How do you gracefully leave a bad party? Facebook is a bad party.

Facebook is a bad party.

Imagine you’re at an actual party, in the physical, meat, world. And at that party whenever you say anything – comment on a TV show you like, stake out a political position (in a conversation with your friends, mind you) or talk about a game you were watching and some slobbering idiot shambles up to you and starts yelling in your face about how stupid everything you’re saying is. Do you stay?

I honestly don’t think any normal human being answers with anything other than “Hell no.”

This isn’t some kind of narcissistic “boo hoo, you folks are mean, I’m leaving,” post. This is more like, a question, and that question is this – Why are any of you still frequenting Facebook? And that question isn’t facetious or smug. I’m serious. I want to know why you still spend time on it?

Today, I deleted the Facebook app from my phone. I didn’t delete my account. There are a lot of people who I want to try to stay connected to, and there are groups I belong to that seem valuable to me (at this point anyway), but I no longer want to spend a lot of time scrolling and participating in what is, essentially, a really bad party.

I don’t blame Facebook. I think it’s clear the folks behind this behemoth of a social network really just don’t have any more of an idea what the purpose of their creation is than most of us do, but they’re making crap-tons of money with it. I think the problem is that we, as a global society, have really lost touch with the concept of social norms.

Yes, online behavior is appalling. It will take me all of a minute to find a pointless pissing contest on Facebook. But meat life social behavior is pretty close to equally appalling. Every time I get in my car to drive somewhere I’m faced with multiple reckless drivers doing things on the road that would have shocked and horrified previous generations.

And there are even more extreme examples.

A few nights ago a bunch of young folks – late teens to early twenties – got into their cars and were doing donuts in the middle of a residential street close to where I live. A man, the father of one of my daughter’s school classmates, went outside to ask them to stop and one of the young men pursued him to his doorstep and murdered him.

What did these young folks think they were doing? Well, the term for it is “sideshow.” It’s a display. You might call it peacocking. But who was the show for?

Crazy, reckless driving is a show too. Look at me and my fast car. So is most of what’s going on on Facebook. Look at me. Look at me now.

It’s not interesting. It’s not enlightening. It’s a bad party.

So, yeah. I’m not ready to leave the party altogether yet, because there’s still a lot of people there I’d like to hang out with, but I am planning on more time elsewhere.

I turn 51 in a little over a month. The fact that there’s less life ahead of me than there is behind me is something I’m keenly aware of. As my grandmother said to me once, “We all get a ticket to this show, but the time when the curtain falls isn’t printed on it anywhere.” Let me put it this way – I’m looking for a better party.

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