Thursday, February 12, 2015

Goodbye Facebook: It’s me, you, and most everyone else

I have been contemplating taking a hiatus from my personal Facebook for about a week now. I’ve been on Facebook since 2007 and not once in those 8 years have I decided to pull the plug—until recently.

I’m not sure what changed—but I think that my current struggles have a lot to do with it. Ultimately, Facebook is stressing me out. Scrolling through my feed makes me anxious and on edge and yet I can’t seem to close out of my app.

A little perspective. I used to like to stay on top of the news and be informed about what’s going on in the world, in my community, in the community where I grew up, etc. I enjoyed reading in depth articles about politics, current events, science and health, advances in technology, social issues, etc. But I just can’t take it anymore—there is so much negativity, violence and sadness in this world and all of this filling up my news feed on Facebook gets overwhelming.

It seems like Facebook knows what trips my trigger and stories show up on my feed that irritate me and cause me anxiety. For just one example, I see a million stories about motherhood and how “breast is best” and how formula feeders are irresponsible. These people do not understand nor do they try to understand why some of us mamas had to make the choice that we did to formula feed. And it’s heartbreaking for me. It causes me more guilt.

It feels like Facebook is a bully that constantly shoves negativity and hurtful comments in my direction for slow consumption over time—building me up until I’m full of guilt, regret and fear…and then what?

I think we all have one or two of those people in our lives who are into drama, drama, drama. I had a temporary lapse of judgment recently and engaged in conversation with one of these queens and I immediately regretted it. I quickly realized that I didn’t have the energy (nor the will) to continue the conversation and I bowed out gracefully—while this person interpreted it as a lack of intelligence on my part and insulted me as such. Really, who has the time and energy for that?

Sometimes I feel like Facebook has given me the mirage of having a big circle of friends. While many of my friends really are true friends and family, there are so many people that aren’t. There are people from my past who bullied me, hurt my feelings, broke my heart, lied to me, didn’t include me and now send me requests to be Facebook friends. And I accept because I don’t want to cause any hard feelings. The irony.

In this odd sort of way, Facebook teaches us to hold onto the past, be obsessed with the present—but to not BE present. All in the name of “staying in touch” and being connected. I fear that we lose those real connections because of it.

I use Facebook a lot for communication, even with those whom I am real friends with. I wanted to give anyone a chance to message me their number, etc. if they wanted to stay in touch during my hiatus. And I’ve been thankful there are those who have—real friends, those who care to stay in touch beyond the news feed.

As of noon today, I will be deactivating my personal Facebook account. I am doing this AT LEAST through the end of the month. At that point, I will reevaluate and decide if I need Facebook in my life and if so, on what terms. Please note that I will continue to update my blog Facebook page as usual—no problems for me on that page!

I think it will be good for me and is a step towards my New Year Resolution to be more unplugged.

Seeing this video helped me make a final decision about taking a Facebook hiatus. I hope this opens your eyes about social media and technology overuse in general, too.

6 comments:

  1. Facebook is the biggest misconception of reality I know. It's kinda like the people who play church on Sunday and live like the devil Monday through Saturday. Facebook posts often paint a rosy picture of life that is far from the reality you know (if you know the person). I can't really say it makes me feel in less about myself, but it does make question why I bother to read the tabloid (aka Facebook).

    I find it to be a time suck for me, completely non-productive - so, I take a break every couple of months & often wonder why I don't complete delete the account! Other than it being the best way for me to keep in contact with our graduates who have moved all over the United States - I don't really have a great answer.

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  2. Facebook or Fakebook? Yep, so many fun pictures of every vacation~eating out~party (yes, I am guilty at times too) but where are the real pictures of those losing their job? Gaining weight? Going through depression....no one really wants to share that ~ what for fear of few "likes?"

    I have it to keep in touch with close family/friends....it it easy to message groups I must say. The "fake friends" I don't worry about and don't waste my time even reading or catching up.

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  3. Ive been wanting to cancel facebook for a very long time. As a matter of fact, it was one of my new years resolutions to dissappear for an entire year. your post just reminded me of that and I may just do it :)

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  4. I can't believe how well I've done w/o facebook BUT I will say that had I not permanently deleted, I probably would've snuck and checked it and reactived a million times. LOL Not saying you should do that. Just saying I know ME well enough. It sucks you in! It felt good to finally be the cool person with 70 likes on posts and 200+ "friends." I loved showing off my kids to people who probably thought I was the biggest dork ever in high school. Lol Anyway, I'm glad I cancelled it. I miss my yard sale pages, and that was actually my biggest excuse for getting it, but other than that I am so glad to no longer be seeing cuss words that slip in as you scroll down, drama, the "popular" girls from high school still have "the perfect life," etc. Enjoy your break!

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  5. I canceled facebook at the beginning of the year and it's been wonderful. It was stressing me out as well. Fake people pretending to do and be something I know they are not. Negative people on their "soap box" trying to shove their ideas down my throat. And I would wake up in a super mood, get on and check it and instantly get either sad, mad, or stressed over something I just read. No thanks. It is still a little hard not knowing things, and honestly I do miss the drama sometimes, but for me it was the best decision. Good luck with your break :)

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  6. Great idea! It's so easy to get caught up in all the crap!

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