Unfollow.)
All I’m left with:
- Something that I shared yesterday about a cake someone made for my little girl that just turned four.
- Facebook making a desperate plea that I make more friends.
- A reminder that no one gives a shit about Go-Go-Banana unless I pay for advertising.
- Gloria. I can’t quit you. No literally, I can’t.
Eighth, what have I learned from this?
As long as people don’t read this blog, I can still post stuff and people will like it. I can validate my weak self-esteem without having to do any work in validating others’ social presence. No distractions. Social suicide is sort of a nice thing.
Ninth, and most importantly, I no longer care about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump
Yes, I can’t block out the Jersey lady sitting in front of me on the train who is half crying to the Indian man next to her about how she’s finally proud of this country because of Obama and ashamed of what Donald Trump is trying to do this country, besides from that I no longer have to listen to any of the other bullshit.
I don’t have to worry about that old missionary friend who rants about how he thinks #BlackLivesMatters is bullshit because people aren’t angry and marching that this happened to a white person- (insert some stupid news article on a white person getting killed that people are angry about.)
If people aren’t marching over the loss of white lives to police brutality, then isn’t it really a question of fitness over outrage?
I don’t have to think about my welfare state brother-in-law that rallies behind Trump with his hate rants on Hillary.
I don’t have to think about my friend from high school running over black protesters who are blocking roadways shouting “get off of welfare and stop blocking traffic.”
I don’t have to worry about that one person I worked with on a film posting videos of a fifteen year old getting raped by a cop in South Africa though the video claims it’s in New York. (Yeah, no kidding, I reported it.)
I don’t have to worry about all this entitled bullshit rantings from both sides of the political spectrum, of people saying their need to shame others and be outraged is more important than any facts.
I don’t have to worry about if my Mom has converted from her younger liberal hippy self into a conservative Islamophobe or if she’s just sharing stuff while on painkillers in the hospital again. (Still love you Mom!)
Sure, I’m missing out, there’s a lot of good stuff out there. Cat videos. But so much bullshit.
Tenth, so please keep sending me free lives in the games I play so I don’t have to change my clock four hours forward and then four hours back to hack it.
And don’t worry Facebook, I’ll follow people back again. I couldn’t quit you even if I tried.