First, let me start this by saying that I am not against social media. I think it can be a good thing and can enhance people’s lives. It makes it convenient to reach out to people when you need support and it can keep people connected, although I do feel like many of those connections are disingenuous (more about that in a bit).
What Has Facebook Become?
It can be fun looking at pictures of your friends and their families, it is nice reading about important things that are going in their life… big announcements, a move, a promotion. All of those things are great and it makes it easy to reach out and to congratulate them. But I feel like it has become so much more than that. Facebook has become a place where people share practically every little detail of their life. Starting from how they did or did not sleep that night to what they had for breakfast, to having to sit in traffic, or having to wait at the post office, to being put on hold while making a service call…..omg the list could go on and on. So what happens when we are bombarded with all of this information every single day. Depending on how many people you have on your feed, that is a lot shit to wade through multiple times a day. No one makes us look at Facebook and read all of this but we do it, we do it without even thinking about it and I think some actually feel obligated to do it….or maybe it’s FOMO (fear of missing out). I think FOMO is huge. People do not send letters any more, hell we rarely even email, I mean why do that when you get to see almost every detail by just logging on to FB. You feel like you know what’s happening in everyone’s life. Of course you don’t because the majority of people only put out the distorted best of what is happening. We really have no idea of what is really going on but we feel like we do and that makes us happy…..until it doesn’t.
So who are these people that we are “friends” with on Facebook?
I think when it first began it did start with our real friends, people we grew up with and maybe lost touch with over the years, old classmates or family that lived far away. But today it has morphed into adding every single person you come in contact with at work or your kids’ sporting activities, people you meet at the gym, hey maybe even the waitress at Chili’s. People you barely know, but hey why not add them to your feed, right? The more the merrier. And then there’s the people that send you requests because they are nosey. They want to see what is going on in your life, but these are also the same people that if you saw them in the grocery store they would run the other way. They don’t want to actually talk to you they just want to be a fly on your wall of life. Why do we even allow this? I want authentic relationships in my life. It’s like the saying I’d rather have a few close friends than a million acquaintances.
Enough is Enough
I finally reached a point where I knew Facebook did not deserve to have a place in my life. It wasn’t adding value, it was actually distracting me from living my life in a positive way. It brought me down instead of lifting me up. Why was I choosing this, why??? Why would I keep something in my life that was negative. Why did I want to spend precious moments from my day to read other people’s clutter from their lives, because that is 90% of what it is. I don’t need to know these details. Sure I know I will miss out on some announcements and events, and I may be in the dark when someone says did see what so and so put on FB. I am good with being in the dark. I also know that the people that are important to me know how to reach me outside of Facebook (gasp) I know right. There is a life outside of the walls of Facebook! It’s nice getting a text from a friend, and it also allows me to be more thoughtful with my communications. Facetiming with friends far away or checking in with them to see how their day is going. I love that!
The Other Side
I have been off of FB for 6 weeks now and it was difficult for maybe 2 days. I missed it for 2 whole days and by the third day I felt so FREE! I literally felt free, my head felt so clear. If you want to procrastinate then by all means click over to FB, let it suck you down a time hole and ,wham!, 30 minutes is gone. It proves to be a great escape outlet. It can also serve as an emotional release maybe you are have a crappy day, then why not go on FB and read about other peoples days… hey maybe there’s was even worse than your’s. When you delete FB you will immediately see that you have more time. My creativity started to come back, well it actually never left but I could see it again. It’s funny because now I feel so much more connected to the people in my life than I ever have before. I am able to appreciate them more. Life is good.
Will I Ever Come Back?
When I first deactivated my account I told myself this is temporary I’ll do it for 6 weeks and see how it feels. Well, it feels great! I have no immediate plans to return. Will I ever return? I really don’t know, I can’t predict how I will feel in the future. All I know is that right now it does not serve a positive purpose in my life.