My Facebook Vacation

In January, Facebook was working my last nerve, so I decided to avoid it for a full month (except for a private group with extremely limited posts).

What happened?

I did not miss the people posting fake heartwarming quotations by Hemingway, Oscar Wilde or any other famous writer who couldn't possibly have written them.


I did not miss the clickbait videos of people pretending to be gay or anything else.

I did not miss adorable animal videos (gerbils making friends with giraffes, etc.) which I confess I've often re-posted because, well, that's what Facebook has re-programmed our DNA to make us do without thinking.


I did not miss the climate change Miami-is-doomed posts, even though I had posted some.

I did not miss the Sanders fans bashing Hillary Clinton and swearing they would sit out the election if he wasn't nominated.

I did not miss the vituperative anti-Bernie Sanders posts by Clinton supporters, including the ones by people I respected.

I did not miss people mis-reading posts and replying with a lecture.

I did not miss the latest bogus inflammatory quotation by some GOP candidate by the poster explaining, after it was proven fake, "Well, they could have said it."


I did not miss any of the mindless crazy anti-Obama comments that cropped up on friends' pages no matter what they were posting about.

I did not miss the miasma of invective you can't avoid if you spend even fifteen minutes scrolling through a morning's posts no matter how mild most of them might be (quilting, flower photos, etc.).

I did not miss embarrassing oversharing. You know what I'm talking about.


I did not miss the many times a day I went onto Facebook to see what was "new" when it was generally the same grind.

I did not miss people arguing about religion.

I did not miss people criticizing other people's spelling when they were clearly pointing at typos, or attacking someone's word choice when they were just plain wrong or over-zealous, acting like editors at an academic journal.

I did not miss posts inviting me to take quizzes like "What Kind of Pirate Are You?" or "Why Haven't you Read At Least Two-Thirds of These Great Novels, You Moron?"


I did not miss people instantly disagreeing with any comment I made about a film, movie, book, song, video or anything else I happened to like.

I did not miss the temptation to instantly disagree with someone else's opinion about a film, movie, book, song, video or anything else I happened to dislike.

I did not miss other writers humble bragging about how few words they wrote that day.


I did not miss posts that asked, "Can you find the uroboros in this labyrinth?" or "What are the first seventeen adverbs you find in this letter scramble?"

I did not miss reports of people's vacations in luxury Dalmation villas.


Though I missed some great friends, I was glad to be spared the noise and nonsense. I was even surprised whenever I accidentally clicked on Facebook instead of the little icons flanking it on my navigation bar.

On my month off, I had more time to read, watch movies, walk my dog, nap, spend time with my spouse, study a new language, work on my hobby, go to the gym more often, and succumb to clickbait on my own--if I wanted to.

Am I going back? Of course. I have to post this. Which someone will probably mis-read. And criticize. :-)

Lev Raphael is the author of 25 books in many genres, including the health club mystery Hot Rocks.